16 Apr '13

A Nix Erotic Review – Hard Way by Katie Porter (4 Stars)

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“No holds barred. No mercy. No going back “

 

Warning: Time to put the kidding aside. Although 100% consensual between a husband and wife, this book contains violent sex that, in some scenes, will appear forced. Readers sensitive to rape scenarios should proceed with caution…

 

Throughout their eight-year marriage, U.S. Air Force Captain Liam Dash Christiansen and his wife, Sunita, stayed strong through long separations. However Sunny s new job as a high-profile legal advisor puts a severe strain on their enduring bond.

 

Her abrupt announcement that she wants a divorce is like a missile to Dash s gut but her confession that she s met another man is what unleashes his shocking passion. Sunny is surprised and nearly repulsed by her body s reaction to Dash s animalistic attempt at complete possession. That doesn t stop her from craving more.

 

With Sunny s whispered approval, their sex life explodes. Not only does Dash s aggression tap into dark fantasies, she s hopeful that now, “at last,” she ll get what she s always wanted from her devil-may-care, don t-give-a-damn husband. Something honest and candid. Something real. 

Yet fiery, carnal encounters won t heal two long-broken hearts. Their bodies are finally speaking the same forbidden language, but it will take more than taboo desires to learn each other for the first time and to save a marriage that s only just begun. 

You’ll see this on every review of this book but it needs to be said again. This book contains rape fantasies and violent sex. This isn’t overplaying the storyline; there are several points when Dash refers to himself as her “rapist”. This is not to say that the violence doesn’t have a role in the story, I’m just pointing out that, if you have issues with this type of tale, it might be wise to sit this one out and pick up this truly excellent series on the next book.
One of the things that I have truly enjoyed about this series is the boundaries that it pushes. What other series will feature autoerotic asphyxiation as a main kink? This one though, this one was, at certain points, too much for me. I discussed it on twitter with someone and she said that the first part of the novel tore her to pieces and the next half built her back up and that is the most apt description I have for it. The first half of the book was so God-damn painful to read that I put it down a couple of times. There is no question in my mind that the sex, and the violence, was consensual. Still, I struggled with it immensely because there was a LOT of violence including face slapping. There was a point that I nearly put it down and then a scene saved me. I think at certain points I questioned the love between them, but then she safe-worded out and he stopped. Not only did he stop, he asked if she was OK and let her make the decision on what would happen next. It may sound silly to some of you but trust in this book was hard for me to come by. At that scene, I melted and I started to enjoy the book.  I knew from the onset that these two were using this type of sex to break through the facade both of them had adopted over the years, but I couldn’t see beyond the violence.  At that specific point, I started to see the love.
Both of these characters are hard to relate to. I don’t know if that is an intentional decision on the part of the author but it fits well with the story. Dash is an angry ball wrapped up in a happy-go lucky shell. He keeps things so well hidden he doesn’t even really notice that he is having issues with Sunny until she asks for a divorce. He was a difficult man to pick apart but there was one thing that I never questioned and that was his determination to get Sunny back. Yes, I questioned his motives, wondering whether pride and sex were his only motivators, but I knew he wanted her back. It was only when they started to “be honest” with each other outside of the bedroom that I grew to like him. He showed a deep vulnerability and charm that isn’t apparent at the start of the tale and he grew in my affections. Sunny is slightly more relate-able but her side relationship was a little off-putting to her character. I didn’t believe in it (she spent far too much time trying to avoid him) but it was enough  to make me weary of her. She didn’t grow as much in my affections as Dash but she did grow as she started to realise that not only Dash was the problem in their relationship. 
The sex in this book often feels like a war. Looking beyond the violence to the arousal and pleasures of the characters took a huge leap for me (and a clever scene from the authors)  but once I could, I found the scenes to be just as kinky and hot as the others in the series. The scenes nearer the end *fans*
So overall what did I think? How do I close this review with one catchy sentence? I can’t. It is a book of two halves but where that half way point lies is a completely personal decision. At points this book was hard and often painful to read but then, suddenly, it develops into a full blown erotic romance that certainly packs a punch. As my kink is not your kink, I suggest you make your own mind up about this one! Bravo to the author…another big risk in a series I am expecting to be constantly surprised by.


Nix

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