One of the most thrilling parts of being a reader, for me, is seeing an author boldly step out of their ‘comfort zone’ and take their writing into new, exciting directions, but when that author also happens to be one of my most beloved storytellers, my glee soars to dizzying heights. Known for her hot alpha heroes and her strong heroines, Kristen Ashley breaks new ground with this novel by offering to her reader not only a story that is decidedly more erotic than any of her previous works, but also by making the distinctive sexual dynamic between the characters the key building block in their relationship. With no holds barred, the author pulls us into a sensual new world where pleasure and pain are intimate bedfellows, and where the characters’ deepest, darkest desires come to life in a series of truly tantalizing sex scenes that give shape to a love affair like no other. I was rapt cover to cover, overcome at times by the story’s sheer erotic energy, and so incredibly fascinated by these characters, I couldn’t have looked away if I’d tried.
“The first BDSM catsuit Valentino creates, I’ll buy it.”
At one of Phoenix’s most exclusive sex clubs known as the Bee’s Honey, thirty-three-year-old Amélie Hélène Strand is best known as Mistress Amélie—one of the city’s most respected and coveted Dominatrices, and one of the Honey’s premier Dommes. Alas, Amélie has grown increasingly tired of it all, no longer just seeking a toy to play with within the bounds of the Club while going to bed alone each night, becoming more and more aware of that painful void inside her where she still holds out hope that there might be someone out there who could become her everything. But, in all her years playing and embracing the BDSM lifestyle, Amélie has never met a man who’s challenged her and pleased her in equal measure, a man she could see herself growing old with while building a lifetime of precious memories they would both cherish. Because deep down, Amélie has always feared that that man did not exist for her.
She’d been mistaken in her taste in toys. It was not champagne she was looking for. It was that coveted, priceless, smooth, deep, incomparable burn of the finest scotch whisky.
Until one look at a burly stranger steals her breath away, his openly cocky stance hinting at the alpha male that he is, while her every instinct tells her of his true sexual nature—that of a submissive.
That magnificent beast was a sub. An alpha-sub, assuredly.
Sensing in him an intoxicating level of defiance she hasn’t encountered in a sub for a very long time, Amélie takes Olivier to her playroom, merely hoping to find a challenge in him, but from the moment his body begins to respond to her domination despite his mind’s innate resistance, she knows without a doubt that she could never get enough of him. From one sexual encounter to the next, their emotional attachment deepens, while their hunger for one another only escalates. We watch Olivier blossom under his Mistress’ skillful touch, his mind uncluttering from its own misguided hang-ups, while his body is shown pleasure like he’s never known before. And in the midst of it all, they fall for one another.
“Does my beast want me?” she asked.
He didn’t answer and he did, his growl surging through the air, and she didn’t know if his “baby” would do it after he fucked her, but that growl thrust deep inside her.
“Then take me,” she whispered.
Before she knew it, she had his arm around her waist and she was up, being dragged into the bed. Then she was down, her legs spread, knees jerked up, her eyes just focused on his before he drilled her.
But learning to communicate with their bodies might prove easier than using words to express their feelings for each other, even as they both desperately keep hoping that their future would hold something outside of a playroom too.
They kissed, deep and wet and hungry, like they both just hadn’t come magnificently. It was the best kiss of her life, lying under, holding close, and connected intimately with a man whose last name she didn’t know.
Bold, provocative, startling and thoughtful, I felt heady from the way the author builds Amélie and Olivier’s relationship almost entirely through their most intimate moments, every single sex scene between them advancing that relationship and strengthening their bond irrevocably, rather than just acting as gratuitous ‘filler’. There is so much emotion lacing their every sexual interaction, I felt every cell in my body pulsate from the sheer erotic power of their every touch. BDSM might not be everyone’s ‘flavour’, but in this book, those sex scenes serve to heighten the existing connection between the leads. Through them, we watch their relationship evolve, expand, change not only the emotional makeup of those characters, but also the way they perceive themselves in and out of that relationship. And as delicious as those scenes are to watch, I found the frequent moments of tenderness between them even more compelling. Because even when stepping onto ‘uncharted territory’, Kristen Ashley’s distinct voice remains the same—strong, emotive, and consistently capable of capturing the essence of her characters in just a few sentences.
This story was a treat like no other, and in my humble opinion, some of this author’s best work yet.
“Only mine as I’m only yours, darling.”