"Writing erotica is like fucking someone for the first time. You aren't sure exactly what he wants yet so you try to give him everything he could possibly want. Everything and anything...You hit every nerve and eventually you'll hit the nerve. Have I hit any nerves yet?"
This is NOT a romance novel. It is NOT sunshine and rainbows, pretty and light, sweet and romantic.
It's dark, painful, erotic, beautifully sadistic, captivating, and unlike anything I've read before.
I'll start by saying that had I not immediately read, The Angel, right after this, I might not have felt the same about it. I think reading the next book helped put a lot of things that were tough to swallow in perspective for me. This is definitely not your mama's romance novel. There are parts I read that were incredibly tough to swallow, but I loved every darkly erotic page of it.
Nora Sutherlin is a famous erotica writer, but she is determined for her new book to be different, more personal, but she needs help.
Zachary Easton is known as "The London Fog" in the editing world for a reason. He's demanding, brutally honest, and not really known for his bright and chipper personality. When he agrees to take on Nora's manuscript, even though he views her as the guttersnipe author, he does so on one condition. Nora must rewrite her entire novel to his standards in six weeks.
Forced to enter her world, Zach soon finds there is so much more to Nora that what he initially thought.
Nora is not just an erotica writer. She's a dominatrix, and a famous one at that.
But behind the veil of leather, high heels, and whips, Nora is also so much more. While I loved her quirky personality, and snarky humor, we also gets snippets of her 'other' side when she is around Wesley.
Wesley was my favorite part about this book. I just adored him. He's Nora's intern/roomate, and just so happens that he's a 19 year old virgin. We get a glimpse inside Nora's softer side when she is around him. Wesley hates the dominatrix part of Nora's life. He doesn't understand the appeal of that dark world, particularly when given Nora's history with Soren.
Soren...WOW! I don't even know where to begin with Soren.
He could read a soul with the merest glance. He'd know what she would become from the moment he first saw her. He had told her so. It had always been her favorite bedtime story.
Soren and Nora were lovers for 13 years
"Soren and I aren't a romance. We're just a fantasy."
That is until Nora left him, over a year ago. Though they still have a somewhat relationship...
Soren isn't some boyfriend you have a fight with and then kiss and make up. He's the invading army you surrender to before it burns your village down.
I hated him. I was intrigued with him. I hated the fact that I was intrigued with him. At first what we get are Nora's flashbacks, and they were no easier to deal with than the reality of finally meeting Soren.
When the reality of all that he is finally came to light, I was left utterly speechless.
Then there is also the mysterious Kingsley. Kingsley, Nora, and Soren have a very convuluted past that we don't get much of an explanation for in this book, but mere glimpes. One thing was clear, however...
"Nora's not just some smut writer with a wild sex life. She's the motherfucking queen of the Underground. And Kingsley Edge is, obviously, our king."
"And him? What is he?" Zach didn't even want to say Soren's name.
"He's whatever's higher than a king and queen."
"An emperor?" Zach guessed.
The writing is absolutely, fucking brilliant! The story mainly focuses on Zach and Nora, but Wesley, Soren, ad Kingsley do take a somewhat role in the book as well. We do't get much of a backstory in this book on anyone other than Zach.
I really loved Zach's character. He was obviously still struggling over his marriage falling apart, and still being in love with his wife. But in his work with Nora, he begins to develop feelings for her that he has a very hard time dealing with.
Nora...the siren and the goddess, the ship and the wine-dark sea. She would either save him or end him. Right now, with her words singing in his ears, he didn't really care which.
Nora, I believe, was a big reason as to why I was hesitant in reading this book at first. I don't usually enjoy stories with Domme's. It's just not my thing. But Nora was so much more than I anticipated. She's somewhat an enigma in this book. We get to see her dark edge, and her soft side as well. She's obviously struggling with knowing that she will never be comfortable in a Vanilla relationship, yet yearning to be with Wesley at the same time while knowing she can't. She's still drawn to Soren, and their connection.
I loved the way the author weaved all of these character's stories together. It was beautifully and flawlessly done.
I don't want to reveal too much, you simply must read this to figure things out for yourself. But I will say that is one of the most captivating books I have read in a long, long time.
4.5 Brilliantly Sadistic Stars
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