Review: Vanilla On Top by C.J. Ellisson

Posted January 23, 2013 by Shari in Reviews / 31 Comments

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Review: Vanilla On Top by C.J. Ellisson
Vanilla on Top

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Series: Walk on the Wild Side #1
Genres: Erotic Romance
Published by Entangled
Released on January 11, 2013
Format: eARC
Source: Book Tour Provided
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Going into Vanilla on Top, I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but I came out of it surprised and really happy I had read such an awesome book. While there are some BDSM elements to this story, I wouldn’t say that either character were into the scene nor was it about causing either one of them pain. It was about a two people learning who they truly are in a world where they were slotted into their careers.

The story is told in first person, but we get both sides of the story from Heather and Tony. At first this put me off, but as the story went along, I forgot it was in first person.

Heather hasn’t had a date in a long while. She really isn’t desperate, but tired of men overlooking her. At a speed dating event, she kind of falls into taking charge when Tony’s phone won’t stop going off. He is kind of brushing her off and she finally tells him to turn it off. Getting a thrill out of the power she wields, she takes him outside for a spicy interlude. But she walks away, taking with her the confidence she did something that wasn’t normal for her. Tony is intrigued but has no way of contacting her.

When they finally meet again, Heather invites him for another experience that left me panting for more. But the two meet across a board table when Tony’s company wants to takeover Heather’s company. Now the two are on opposites sides, but can’t fight the relationship they see growing between them.

Through the course of their short relationship, the two learn more about themselves and the careers they lead. Their pasts have shaped them and now they are questioning if that shape still fits. While involved with each other, they both are making adjustments in the careers that neither can talk to each other about.

What I loved about this book was that while Heather was being this dominant woman in the bedroom, Tony truly saw her as a sensual woman. While he loved her taking control, he also wanted her to know he liked her for her and not what she controlled. He saw her insecurity, but also saw that she really had a beautiful personality he didn’t want to change. Heather had to learn that while Tony was a playboy making millions, he also had a heart and a desire outside of his job. She had to learn to accept that Tony was more than his money and career and that he truly supported her.

I would recommend this as a feel good, uplifting acceptance of people no matter what society has pushed them to be. Two lovers who learn a lot about themselves, their bodies and where they want their future to head off into. There is a lot of steam to go with revelations. A total delight to read!


CJEllisonC.J. Ellisson writes erotica and urban fantasy. Her vampire series, The V V Inn, mixes a heavy dose of erotic elements with suspense, action, a little bit of mystery and some light humor. She lives in northern Virginia with her husband, two children, two dogs, and a fluffy black cat who makes her sneeze.

To learn more about C.J.’s books (where you can read half of the novels for free), please visit her website at



His eyes glide over me, a slight spark of what I hope is interest in their depths. A flare of awareness ignites in my chest. The man’s charming grin remains in place. A good sign so far. Right as he opens his kissable mouth to speak, his phone rings. His relaxed expression turns into a grimace as he digs in his pocket to retrieve the offending device.

“Sorry,” he mumbles my way before answering. He turns slightly in his seat, angling himself away. “Yes?” He barks into the phone. “No, I won’t be back in tonight. The instructions are in the email I sent.”

At least I had the decency to turn off my phone before I came in. Hell, unless you’re a doctor on call, I doubt there’s anything that important requiring your phone to stay on for two hours. He looks into the distance and I feel a twinge of annoyance.

“No,” his tone grinds out, authoritative and powerful. “You need to listen to me, Brian. The directions are in the email. You follow them precisely and the deal will close. Call me again and I’m going to be really pissed.”

He clicks his phone shut and closes his eyes. Tension spills off him and I hesitate to break the silence. What could be so important that he feels the weight of the world on his shoulders? He takes a deep breath and opens them again, staring straight into my eyes.

“I’m sorry, that was rude of me.” He angles toward me. I nod my reassurance that it’s okay, but inside I can’t help but think I’ve lost even more of my precious allotted time with this desirable stranger. He really is way out of my league.

“You know what I want more than anything?” he says with a touch of longing. “I want someone else to take control for a while. I’m really sick of being the guy in charge all the time.”

I smile, not particularly sure I can relate, but willing to appear understanding. His phone rings again and sharp anger stabs my gut.

“Turn it off,” I say, with a challenge in my tone. I sit up straighter and stare into the depths of his caramel eyes. “You want someone to tell you what to do?” He nods, his calculating gaze on me as the phone continues to ring. “Turn off that damn phone,” I bite out, pretending I’m issuing a command. “Now.”

Shock registers across his expression, but he hides it quickly. I raise an eyebrow and feel the sparks fly across the table between us. He returns my stare and smiles, the first real one I’ve seen on him since he came into the restaurant. It’s kind of lopsided and lazy, curling my toes at the devilment it promises. The phone rings a third time and I break our standoff and glance away, tilting my chin an inch higher, showing my displeasure in his lack of action. He fumbles for the phone on the table between us and shuts it off.


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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!