by Sidney Bristol
Release: August 12, 2014
My rating: 4.5 of 5 ⭐️
When Poppy meets Damien at a weekend for lovers of kink, looking for something different, she isn't quite clear herself what it is she is looking for. Having grown up in extremely sheltered circumstances she has found in BDSM a safe structured way to express herself. What she hadn't counted on was to be pulled out of her normal role as a switch into the more defined zone of submissive at the hands of this formidable Dom. But although the promise of more hangs in the air, as usual Poppy feels dismissed to second rank when he suddenly leaves to attend to work matters.
Separating his two lives is something DEA agent and Dominant Damien carefully has to balance. But when a case he has been devoted to heats up just as he is getting to know the delightful Poppy on an intimate level, the call of duty wins. Conflicted he realizes he may have made a grave mistake with Poppy and when he bumps into her again, he works hard to prove to her and himself that he can change his priorities. But when the subject of his years' long investigations finds his nemesis' weak spot, Damien has to focus all his energies to save Poppy from a fate much, much worse than his paddle....
Oh WOW!! Hot is too mild a word!!
This is a fantastic balance between suspense, romance and BDSM erotica! With high scoring marks on all the components!! A solid suspense story, with well worked out plot and characterizations, a full context and satisfactory conclusion. Right along side a romantic story that plays all the right tunes, the hesitance, the insecurities, the reluctant feelings and the inevitebility of emotion. Only to be topped off by a delightfully unique BDSM component that is more lighthearted than most, in that it doesn't seem to take itself too seriously and in dealing with a committed Dom and a switch/at times submissive, it makes for a lot of truly playful time in which we get to see what feels like a more realistic reflection of a BDSM relationship. I have to admit I am only guessing at this since I can't speak out of experience, but it 'feels' more true.
Sydney Bristol writes with a lot of insight in the human psyche, a tremendous amount of intelligence and a good dose of humor. She has a quirky side to writing that comes out in her character of Poppy, who seems a little 'odd' at times, but wonderfully so. Ms. Bristol also deals in passing, so as not to give it more credence than it's worth, with a mixed race relationship and some minor adversity it generates. But more importantly, she shows the overall matter of fact acceptance as "nothing special" by the majority, which is lovely to see.
A completely engaging book, that held me from beginning to end and I will keep an eye out for further books in this vein...... I'm thinking either one of Damian's good friends would make great heroes!