Jennifer Croft uses her beauty to make a living. Draping her body with rope, posing for erotic photographs brings in money, but there are times when the rope isn’t enough. When she feels most out of control, she goes to Purgatory for a flogging. Embracing the pain to help balance her life. Structure is very important to controlling her life. A life she is starting to notice is spiraling out of control as she becomes more popular. A haunting past stunts her capabilities to trust anyone, making her feel more lonely than ever before. She denies she is submissive, just embracing pain as her vice.
Daegan McKenna has come to America to escape his past and find some healing. He sees the longing on Jennifer’s face and knows she is denying her submissive side. Continually he is drawn to her each time he sees her. She rebuffs him, but he never gives up. He is determined to make her see herself for who she truly is.
Daegan makes Jennifer a deal. Submit to to him and he will fulfill her darkest passions, but it is all temporary. When he gives Jennifer the rules, she bulks at how accurate they truly are, but must learn to stop running away. Together they need to learn to heal their past before they can move on.
This story was an emotional roller coaster ride for me. Jennifer in a way is broken. While she is successful as an erotic model, she feels alone deep into her soul. Never expecting to find love nor even feel loved, she has learned to compartmentalized her life and deal with the uncontrollable side with pain, but not submission. A common theme I have found in BDSM books when the submissive is lacking the feeling of love, it seems the Dominant spanking them shows them that someone cares. This is a message I got over and over in this book. I kind of feel it is a shame that it takes a spanking to make someone feel like someone cares. So while Jennifer is bratty, she isn’t always bratty to get a spanking. Sometimes it just is a lack of understanding what she wants or needs.
Daegan was more complex than I first thought after we learn what is in his past. I truly felt his pain, but I was often irritated at him. Why do some of the Dominants in these books feel more like therapist than Doms? It felt like he was there to fix her and then let her go. Basically that’s his plan. He makes some rules for her early on that even I bulked at. Nothing horrible, but one in particular ticked me off even after Jennifer realizes it is a good rule.
What I didn’t like: Daegan seems infallible. He can’t do anything wrong and everything he says and does is for the good of the sub. While in way that is true, I see the Doms make mistakes and there is not punishment for them. He feels he can “fix” her and I just don’t think anyone has a right to feel that way unless they have been asked to help. Then at a vital point he lets her go in the story, thinking he can’t “fix” her. So why did he start trying if he only was going to say it was not what he wanted?
Another point I don’t like and this is common among BDSM books. The Dom controls the subs orgasms not a big deal. What I don’t like is the Dom running off to masturbate because he just can’t wait. So a sub is made to wait sometimes for hours, but the moment a Dom feels the need he whips it out and takes care of it. Not cool, not cool. And it happens in this book.
What I did like was the first punishment. It was a spanking, but the second part of it was something I felt was appropriate. While he punished her he let her know he was there quite often. He never left her all alone to deal with it, but he let her know his displeasure. I loved that Jennifer realized her destructive path and made changes to help her.
I liked how Chase was looking out for Jennifer when she had no one else to care for her. He confronts Daegan on his intentions, I just wished he had pushed a little more.
I felt deep pain for Jennifer, but not so much for Daegan. His pain while hurtful, was no where as devastating as Jennifer’s and I didn’t like how he handled things at times. At no time is he ever wrong except once in not telling her something. It just seemed like he was an always right person
Daegan wasn’t a bad Dom, he just was more arrogant than I liked. Not an arrogance that he broadcasted, but one when he was dealing with Jennifer. Jennifer was a typical new sub who is going to make mistakes, going to push the boundaries and going to learn what she needs. Both were good for each other. A checks and balances of two people needing to heal.
So while I had a harder time with the characters, I thought the story was well written and the characters were deeper than normal. I can’t say the scenes of sex were extremely hot. They didn’t rock my world. They were just sex scenes.
A complex story that moved me but also left me feeling cold.