Wednesday, June 18, 2014

BONDS OF COURAGE by Lynda Aicher

(Wicked Play #6)
by Lynda Aicher
ARC Review
Released: June 16, 2014, Carina Press

My rating: 4.5 of 5 ⭐️

"Pro hockey player Holden Hauke has kept his sexual needs buried for years. After a near miss over a picture of him bound to a spanking bench resulted in a mid-season trade, he's kept his image clean. But with the season over, he's ready to surrender control. And he's found just the woman to help him—if only he can convince her to give him a chance.

Bending men to her will is nothing new for Vanessa Delcour, aka Mistress V—she's a full-time rep for pro athletes, a part-time owner of exclusive sex club The Den, and an experienced Domme. But when Holden Hauke comes looking for a discreet partner, Vanessa's concerned about his motives. Touching his training-toned body during a scene wouldn't exactly be a hardship, but taking him on crosses barriers between work and play that she's had in place for years.

From their first intense encounter in Mistress V's playroom, Hauke knows he can't let this chance slip away; he's found the woman he's always needed. Submissive or not, he's willing to push her every limit to prove how good they can be together."



A novel combining some of my favorite reading interests; a hard-bodied hockey-player with a sensitive side - a tough-as-nails, fragile centered, independent leading lady - and a deep, intriguing and combustible BDSM relationship. The twist? Our hunky hero is not the one wielding the whip!

Now first off, let me tell you that my preference will ALWAYS be for that strong, dominant Alpha male. However - Lynda Aicher has managed to create a submissive male who is the ultimate manly man!! 

How? Well, for starters, Holden is a rough and tumble professional hockey player who generally doesn't pull any punches, but when it comes to his preferences, he would love nothing better than to be given an opportunity to make a woman happy by pleasing and serving her. He doesn't necessarily have hang ups about this need he is looking to see fullfilled, but he is also realistic enough to see that to the majority, his idea of a perfect relationship will seem like a perversion and THAT would undoubtedly damage his credibility in the public eye and his career as a hockey player. But the longer he spends time with the aloof and closed off Vanessa, his need to slowly break down her barriers as she so easily does his, becomes stronger.

Next comes Vanessa, who has carefully kept all the different components of her life separated   in their allotted spaces, ever since having her trust betrayed in the worst possible way at a young age. Yes she craves her role as a Mistress, but at the same time, she uses it to maintain a separation, a shield, to protect herself. But right from the start when she engages with Holden, Vanessa can tell that something is different..... and the difference is  her response. Without being pushed she feels herself opening up and trusting in a way she never has before, albeit reluctantly. Holden constantly surprises her with his intuitive understanding of her, until ultimately she gives up even trying to hold herself back from him.

There is an interesting dynamic in this relationship. One where Holden, the submissive, is at some point actually displaying the better observant qualities, something you would expect from a Dominant. Whereas Vanessa, who is rattled by the crumbling of her walls and the slow merging of her meticulously segregated worlds, is at times losing touch with her "Mistress". 

There is another book being plotted in the background of this story, and from what has been reported, that one will be the last book in the Wicked Play series. This series introduced me to the world of BDSM in a way that opened my eyes to the intricate emotional balance that is waged in the relationship between partners in play. I have Lynda Aicher to thank for the lessons and the fine, fine writing I always have to look forward to when I open one of her books. I have yet to be disappointed!!

✨An incendiary, guarded and delicate balance.✨

**Copy provided in return for an honest review.**  Amazon.UK  Amazon.AUS
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