Review: Bound to Submit

Review: Bound to SubmitBound to Submit (Blasphemy, #1) by Laura Kaye
Series: Blasphemy #1
on October 11th 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 154

“The music faded away along with all the people, until it was just the two of them, divided by a room, five years, and her once-broken heart.”

FINAL DECISION:  A book that has a strong, independent heroine that has experienced much pain and yet takes control of her own pleasure by confronting the pain in her past.  I loved Kenna and Griffin.

THE STORY:  Kenna Sloane is an ex-Marine, amputee and motivational speaker.  She is having problems adjusting to her new life.  As a way of solving that problem, she decides to confront her past.  Five years ago, Griffin Hudson was her lover and Dominant.  When Kenna fell in love with him and wanted more, he rejected her.  Now Kenna wants to see if the Dom/Sub lifestyle she liked so much can help her recover.  She returns to Blasphemy, the sex club that Griffin owns and where he is one of the 12 Masters.  What Kenna doesn’t know is that Griffin has never forgotten her.  He quickly regretted his rejection of the perfect woman for him and now that she has returned, he plans to keep her.

OPINION:  I loved how strong and independent Kenna was in this book.  She is a tough woman who has experienced the trauma and death of war but has begun to pull herself together.  When she sees that her life is not what she wants it to be, she takes action.  She returns to the dom/sub life that brought her happiness even though she experienced pain as well when Griffin rejected her.

“Unlike the rest of her life right now, at least here — right here in this room — she knew what the rules were, what was expected of her, and what she could do to succeed.  She knew who and what she was.  And God, she hadn’t realized how much she needed that.  All of that.  Because she’s lost it when she’s lost the Marines. She’d just lost so much.”

The story of Kenna is powerful; she is a warrior.  I loved how her being an amputee is part of the story but it doesn’t diminish her sexuality or sexual attraction.  Her qualities amplify the attraction Griffin has for her.  She can be strong, be physically imperfect and have lingering emotional scars, but she is allowed to be sexual and attractive.

Griffin is a sweetheart.  I don’t know how Kaye does it, but she manages to make him incredibly alpha and yet kind and compassionate.  His reaction to her service as a Marine and her amputation is so supportive that I could see how Kenna fell in love with him.

In this book, Griffin has already gone through his conversion to recognizing how wrong he was in the past.  He knows what he lost and is determined to not lose her again.

While this book is centered around the Blasphemy Club, the sex play in this book is only about the relationship between Kenna and Griffin.  They have already dealt with their sexual compatibility and their attraction to one another.  This book is really about Kenna coming to terms with herself.  She manages to do this through her sex play and her relationship with Griffin which opens her up to happiness again and her ability to deal with her grief and guilt.

I thought this book was thoughtful and sexy.

The only criticism I had was that I thought Kenna forgave Griffin way too easily after his prior rejection of her.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This is a novella.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  BOUND TO SUBMIT is the first book in the Blasphemy series.  There is a connected book that operates as a prequel entitled HARD TO SERVE.  It is not necessary to read HARD TO SERVE before BOUND TO SUBMIT.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4 stars.

NOTE:  I received an electronic copy of this book in order to provide a review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions contained herein are my own.


Review: Hard to Serve

Review: Hard to ServeHard to Serve (Hard Ink, #4.7) by Laura Kaye
Series: Hard Ink #4.7
on June 28, 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 120

“Welcome to Blasphemy.”

FINAL DECISION:  This story was more hot erotica than emotional story but I still enjoyed it.  The novella introduces the Blasphemy Club and sets up some good characters.

THE STORY: Detective Kyler Vance is being investigated by Internal Affairs as the new police commissioner attempts to root out recent corruption in the department.  He decides to blow off some steam at his club.  His club just happens to be a place for dominants like Kyler to find submissives for sex.  There he meets Mia Breslin, who is looking for a man to dominate her.  Things are really hot between Mia and Kyler and they seem to be inching toward something more when Kyler finds out that Mia happens to be the daughter of his new boss.

OPINION:  This is a short novella so much of the character development and plot are compressed. There is a lot of hot sex though and these characters really shine in their interaction.  For me, the weakness of the story is Kyler’s reluctance to make their relationship more than sex.  His motivations seem murky and not as well developed as they would be in a novel.  Despite that, however, I thought this was a very good read.

There was a strong intensity between Mia and Kyler which begins as instant sexual attraction and then evolves into something more.  One of the nicest things is that Kyler cares for Mia from the beginning first in a physical manner and then in an emotional one.

I really, really liked that Mia is so open about what pleases her sexually.  She is a grown woman who knows what she likes. There is no question of consent or any dominance that Mia doesn’t explicitly consent to.

The book also introduces some of the other men who will be the heroes of future books.  There was definitely enough there to make me want to read more.

WORTH MENTIONING:  There is some BDSM and public sex for those who might be sensitive.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  HARD TO SERVE is book 4.7 in the Hard Ink series.  It can be read as a standalone.  It also is book 1 of the Blasphemy series.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4 stars.