Advanced Reading Copy
Published: October 14, 2013, Carina Press
My rating: 4 of 5 ⭐️
Former child beauty queen, Alice White, is aware of the attention her looks can draw, but the only man she is interested in doesn't seem to notice her. Alice loves her work as legal assistant at the law offices, and is good at what she does, but it is a constant struggle to keep her mother from wanting to draw her back into a world where her looks are her only selling point. Alice has much more to offer than that.
With his family in financial need, Gael Hernandez signed on with his uncles law firm in hopes that he would make partner, and would be in a position to help them out. That is, if he could keep his nose clean, and that would mean no involvement with office staff, especially the gorgeous Alice, whose looks and generous heart are already a big distraction from his goal.
When Alice decides to fly solo on a Saturday night, and go out, she spots Gael and follows him into an obscure club. The name is Wonderland and it opens her eyes to a sexual smorgasbord she has only ever read about. Gael is living a BDSM lifestyle, but is very discreet about it and none to happy that Alice has followed him. But when she displays an interest, he can't resist and decides to test her willingness.
Knowing he is taking a risk, Gael invites Alice to spend a weekend as his submissive, and intrigued by her single experience, Alice accepts. She finds herself flourishing in the lifestyle and under Gael's guidance, giving her a strength and confidence in a short time, that had been lacking, while Gael finds himself connected to Alice on a deeper emotional level than he had anticipated. And when the weekend is cut short and family obligations and responsibilities, both real and perceived, threaten to pull apart their new found connection, it takes all of that strength, confidence and depth of feeling to stand up for their own wants and needs.
A fabulous short that holds a complete story.
Christine d'Abo introduces us to a world of BDSM as seen through the eyes of a novice, never losing sight of the importance of the storylline that it enhances. We get a quick glimpse in a variety of kink at Club Wonderland, which may be a brief shock to some, but it serves to break us out of conventional thought and into a more openminded space.....more accepting. Once there, we are eased into what BDSM means and especially, what it does for someone like Alice. Misconceptions that still exist around the role of submissives are addressed once again and it is made clear that the ultimate power lies with them.
That knowledge is what gives Alice her strength and confidence. Never having had full control in her life, it may seem ironic at first that she willingly gives control to yet someone else, however, knowing that she holds the ultimate power to stop whatever is happening, instantly, in fact gives her the upper hand at all times. For Alice this is a heady feeling and one that allows her to comfortably, willingly and confidently submit herself.
For Gael, Alice has been a challenge from the start. She was someone he needed to resist, probably because he recognized the effect she could have on him if he let her come too close. He grew up in a liberal household with respect to alternative lifestyles, but was aware the rest of the world was not as accepting. Craving and needing control, he tended to prefer incidental encounters at a club, avoiding emotional involvement. It was clear early on that would not be an option with Alice and she breaks through all his barriers with relative ease.
I really enjoyed Ms. d'Abo's writing style, her explanations and detailed descriptions when it comes to the BDSM lifestyle. For the non-initiated, it really helps put it in better perspective. The story was strong in itself, the characters compelling, the sex blistering hot. A great read! The book was just a bit too short!
✨An innocent ex-beauty queen, a grouchy Dom, a succulent short story!✨
**ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Carina Press in return for an honest review.**