Title: Asking For It
Author: Lilah Pace
My Rating: A
Genre: Erotic Romance
Series: Asking For It #1
Main Characters: Vivienne and Jonah
Release Date: June 2015
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: erotic
Graduate student Vivienne Charles is afraid of her own desires—ashamed to admit that she fantasizes about being taken by force, by a man who will claim her completely and without mercy. When the magnetic, mysterious Jonah Marks learns her secret, he makes an offer that stuns her: they will remain near-strangers to each other, and meet in secret so that he can fulfill her fantasy.
Their arrangement is twisted. The sex is incredible. And—despite their attempts to stay apart—soon their emotions are bound together as tightly as the rope around Vivienne’s wrists. But the secrets in their pasts threaten to turn their affair even darker...
Reader Advisory: Asking for It deals explicitly with fantasies of non-consensual sex. Readers sensitive to portrayals of non-consensual sex should be advised.
I'll admit I went into this book with a bit of trepidation and almost DNF'ed it about 10% in, but I decided I needed to give it more of a chance, so I kept with it. I'm so glad I did. This book is fantastic. And I'm not going to lie...it's different and for some people...it is certainly not going to work for you. But it did work for me. And here's why...these are two very complex people dealing with extreme kinks, but honestly, this is a book not about the sex. This is a book about two people finally finding someone else who understands. They both have their very dark reasons for their kink...and neither one of them is comfortable with that. My heart aches...so much...for both of them. Wow, this is a powerful book.
Vivienne can't enjoy sex without a touch of control added in. She needs the rape fantasy to make it work. She knows this is wrong and shameful and hates the fact about herself. She talks weekly with her therapist about her issues, trying to work through them. But even with all that work and self-discovery, it doesn't change what she needs to achieve orgasm. Jonah has the opposite fantasy...a rape fantasy.
Now, I know you're sitting there reading this shaking your head, but this book works for one very good reason. Jonah is a good guy. He's terrified of taking it over the line, but just like Vivienne there's no denying he needs it, despite the fact that he would NEVER deliberately set out to hurt a woman. You need to know that going in. The book works because Jonah is so incredibly amazing and caring for Vivienne except for when they are in a scene. These are two traumatized adults, dealing with that trauma the only way they can.
The book is gritty and emotional. I almost said dark, but it really isn't. Never does the book go to a black, depressing place. Instead it's filled with moments of light and hope...like the glimpses of Vivienne's art. There is caring, brutal honesty, and love in the midst of what should be really harsh moments. This author is flat-out brilliant. To be able to pull that balance off is incredible. The book moved me and then devastated and then moved me some more.
HUGE WARNING...I think things will work out eventually, but that doesn't happen in this book. In fact, this book ends in a bit of a cliffhanger. Luckily, we don't have too long to wait for book #2. It comes out in September and I, for one, am counting down the days. Loved this book and adored these characters!!
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.