Review: Not Until You (A Loving You on the Edge Novel) by Roni Loren
Released: November 4, 2014
Reviewed by Sheena
Favorite Quote: “Right. Yes. You’re the Big Bad Wolf, and I’m innocent Little Red Riding Hood. Got it. Let me go find my freaking picnic basket.”
Roni Loren is a new-to-me author. I didn’t know what to expect and I went into this novel expecting a sexy little romp and enough “dark, dominant alpha dude awakens sexuality of wide eyed innocent, awkward girl.” And I was fine with that. It’s kind of my thing these days. However, what I experienced with Not Until You was so much more. The depth of character and unexpected plot developments made this such an intriguing read. It is not a fast read. You really have to settle in and read this novel, but I was game and was certainly rewarded in the end.
Cela is a young, recent veterinary school graduate who has lived an uber vanilla life, always being the good girl, focusing on her studies, staying away from trouble and living her life, knowing her ultimate plan was to move back to her little hometown in Texas where she would save her father’s fledgling veterinary medical practice and marry her puppy love sweet heart. Cela sees the path before her and while resigned to place her first steps along that path, she can not help but detour and explore a road well traveled- but previously forbidden to her. Cela has two hot (HAWT) neighbors (Pike and Ian Foster) who are going to be her fling, her first and last experiences of reckless abandon that she will lose herself to before she has to return to her vanilla life fulfilled with unfulfilled desires. I like a good, sexy scene with a threesome for kicks…but I am not usually a fan of polyamorous relationships. I found myself deliciously excited when Pike, Cela and Ian got all hot and handsy with each other, but I dreaded reading a story where the heroine lives a lifestyle of continued pleasure with both men. Needless to say, when it became obvious that Foster was the only man for her, I really connected with the story. I know, crazy- I like my BDSM kink and dirty nasty things- but I get wigged out at the prospect of a sustained Big Love situation- hey! Don’t judge dude. *wink*.
Foster. Foster. He has had some serious suppressed needs that burst free once he found Cela to be his willing little submissive. There was quite a bit of convincing Cela had to do to get him to open his heart (and flogger) to her. It almost boarded on excessive, the lengths she went to, the damn near chasing she did, which felt out of her character. One night she is bashful and so nervous she nearly shatters her cell phone and splatters her Chinese take-out dinner, when she merely runs into Pike and Foster and the next she is trying to get Foster to engage with her in a very vixen kind of way. That nagging disconnect aside, I found Foster to be a deep male hero. I rooted for him for sure. When Cela had her head in her ass, I cursed and flailed my arms about. When Foster exposed his own vulnerabilities, I wanted to see him happy. I love when good character development engenders such visceral reactions and connections with myself and the material. The obstacles Foster and Cela were not super angsty, but the reader is definitely taken on a journey. What was supposed to be a one night stand, walk on the wild side, evolved into two people coming together – and repelling like opposing magnets. Foster had his own emotional shit going on and being treated like a playboy fling grated at him deeply. Cela had baggage with her familial obligations and innocent lifestyle. She wanted to break free and run to him and he wanted her free and running to him- but not the “For-A-Good-Time-Call- Guy,” so he pushed her away when he wanted nothing more than to hold her close.
“You know what it makes me feel like when you lie to me?” he asked, his voice soft now.
I pressed my lips together and shook my head, feeling a little more miserable with each passing second.
“Like your fuck buddy, Cela. Like some guy.”
I winced at his pained tone. So it was true. I’d hurt him. The thought ran through my head like a storm warning on repeat. Hurt. Hurt. Hurt. Foster wasn’t just angry that I’d lied to him; Hurt meant that this was important to him. Hurt meant that his feelings were involved. Hurt meant that earlier tonight, he hadn’t jumped my case about the peephole because he was some overbearing asshole- he did it because he was genuinely concerned about me. Hurt meant everything.
Get ready to break out the Herbal Essence…Yes! Yes! Yes! OMG this book is chocked full of awesomeness like this. Yes! Dammit Cela hurt does mean everything. By the time she finally GOT IT, I was spent! And not only from this ah-ha moment goodness. Foster was Cela’s first in every carnal way. He took her innocence and molded her and it was damn sexy to see them ignite the pages. Their passion, did not come across as cheap-o teacher-student, dom-sub pairing. Loren took care to sow the proper seeds so that their sensuality was beautiful and meaningful and that is damn impressive for a BDSM themed novel.
Though secondary, the friendship between Pike and Foster was amazing as well. I was pleased as spiked punch when Pike, knew and respected his best friend’s desires and gracefully gave him privacy and room to connect with Cela, when he could have pushed his own agenda and plowed right through her. Pike’s stepping aside and joining Cela and Foster together was a small but integral and pivotal moment in their coming together. Gotta love Pike!
Not Until You was a meaty take on a often cookie cutter genre. It wasn’t just about the spankings and sensuality between dominating and submitting. It was also about two people reaching for each other in love and passion – when they would have otherwise lived beyond each other’s orbits. Cela is a heroine who I lost myself in…I mean after all…this sounds like a fun way to pass the time hunh…
Oh, God,” she moaned, her grip on him easing and a softness smoothing her tense features. “Yes…this.”
And that was all he needed. He moved inside her again, the feel of her like hot cashmere around his cock…she was so maddeningly sexy. Sweet agony bled through his veins as he pumped into her with a cadence that belied the urgent need building in him. He would not rush this. He didn’t want it to end. He didn’t want to lose the beautiful sight of her beneath him…the pained bliss that was coloring her features…”
Well played Loren. You certainly made a believer- and a reader out of me.