Story Rating: 3 out of 5 paddles
Sting Factor (kink): 4 out of 5
Garrick is a Dominant who has had some bad experiences with submissives, swearing off long term relationships and playing only for the moment. Quin is a submissive who has gone through a nasty divorce where her BDSM needs were used against her to strip her of everything. Now, Quin is ready to get back into the Lifestyle and Garrick invites her to The Tempest, a private club with a handpicked membership.
I wanted to like this book so much. After all, it had suspense, hot sex scenes, good conflict, all the right ingredients for a great story. Unfortunately, the mixture created here wasn’t the great soufflé I was hoping for. I would compare this to a great tasting cake that looked terrible.
First of all, this book is set up for a series featuring Layla, a “problem solver” and the book opens with her thoughts on a blackmail scheme occurring with a member of The Tempest. There are vague references to how Layla “owes” her friend Gwen and must get to the bottom of the problem.
Then the story switches to Quin and Garrick. There are a plethora of characters introduced in the first ten pages and trying to keep track of them was challenging. I, of all people, am not going to criticize an author for “too much story”. I will say that the end product was a bit choppy and abrupt. The switches in point of view were too quick and often confusing to me.
The suspense thread of the story never really gets going and there are too many loose ends. I get that the author will resolve all this as the series progresses, but I found too many “clues” left me more unconcerned than curious. In other words, I wasn’t intrigued enough to give a rat’s ass to know the solution.
I think that this author has a great story idea and good characters. It’s just a shame the editing on this story didn’t create a more polished product.
This is an author to watch. There were flashes of brilliance where the emotional impact of the sex scenes really came through. The sweeping idea is a good one and I suspect that the following books will improve each time. Though this one might not have all the pieces of the puzzle, I think it’s a good start. I would read this author again.
Reviewed by Jennifer Leeland