|In this sizzling continuation of the Mastered series by New York Times bestselling author Lorelei James, a man will find the domination he’s always craved…|
Shiori Hirano and Knox Lofgren are left to run the martial arts program at Black Arts while Ronin Black travels. On the surface, the two highest ranked belts appear to cooperate—but in private, they butt heads constantly, despite the undeniable attraction between them. Soon their power exchanges start to make for a sweltering dynamic in the bedroom…
At first Knox is shocked to be living out his submissive desires, but Shiori sets out to prove that embracing his true sexual nature doesn’t make him a weak man. But even while their sexual relationship grants him a power and fulfillment he finds surprising, there’s no training regimen for the fight that comes with loving a strong woman…
Shiori and Knox have been at each other’s throats pretty much since they met. They’re both helping run Shiori’s brother’s (Ronin) martial arts business while he’s away on a honeymoon/sabbatical. Knox is in charge at work, getting to call the shots for the first time ever and he starts to have doubts about his place at Ronin’s; if he’s really needed and where he fits in. His personal life also gets turned upside down, again by Shirori, when they see each other at club where Shiori can live her Domme lifestyle and Knox is a bit of a ‘jack of all trades’ at the club, providing pain when he’s requested to be a third, or he’s working, bartending and security. What he never expected when he sees Shiori as a Domme is his gut-instinct reaction to submit to her. It’s the start of a new relationship for them as two people finding themselves in roles and having desires they never considered.
I loved this story. It felt like a fresh story and not something I’ve read much of, the heroine being a Domme to her hero who’s submissive to her. It was an interesting take and dynamic to see play out on page. Knox is as alpha as they come and he struggles a lot with the idea of submitting to Shiori in the bedroom. On the one hand, it goes against everything male and in charge he thought he was and wanted. But on the other, he starts to realize that by submitting to Shiori, he’s giving her pleasure that no one else can or will and that’s ultimately what he wants, to be hers, to know her better than anyone else and to give her everything she could ever want.
Shiori also struggles with this new relationship as she’s never had a longterm relationship with a submissive. After being in a bad marriage, she found herself when she started to learn about being a Domme and it’s a way for her to finally get what she needs and wants in the bedroom, something that never happened during her marriage. But in one of the more emotional scenes of the book, we learn exactly why Shiori craves the Domme role and it’s both heartbreaking yet sweet seeing how Knox reacts to it. I found their dynamic to be captivating, seeing this romance develop and how they worked through all the bumps that got in their way.
One of the things that really kept me interested and not skimming through some scenes (as I’m apt to do in erotic stories that turn into just sex-sex-sex-story-sex) was while Shiori and Knox are into BDSM it never went overboard. For me, a little goes a long way in these books and Unraveled hit the mark just right. There’s no threesome, there’s very little, if any, play at the club or in public, there are very few pain scenes. It’s really about Shiori calling the shots in the bedroom, telling Knox what to do or what he can’t do and it’s all about them. Nothing from the outside gets in the way and I loved that aspect of this story.
Just to make things even more complicated is their professional, working relationship. It doesn’t go smoothly. While Shiori’s in charge in the bedroom, that’s the only place their relationship turns into D/s, so Knox gets to call some of his own shots, be it at work or when he takes her out on dates. I liked that give and take and it kept the story and their relationship from feeling too one sided.
To me, books in this genre tend to start to read the same after awhile. It can end up being more about how many sex scenes can be crammed into a book, instead of creating a solid, unique story to go with it. Unraveled hits all the right notes from start to end. I loved the different dynamic Shiori and Knox have with their relationship and seeing them both struggle and come to terms with it. I found them to be interesting characters that kept my attention. The sex scenes were intense but I never thought they overpowered the main storyline of their relationship. Lorelei James hit a homerun with this book, it’s the best so far in this young series and I’m excited to see what James brings us next.
Release Date: March 3, 2015
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*eARC provided by publisher for review*