Title: Playing Knotty
Author: Elia Winters
My Rating: A
Genre: Erotic Romance
Main Characters: Emma and Ian
Release Date: March 2015
Publisher: Pocket Star
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: erotic
Emma Green has never been very confident. When Ian Cooper, an old friend, asks to rent out the back room of her bookstore for a bondage workshop, she agrees because she needs the money. She isn’t expecting to participate, and she definitely isn’t expecting to enjoy it. But all of Emma’s expectations fly out the window when she tentatively agrees to be Ian’s bondage model for workshops and exhibitions—and her success in the role upends all previous notions she had about her body and her desirability.
Now, Emma must learn to reconcile these conflicting images of herself while dealing with another conflict: Is Ian just another playboy, or everything she’s been looking for?
Okay, the publisher sent me a request to review this book and I was sold when I read the story description...a shy bookstore owner who discovers her inner kink? I'm there. But this was so much better than even I expected.
Emma is like just about every girl out there. She has a few pounds to lose, but her self esteem is worse than most because she grew up with her mother, who constantly criticized and lectured on how a "big" girl should act, dress, and eat. She's learned to hide her figure and even worse...to hide her true self from the world. This book is epic just in watching Emma come to realize how much she's hiding from the world and how she's the one ultimately paying for that.
And how she ultimately finds her inner peace is purely begun because of Ian and how he sees her. Ian was that ultimate nerd in school who grew into his looks. Now he's an accountant who is also a bondage instructor in his free time. He's had a crush on Emma ever since high school, but her self esteem is such that she simply doesn't see it. His bondage classes have several issues at the same time...he loses his meeting place and then his model gets sick at the last minute. Emma comes to his rescue in both instances and that sets up the story.
I liked the way this story played out. The bondage is life-changing for Emma. It puts her in a position she never would have considered before....being open and vulnerable and suddenly her life view of herself begins to change. As she sees herself through Ian's eyes and even the eyes of the observers to their bondage scenes, she sees just how skewed her viewpoint of herself has been. I loved getting to read about that change in her.
And it's a fun romantic story too. Ian and Emma were friends in high school, but they were never that close. Just acquaintances ...although he did have a crush on her that he never acted on. Watching them rediscover each other was really heart-warming. I also liked the additional story lines of them with their respective friends and the way those friendships impacted the outcome of the romance.
This was just one of those books that I flat-out enjoyed. The romance was sweet. The overall theme was beautiful. The bondage scenes were incredibly sexy...I loved it when Emma took charge of the ropes...whew, that was HOT! This was my first read by this author. I need to check out more of her writing.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.