Dante Tieri always looks forward to the Veterans Days bash he funds for the military personnel of the Chicago area. This year is no different, especially when he meets Lieutenant Celina Kouris, a Naval JAG officer who oddly can’t care less about his clothes, his looks or his billion-dollar bank account.
It isn’t easy for Celina to play nice with Dante, as she’s watched wealthy playboys ruin the lives of two people she loves. Yet after the man proves himself as more than a stunning face, a luscious body, and a fat wallet, she lets him crack her composure for one night of hardcore passion—including the spanking and power exchange that turn her into a puddle of sexual goo.
Celina isn’t the only one who thinks “mind-blowing sex” just got redefined. Dante is shaken by the needs Celina unleashes in him, and he consults with his best friend, Mark Moore, who opens up his world to the magic of Dominance and submission. But when Dante wants to explore more with Celina, her walls are back up, twice as high as before. As the holidays come, can Dante convince her that she really is his guiding star of wonder?
I really like the funny and sarcastic moments throughout but I did find the characters to be a bit awkward. Then again when two people realise they might have different tastes than what they’ve always considered normal it could be a bit difficult for them to handle and know how to react. I don’t think it was the newness of them both discovering it but the fact neither of them had ever had an inkling in the past that bothered me, it was like someone flicked a switch. I think had one of them indulged, even slightly, in D/s relationship, I might have believed it more but for it to all suddenly just happen at the same time for both of them just didn’t feel right to me.
I’ve noticed that a lot of the time I’m either “hell yeah the heroine in this book is fantastic” or “I’m not really sure how I feel about her” – Celina definitely fell in to the later. She was trying to live her life for other people and letting their experiences cloud her judgement. I get that she was trying to protect her family from having to think about past hurts but she was also hiding behind it and making excuses – if her family were as close as the seemed, surely they would be accepting of whatever made her happy. For someone who came from a military family, I would have expected her to be a really strong character but in the end the only place she seemed to have a backbone was when we saw glimpses of her involved with the case she was working on.
Dante seemed to understand their relationship much better than Celina. He obviously cared deeply for his family and even though he had all that money he had worked hard for it and wanted to help people – he realised he could get much more from helping others than just flittering the money away. He had a real strength of character which made it a bit more difficult for me to believe that his controlling streak had never leaked over in to the bedroom. But that being said, I do like the way he approached the whole situation – he accepted it and then tried to learn as much as he could to ensure he could give Celina the most pleasure and fulfil her needs.
I wouldn’t be shocked to see the next books in this series to feature Celina’s brothers especially with the controlling hints – I’m looking forward to those for sure!