Afternoon Delight Review: Holding Hannah by Maren Smith

Posted September 12, 2020 by Shari in Afternoon Delight, Reviews / 4 Comments

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Afternoon Delight Review: Holding Hannah by Maren Smith
Holding Hannah

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Series: Masters of the Castle #1
Genres: BDSM Romance
Published by Blushing Books Publishing
Released on July 1 ,2013
Pages: 60
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
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The Delight

An interesting concept of a Castle moved from Europe to the fields of Ohio where your medieval sexual fantasies can be fulfilled. But one problem….they need the permits to open.


Hannah is a twenty-something college student who gets institutionalized when her parents catch her cutting. Cutting is when a person cuts themself to get relief or pleasure. Having a family member myself who cuts, I totally understood those around her not understanding, but I also didn’t particularly like what happens in this book in regards to cutting. 

Ten days after she cuts herself, she is released from the hospital as an adult and sent to live with her uncle and aunt. Given a job to help an asshole in the permits department, she goes out on a site where a real castle is being built. There she meets Sam and Marshall. They are two of six Dominants who have moved a castle from Europe and placed it in the fields of Ohio to become a vacation resort for BDSM inclined people in a fantasy setting. No real modern-day clothing or appliances are seen. Yeah, some of that can be untrue, like lights that look like lanterns but they have electricity. Or the security system, etc. But they need the permits to open and the man in charge thinks he is God and won’t give them the permits.

Hannah is fascinated by all the different rooms, devices, and plans they have. Sam sees her fascination and indulges her closer looks. When she leaves, he places a card with a number on it for her to call him. With scabs still healing from her cutting incident, Hannah decides to indulge her fascination and meets Sam. The two dance around each other. Sam the hardened Master, Hannah the naive submissive confused by her need to cut and trying to deny she needs to do it again. 

While there is no actual sex in this story, there is domination and even fingering with orgasms and nudity. But what upset was the feeling that Sam wasn’t the person to help Hannah. We don’t really get to know him more than a few times in his mind. He’s 10 years older than her, part-owner of the Castle, and a sadist. Mostly, I have to trust he knows what to do with Hannah when I have no evidence that he knows what he is doing.

While the story is interesting and the idea of a fantasy resort one that made me excited to read the series, this just didn’t give enough of a teaser to understand what the Castle will end of being. This is just a short story of two people dealing with an issue that can cause death at its worst and scarring at its best. I guess I just wanted more depth to the story to feel like it was more than just a titillating draw into a series when it should have been an issue that was handled with more care. 

Challenges Met

Reading Challenge #153
Review Writing Challenge #46
Bad Boys of Romance #18
Literary Pickers Challenge #42 – A couple with one of them looking away 


About the Book

Holding Hannah by Maren Smith


Hannah Alder used to know who she was. She used to be strong, have confidence…then the thing happened, and suddenly Hannah seems to have lost everything… including herself.

Freshly-released from her father’s hospital, she is banished from home, sent to live with an uncle who puts her to work for the summer, interning under the chief building inspector in a small Ohio town. No one knows her, yet – somehow – everyone seems to know exactly why she’s there.

It’s while on the job that Hannah first discovers The Castle, a massive stone structure set in the wheat fields of Ohio. It’s soon-to-be THE vacation destination for the kink-inclined…if the Doms who run it can ever get it properly permitted and licensed, but Hannah’s nasty boss is determined that that will never happen. While on an inspection visit, one Dom in particular catches Hannah’s eye: Master Sam–strong, dark, wickedly-attractive, every inch of him the very last thing someone like Hannah needs in her life.

Sam Cooper sees Hannah coming a mile away, tripping on her high-heels in a poorly-fitted business suit, Girl Friday to the building-inspector who’s determined to shut them down before they even open. Sam is experienced in the BDSM world, a partner in a major kink-friendly resort… definitely not his first rodeo. Yet what he sees in Hannah’s astonished eyes as he gives her a private tour of The Castle makes him do something he can’t believe: he slips her his business card.

Will Hannah call? Of course not. Not when she’s working so hard to get get back everything she’s lost. She’s getting better after all…

Sometimes what you fight the hardest, is what you need the most.

“Holding Hannah ” is the first book in Maren Smith’s new Masters of the Castles series.


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Shari is the Delighted Reader. Married to her Prince Charming and mother to two Princesses and one Prince. When she is not slaving away as Cinderella she loves to get lost in the pages of a good book. Never without a reading device and a few good paperback books, because she never knows when she might get 5 minutes to read!

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Sophia Rose
1 year ago

I love the medieval castle idea for a BDSM resort, but I agree that having a cutter with special needs in a shorter story where there isn’t a chance to develop the characters or a relationship like that makes things problematic.

Carole Rae
1 year ago

A castle? Thats fun