Reviewed by Mandi
Powerhouse consultant India Burke is notorious for her razor-sharp mind, her incisive tongue, and for always being in control. But during her “lost weekends”—out-of-town, one-and-done, anonymous rendezvous solely for the purpose of kinky sex—she craves a submissive role.
Cris Ardmore, India’s latest tryst, is a Dominant who calls an isolated Hawaiian paradise home. India’s expecting forty-eight hours of contractually defined sex, but instead of serving as just another BDSM Band-Aid, Cris wants to know the real India Burke. Despite her aversion to anything approaching intimacy, India is hooked by their incredible sexual chemistry.
With tension ratcheting up in her professional life, India needs the release Cris offers more than ever, but her repeated visits come with their own risks. No matter how strong their attraction, India is determined to maintain her boundaries in order to keep her life whole after her first love blew it apart. She must choose between taking a chance and handing Cris the road map to her heart or locking down her borders before he does any more damage.
I had heard good twitter buzz about this book but never got around to reading it. When I saw book two (the conclusion to the story) just released, I decided now was the time (this book ends in a cliff-hanger). This is a well done erotic BDSM story. India is a very hard-working, and high-powered business woman. Her job requires many hours and is high-stress. Aiming to take over the consulting firm in a couple of years, she demands excellence from her employees and provides the best work to her boss. All of this leaves India craving to be dominated. Her best friend in the world is named Rey. Rey introduced India to the world of BDSM and is now her broker. He finds the dominant after a very strict screening process and sets everything up. India has had some success and some failures with dominants in the past, one in particular mentally scarred her, so she is always a little wary of a new dominant, but also always excited. The one Rey had found for her, excites her very much.
Cris lives in Hawaii and has just parted ways with his monogamous sub. India arrives and Cris actually wants to talk for an hour before signing contracts and getting underway. This makes India uncomfortable. If she could bypass personal information and get to playing, she would .But Cris is firm. Once the play starts however, it’s some of the best India has ever had. The weekend flies by and India is craving more. Depending on her work schedule, she starts to fly to Hawaii as much as she can. Each time, Cris wants to talk. She starts to share personal information and even more so, enjoys getting to know him. But she isn’t an open book, and when Cris starts to push for more intimacy outside of the BDSM relationship, India gets scared off.
This story is erotic, intense, emotional and very engaging. Told in India’s point of view I love the contrast of work India vs. “in the hands of Crispin” India. She needs what he gives her in order to be a better person in general. The BDSM play is detailed and sexy and presented very well. Since it’s told in India’s point of view, we don’t get to know Cris as well but outside of his BDSM studio, he starts to push India for a relationship. You can see him falling hard, and you can see her getting scared away. The emotions inside of her scare her so she pushes instead of acts upon them. Which leads us to book two…
Reviewed by Mandi
Fiercely protective of her heart, India Burke let down her defenses when Cris Ardmore went from another notch on her D/s playdate belt to everything she could never admit she wanted.
But being disowned by your family and betrayed by your lover aren’t easy to get over, and India’s old fears of intimacy creep in against a backdrop of professional drama that forces her return to a place that never really felt like home.
Though she proved her loyalty when it mattered most, love is about more than grand gestures and Cris wants all of her—which may be more than India is able to give. Can Cris and India navigate to a shared future or will they forever be off course?
In this book, India wore on me a little too much. I still like her, but she did things that irked me. I feel a bit conflicted. I think the author took a chance with this character – she made her reject intimacy and a relationship. Cris, her dominant, wants more than just a D/s relationship and India can’t handle that. A friend on Twitter called Cris a “beta Dom” and that is a good way to put it. He is dominant when in session with India, but outside of their contract, she calls the shots, and many times she isn’t nice about it. She demands things and when she doesn’t get them, she pushes away – hard.
There were times they would get in an argument and India would lay so much blame on Cris when really she should have been accepting some of it. It takes two traumatic events for her to realize she actually loves Cris and wants to be with him openly. That was a little redundant. It felt as if the next big fight they have, if someone didn’t end up in the hospital, she would walk – I’m being dramatic but it seemed like it took hospital visits to cement her love for Cris.
That all being said, I found this a very engaging book/series. I don’t think I’ve ever read a couple that is similar to India and Cris and I really appreciate that. I ended up loving India’s crazy relationship with her boss Jack. I sometimes felt India loved her best friend Rey more than Cris, but then Cris ended up feeling the same way and he set to resolve that.
India irked me a few too many times in this installment but if you like BDSM, this is a two-book series I recommend. I’m looking forward to more from this author.