Story Rating: 3 out of 5 paddles
Sting Factor (kink): 3 out of 5
When everything is going so well, is it really necessary to change up a person’s life? Nicole Simmons is a twenty-something female who enjoys life. Her work life is great with an awesome boss and friends. She is being wined and dined by an older gentleman who is fantastic in bed. What more can she need? She isn’t looking for marriage and children are even in her vocabulary. Then a shooting star falls from the skies and into her lap – Jack LaTour. He’s a bit older than her but younger than her sex without strings lover. He also makes her loins tingle as the sexual tension between them is instant and intense. Her lover, Lawrence, always said she could date others. She decides to take Jack on as an exclusive boyfriend.
This story is disturbing in some ways. The romance part is fine. It’s plausible to have a friends with benefits relationship end when another man provides a better offer. When this offer includes BDSM and kinky lifestyle comes with stalker baggage, it’s not as fun a read. Does this story really need the BDSM element to show how ex-lovers can be crazy vindictive stalkers? Does BDSM really need to be portrayed in this negative light? It’s almost close too to a hostile BDSM representation. Because we have outing of people in the lifestyle. Then we have damage through a BDSM play which was not under the dominant’s control. We also have a strange situation where a dominant employs many of his ex-play partners at his company. This one piece immediately shot up red flags all over. Nicole, RUN, don’t turn around, don’t say anything, RUN!
Without jumping onto a soapbox too much, in my opinion, for most males dominants, BDSM and sex are almost synonymous. One does not exist without the other. When was the last time sexual partners who end their physical interaction easily switch into a non-sexual interaction which the dominant now becomes the boss at work? How incredibly stupid is this? This has HR harassment suits written all over this scenario. From a conflict device in this book, Ms. Covert created a real doozy. And what’s sad is that in realty, many males would not blink twice about having this kind of work/personal life set up. I can say from personal observation between men and women, this is a powder keg waiting to explode. And when it explodes, there will be collateral damage everywhere. This is the harsh lesson Nicole learns the hard way.
This story is mixed for me because whilst I like Jack’s BDSM and how he tries to introduce Nicole to the kinky side of life, there are so many things about him which gives off red flags. Jack isn’t a bad person or a bad dominant. He’s one who embodies “it’s complicated” and the drama which comes from his decisions is unappealing. I am frustrated and irritated at how Nicole is experiencing BDSM because she comes out of it badly burned both figuratively and literally. This kind of experience is not what I’d wish on any newbie. Unfortunately, I cannot fault Ms. Covert for her conflicts and cliffhanger because it is regrettably a plausible BDSM scenario in real life.
The characters in this book are hard for me to like. Nicole is a bit too naïve for me and her boss breaks a cardinal rule for me so she’s on the black list. Nicole’s best friend and Lawrence are probably the only characters I like in this book. Jack is a question mark. He’s an anti-hero who may or may not be lovable. This story leaves it hanging for readers to decide if they really want to read more and find out what happens between Nicole and Jack. Is there a way to repair this relationship and move on? Ms. Covert does a good job creating a complicated situation where there are no real bad or good guys. There are no good answers. Ms. Covert creates an interesting set up which I’m interested in seeing how she resolves it. This story is recommended for kinky readers who enjoy a bit of angst and complicated relationships.
Reviewed by Book Addict