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Delighted Reader

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Afterlife - Joey W. Hill Confession time…I am reading this series totally out of order, but it isn’t causing problems. Hopefully though the reviews will come out in order. I read book one first (Board Resolution) and didn’t like it. So when I saw Hostile Takeover on Net Galley (book #5) I decided to give the series another try. After that I grabbed up book #2 in the anthology Unlaced, but then sped forward to book #4, Afterlife. So I still have the middle book, #3 to read before I can say I have read the entire series.

The Knights of the Boardroom are made up of five men who work together and while not blood brothers, they hold a bond stronger than family. All are Dominants and when the find the woman for them, go to the ends of the earth (or the boardroom) to get them. Matt and Savannah is book one, Lucas and Cass are book two, Peter and Dana book three, Jon and Rachel book 4 and finally Ben and Marcie book 5.

Jon is the zen guy in my mind. He believes in fate, energizes, yoga, and ancient teachings. As he describes himself, he is an old soul in a young body. Extremely intelligent, he is also the inventor of the group and the calming force for all of them. He very rarely loses his temper. Oh, and his inventions would make me quiver if they were ever really…well real. Not all of his inventions are work related, but also sexually arousing tools to invoke mind blowing orgasms from a woman.

Rachel is broken. That is the simplest way to explain her. She runs the local yoga studio, but she leads an entirely solitary life after a bad divorce and the death of a family member. A brush with losing herself, she has pulled herself together, but never really lives life. She is a sexual submissive, but also a deep hearted service submissive. By this I mean she gives everything of herself to a Master, even if he isn’t a Master for real. Her divorce from an unemotionally equipped husband has left her walled up in defense, where no man can breach. After a year of wearing a wedding band to keep men at bay, Jon has figured out her game and won’t take no for an answer.

The emotional upheaval this book gave me was gut wrenching. A woman so torn up with her wants but also afraid to love again for being hurt. A young hearted woman stuck in a 43 year old body. How could a man 13 years younger love her? The turmoil she felt went straight to my heart…yeah I am a 40 something woman myself with stretch marks, age lines and a pouch that I wish would go away. I felt her insecurities straight within myself. But her isolation made my heart break. To not have someone to love her or even her to love back seemed such a waste from a beautiful woman.

Jon on the other hand stayed away from Rachel thinking she was married, but always feeling attraction to her. When he learns she is not married he decides to make a move, but something happens that makes him accelerate his moves. He is aggressive and won’t take no for an answer and this is probably where most of my problems come into play. Never once is there a safeword to their play. He takes things for granted thinking he knows what is best for Rachel. It just pushed too many boundaries I felt needed more time, whereas he felt needed to be nipped right away.

So there is one particular scene I had a horrible time processing. It is a spoiler, but I have to warn you about it. There is a scene that could and I did perceive as a rape scene. What was a wonderful five star book quickly pummeled with just this one scene.

If you aren’t familiar with yoga, I suggest you pay attention to the descriptions, ignore it all or look it up. There is a lot of yoga positions and terminology that most times left me confused on what was being put where and in what direction. This seems to be a common problem when I read Joey W. Hill’s books.

The ending seemed rushed and pieced together. I don’t feel it resolved anything. It won’t keep Rachel from running or magically fix all those walls she has erected. You see them together again in Hostile Takeover and everything seems so wonderful for them. Just couldn’t buy it.

It’s not all doom and gloom. Joey W. Hill has grown so much in her writing. The books are fabulous, but this one made a poor decision in one scene that I had to lower the rating from an A to a C over. The beautifully written words to express the vault of despair Rachel was in, the enlightening words to translate Jon’s world. It was lyrical and moving, the words touched my soul and left an impression that won’t go away anytime soon.