This book is what Fifty Shades of Grey wanted to be, if the E.L. James had a concept of what an adult woman would actually behave like and knew how to craft a Dom that wasn’t a total abusive asshole.
Mia is our protagonist. She’s 24 years old. She’s not a virgin and there are no “inner goddesses” to be found here. She’s had a crush on Gabe for some time, but never acted on it because in some ways he’s a bit of an older brother. She comes across as intelligent and willing to try out new things, but she’s also not a complete pushover either. She’s “submissive, not spineless.” This is a good thing.
Gabe is 38, old money. He’s known for living a kinky lifestyle. He’s kind of an ass in a way that a lot of old money guys can be, yet has self-awareness enough to realize when he’s gone farther than he should and at least tries to make amends. He does have her sign a contract, but a) it’s not the morning after deflowering her b) it’s part non-disclosure agreement and full disclosure about what he expects and most importantly c) he not only accepts changes she wishes (namely a clause that demands he be faithful to her just as he demanded it of) but is pleased that she asked for them and was willing to stand her ground for them. I also liked his attitude on safe words and there is no plastic tie bondage here! The book also makes it clear that he wasn’t abused or anything, his life style is more or less a hedonistic one.
As far as the sex goes…it’s about the same level as 50 Shades, maybe upped a notch. You have some rope bondage, you have some spanking (hand and crop) and there’s some anal play (props to the author for having him prep Mia!). If you’re a fan of books like The Siren you may be a bit disappointed in this respect: there’s no real scenes, they don’t go to clubs, and you aren’t even sure if owns anything beyond a few toys. The kinkiest thing may just be that they’re constantly doing it in his office. Is it soundproofed? And no one ever notices the smell of sex in the air?
Overall, the book is a well-enough written piece of erotica. It doesn’t do anything particularly novel and doesn’t really rock the boat. If you’re mainly looking for some erotica it may well fit the bill.
Verdict: Borrow It.
Final note: the two “sequels” are already out – one covers Mia’s brother Jace and one to cover the third partner Ash in their quest to find the right woman for them. I probably won’t pick it up, but I wanted to throw it out there because it apparently just came out and Target had all three books on sale so if it interests you and can’t borrow them from the library (where I picked this up) that may be a place to go look.