Series: Serve #1
Published by Macmillan on 2014-09-29
Genres: BDSM, Erotic Romance
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A sexy category romance from Entangled's Brazen imprint...
Her mind rejects his world. But her body knows its master.
Journalist Caroline Preston arrives at Serve, New York City’s hottest BDSM club, with one goal—to hate it. If her brother wasn’t trying to turn the family’s respectable financial magazine into a publication that features “lifestyle” pieces for the wealthy and adventurous, she wouldn’t even bethere, trying to write an article about a world she doesn’t understand. But then she sees him.
Jonah Briggs doesn’t leave his post for just anyone. As the owner of the club, his sole purpose is to ensure that his clientele get everything they need, but when he sees Caroline, his only thought is what he wants—to dominate the sexy little reporter and give the most exquisite pleasure she’s ever experienced.
Caroline has no intention of entering that particular lion’s den—not with her family’s reputation at stake—no matter how dark, sexy, and complex the lion in question may be. But with every encounter, she craves more, and with every slide of his lips, she realizes Jonah might just be the man to break down all her defenses…if she’ll let him.
FTC : Provided by the publisher for an honest review.
Tessa Bailey writes such ridiculously hot books they should come with a free bag of ice. If you pick up any of her books, you will find a dirty talking hero and lots of red-hot sex scenes; this one is no different. I loved everything about it but I have one minor issue; It didn’t really fit my view of a typical BDSM book. There is spanking, and there is a BDSM club, but there is no real submission from either party. Caroline and Jonah certainly succumbed to their lust but I didn’t see the power-exchange in their relationship. To me, this is a book about obsession and a lust so strong that there is no hope for either of them walking away. I really enjoyed it!
I love Jonah. I’m not sure I ever really met Jonah the Dom (having someone call you Master isn’t the same as Dominating them and I felt he was too out of control to be Domly) but I loved Jonah the slightly desperate suitor, Jonah the dirty talking sex-bomb and I really enjoyed the side of Jonah that is a bit spoilery (so I can’t mention it). He only wanted to protect/pleasure her throughout the whole book and he had the usual broody-possessive alpha hero traits (that push my romance-book-loving buttons) such as unreasonable reactions to seeing the heroine with an unexpected man and being a little bit too keen for his own good. He also dealt quite well with her a-holishness behavior (which drove me up the wall) and seemed to want her anyway. He is incredibly intense but he never quite crosses into stalker territory …. he is a little bit dreamy.
Caroline is an intensely unlikable character for most of the book. She isn’t particularly accepting of the BDSM lifestyle and because of this her bad judgement extends to Jonah. I don’t generally tolerate a character being made to feel bad about their lifestyle choices (especially if they affect no one else and aren’t self-destructive) by the person I am supposed to consider their future partner and she, along with another aspect of his life, make Jonah feel like he isn’t good enough. I am not unsympathetic to her plight; his public admittance of his BDSM lifestyle would make any relationship with him subject to scrutiny and speculation, but that doesn’t excuse the constant flipping of her affections. She doesn’t have to sleep with him and run away, she doesn’t have to make him feel like her lover one minute and something she stepped on the next. I understood her situation, I understood her reservations and, in some ways, I even understood her actions and struggles, but I didn’t like her attitude or her behaviour. Her sporadic attention was cruel.
The sex in this book is spectacular. There is angst in this book and that angst translates into raw, sexual encounters that leave you hot, bothered and wanting more. I loved the kink aspects that littered the scenes, the dirty talk and dirty acts giving the relationship a desperate edge that kept me wanting more. I didn’t like Caroline in the rest of the book but, stripped of all her worries and hangups in these scenes, I could see what kind of couple they could be if she could resolve her issues. I just wanted her to choose either way and stop running back when the desperation got too much. It wasn’t fair.
Overall, a promising start to a series who will forever remain an auto-buy for me. If you like your heroes intense, dirty and alpha and your sex scenes rated scorching, this is an author, and potentially a book, that you need to try.