Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Bonds of Courage by Lynda Aicher

Title: Bonds of Courage 
Author: Lynda Aicher
My Rating: A

Genre: Erotic Romance 
Series: Wicked Play #6
Main Characters: Holden and Vanessa
Release Date: June 2014
Publisher: Carina
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: erotic

Story Overview:
Book Six of Wicked Play

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.

My Review:
This book featured two story tropes that I really enjoy...female Domme and professional sports figure. 

Holden is a great character. As a professional hockey player, he has needs that just don't mesh with the needs for his identity as a pro NHL player. As a result, he's never truly explored those needs. But when he did, a photo leaked which led to him getting traded. He can't afford another slip, but he also is finding it harder and harder to ignore those needs. He hopes that the Den and it's very strict policies about privacy and membership will offer him an alternative. What he doesn't count on is that one of the owner is Vanessa, who is the ice queen of the sports PR world. And she doesn't take anything from anyone...certainly not a sports figure who she doesn't trust because she knows how they behave. 

Vanessa is a really complex character...and I have to say I've only read a couple of the books from this series, but am finding that Lynda Aicher does an INCREDIBLE job creating complex characters like this...I love that angst and backstory. She's known as the ice queen for a reason. No one gets under her least not that they ever realize (she is still very human), but something is different with Holden from the very beginning. And that is a fact that Vanessa hates. She's a Domme...she doesn't do out of control...Ever!

Everything about this book just worked for me. I read it over a weekend full of family time and I hated it every time I had to put it down because the story was so good and riveting. Holden is confused and vulnerable. Vanessa is aggressive and vulnerable. Together they are incredibly hot and so freaking sexy. I loved their story and getting to know them. Like I mentioned before, I've only read a couple of the other books in the series. They all work completely as stand-alones. You see the other couples from the other books, but I've never felt lost or like I was missing something for not having read all the books. That being said, though, every book I've read has been great, so I imagine that's true of the entire series. This book does set up the next book in the series and I can't wait for it. It sounds so good and I really loved the glimpses of the upcoming Hero and heroine. It's already on my to-buy list!

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