I read romance for the hero. Always have. Yes, I enjoy a great heroine who can tame the alpha, dominant man who snags my heart just as he does hers. Nathaniel West, though, he gave me hard time when I began reading this book. I kept wishing and wishing I’d see a change in him, because, truthfully, I didn’t like my hero much when we began this relationship. Thank goodness both Tara Sue Me and Abby King helped me stick by his side.
Abby has been fascinated with Nathaniel, ever since he selflessly intruded into her life years ago. She’s followed his business and personal life through the media, but when she by chance discovers his secret, Abby takes the unexpected opportunity with both hands, along with a little prayer to fate to her help out. Now she finds herself in Nathaniel’s office for an interview, as it were, to be his submissive. She agrees to spend the weekend with him in his home for a trial run of the life Abby wants with Nathaniel. Success is hers and he offers his collar, which she happily accepts.
Nathaniel is very methodical, blunt, and unemotional when it comes to his dominant side. So much so, he has his submissives sign a contract once he makes a choice. Even face to face with the woman he decides is a fit for his life, his demeanor never changes, and I just don’t like him much. Seeing him through Abby’s eyes early on doesn’t help much either, and I’m baffled why she’d want to do anything he asks of her. Of course, once that small crack in his demeanor happens, once even the smallest tidbit of his story is revealed, my heart gives a little. I had hope that would happen, but Ms. Me takes a bit longer to show the reader those flaws in Nathaniel’s barrier later than I’m used to. When it does come, it’s a torrent of emotion, and Abby and I are hopeful and amazed at the change. But such hope doesn’t last.
Abby does give of herself a hundred percent when it comes to Nathaniel. Only through those small cracks do we finally begin to see that perhaps what’s happening on Abby’s end is also happening on Nathaniel’s, but he shuts the door – no, he slams the door on her every time, until she – her heart – can’t take anymore. That’s when Nathaniel realizes what his so-called stoicism gets him. He tries to interview other submissives, but all for naught. It’s Abby who belongs to him, and, boy, does he have a lot of groveling to do. Though his self-realizations are just as important as his groveling, and it’s good to see his walls fall.
The D/s scenes are a little tame compared to others I’ve read, but that doesn’t bother me a bit. The true romantic/love scenes are emotional and explosive when put side by side with those that use restraints and other paraphernalia. My favorite is the piano lovemaking scene. Wonderfully done, full of emotion and intensity. I even like the “agreement” Nathaniel and Abby come up with for their life together, combining both sides of their sexual needs and wants. I thought I’d be tired of erotic reads along this line because I’ve read a number lately, but while some scene ideas are similar to other stories, Ms. Me does write a few more with extra creativity to make them different from so many others out there.
I’m quite curious how this trilogy will play out. The next book, The Dominant, is told from Nathaniel’s point of view. I know some readers may not want a “rehash” of the story already told, but I’m now intrigued enough by this hero to want his story told his way. I have to say with those piano keys on the cover, I’m doubly curious about that scene and its aftermath through Nathaniel’s eyes. Nathaniel has stolen my heart, right along with Abby’s.
Abby King has a secret fantasy.
New York knows Nathaniel West as the brilliant and handsome CEO of West Industries, but Abby knows he’s more: a sexy and skilled dominant who is looking for a new submissive. Yearning to experience a world of pleasure beyond her simple life as a librarian, Abby offers herself to Nathaniel to fulfill her most hidden desires.
After only one weekend with the Master, Abby knows she needs more, and fully submits to Nathaniel’s terms. But despite the pleasure he takes in Abby’s willing spirit, the Nathaniel hidden behind the rules remains cold and distant.
As Abby falls deeper into his tantalizing world of power and passion, she fears that Nathaniel’s heart may be beyond her reach—and that her own might be beyond saving.…
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