Adult Romance published February 4, 2014
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Synopsis from Goodreads:
Josslyn found perfection once, and she knows she’ll never find it again. Now widowed, she seeks the one thing her beloved husband couldn’t give her. Dominance. Lonely and searching for an outlet for her grief and wanting only a brief taste of the perfection she once enjoyed, she seeks what she’s looking for at an exclusive club that caters to people indulging in their most hedonistic fantasies. She never imagined that what she’d find is the one man who’s long been a source of comfort—and secret longing. Her husband’s best friend.
Dash has lived in an untenable position for years. In love with his best friend’s wife and unwilling to act on that attraction. He’d never betray his best friend. And so he’s waited in the wings, offering Joss unconditional support and comfort as she works past her grief, hoping for the day when he can offer her more.
When he finds her in a club devoted to the darker edges of desire, he’s furious because he thinks she has no idea what she’s getting herself into. Until she explains in detail what it is she wants. What she needs. As realization sets in, he is gripped by fierce, unwavering determination. If she wants dominance, he is the only man who will introduce her to that world. He is the only man who will touch her, cherish her…love her. And the only man she’ll ever submit to.
I think that I would probably give this book a 3.5 rating if Goodreads would allow 1/2 stars. I read through this one pretty quickly so once I got started it was definitely something that kept my attention. I was a bit hesitant after reading Maya's last book, Theirs To Keep, but once I read the synopsis I knew if was going to be more similar to the Breathless Series and I did enjoy that one. This book is very similar in theme to that series actually.
I think that the synopsis is a little misleading though. There is very little of "the club" in the book and for me that was a good thing. I think that the concept of dominance/submission is getting a bit overplayed these days and it's something that's not appealing to everyone for sure. I am assuming that it's something you need to be in to to understand it completely and it's just not something I really "get". So, it was nice that while it seems like it's going to overtake the whole story, it really doesn't. There are just bits of it here and there with really only one scene in the club mentioned in the synopsis.
So, I really did like both characters in this story. Joss is a young widow who never thinks that she will find the kind of love she shared with her husband. He was everything she ever could have wanted with the exception of one thing. She has always wanted to be a submissive, but it's not something she has ever experienced. Her husband had extenuating family circumstances that would have tainted his acceptance of this part of her so she always kept her feelings on the subject to herself. Dash is Joss' late husbands best friend and business partner. Dash has kept the business running and has looked after Joss for the past 3 years, but now she's decided that it's time to move on and that means letting him go as well. She has decided that it's time for a clean break from the life that she lost and that it's time to find the one thing that was always missing. Little does she know when she walks into the club that the man who's been by her side the past few years is the one man who can give her what she's been looking for.
I was annoyed at how much emphasis was still placed on the dead husband. It was a source of tension between them for sure, but it seemed to go on longer than it needed to. The quickness of it also bugged me...one day she sees Dash as the friend who's always there and then suddenly when he proclaims that he's loved her all these years and he can be the dom that she's looking for she's suddenly attracted to him. I am not denying that his character is super HOT, but I thought that from the beginning, Joss didn't.
All in all, I enjoyed the story for what it was and I am sure to keep reading the series! If you enjoyed the Breathless series then you will probably enjoy this one as well. Be aware that this does border on erotica so there are some very detailed love scenes.
*Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for my honest review.*