|She’s making a wish list, and he wants to be on top. |
From foster kid to trophy wife, Tessa McAllen is about to reinvent herself all over again—and defy every insult her cheating ex-husband ever used against her: Selfish? She’s championing a charity. Stupid? She’s getting her degree.
Boring in bed?
Kade Vandergriff can help her with that one. When they encounter each other at a singles event held at one of his restaurants, Tessa blurts out that kink is for girls who try too hard, and Kade instantly wants to show this sassy stranger how thrilling a night under his command can be…but when he learns her name, the game changes for both of them.
In high school, Tessa was the popular girl who stuttering, awkward Kade fell for. But she chose another. Now, as she eagerly learns lesson after lesson, he’s going to make sure she never forgets him again.
Kade was in love with Tessa as an awkward young teen. A boy who was picked on first because of his weight, then his stutter, he kept to himself until he’s assigned to tutor Tessa, the girl he has a crush on. Tessa is a foster kid and she’s learned over the years to become what others expect her to be to fit in. To fit in in a good home so she’s not moved, to fit in at school so she’s not teased. But in doing so, she’s dating the popular guy, Doug, a huge asshole who takes glee in cheating behind Tessa’s back and making Kade’s life miserable. After one night that changed Kade’s life forever, Tessa didn’t stand up for Kade and stand up to Doug and what went down is so horrible, so criminal (I’ll get into that more later) Kade left his mom’s home, moved away to live with his dad and took a long time to recover. He lost the stutter, he became a successful businessman and he discovered that his sexual preferences as a Dom is something that he can’t live without. He’s divorced, he’s known as the guy who dates one woman for two months and then moves on, never settling down, but when his path crosses with Tessa after all these years, all his feelings come roaring back and their relationship takes them both to places they never expected.
The initial setup for Kade and Tessa I found to be very enjoyable. I like the connection they have from the get-go of being close as teens and having that base for their relationship. They start out by just experimenting really. Tessa is now divorced from asshole Doug and she’s got her “list” and wants to start living so she can cross items off. Kade taps into her submissive nature and while she’s not at all familiar with the lifestyle or the scene, she’s open to trying and she trusts Kade. This is the basis for their relationship and whether they want it to or not, feelings on both side start to get deeper the more they’re together.
I always hate saying something like this with an erotic/BDSM book, but the BDSM is extreme for my taste in how it’s written. Kade really pushes Tessa right away and they cover a range of experiences from public sex, a threesome, a scene setup with Tessa being sold as a slave, and that’s just a few of the scenes they play out. To be honest toward the end, I just started skimming through the scenes. I got to the point where I thought, another one? I just found myself more taken with Kade and Tessa outside the bedroom instead of who they are inside of it.
A word of warning, this book contains flashback scenes to when Kade and Tessa were in highschool and even though I had a feeling it was coming and really, really wished it hadn’t, the scene with Doug and Kade, the moment that broke Kade completely, is detailed out and it made me sick. Most times I can see the reason for a scene like this being included in a story, but personally, I never, ever like having something like this put out there on page. It was made loud and clear what a horrible, disgusting man Doug is so for me, having this scene in there felt over the top, it felt out of place almost in a way and it completely pulled me out of the story, so much so, that I just skimmed to the end. It’s also used to compare the Kade as a teen, detailing out what he overcame to become the man he is now. Again, it’s a hot button scene for me that I never like reading and now it’s all I can think about and not in the good way of not being able to get a book or book’s moment out of my head. [Highlight for spoiler: Doug rapes Kade when they were teens, after beating him so badly Kade blacks out after the rape.]
While I liked Kade, Tessa and their romance, I never connected with them when they got into intense BDSM scenes and I really didn’t like the inclusion of the flashback scene with Doug and Kade. This won’t go down as one of my favorites in the series unfortunately, but I’ve enjoyed the other books up to this point so I’m willing to come back for the next installment and see where the series and Roni Loren takes us.
Release Date: March 4, 2014
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*eARC provided by publisher for review*