Genre: Contemporary Romance-erotic
No safe word can protect the heart
Infamous erotica author and accomplished dominatrix Nora Sutherlin is doing something utterly out of character: hiding. While her longtime lover, Søren—whose fetishes, if exposed, would be his ruin—is under scrutiny pending a major promotion, Nora's lying low and away from temptation in the lap of luxury.
Her host, the wealthy and uninhibited Griffin Fiske, is thrilled to have Nora stay at his country estate, especially once he meets her traveling companion. Young, inexperienced and angelically beautiful, Michael has become Nora's protégé, and this summer with Griffin is going to be his training, where the hazing never ends.
But while her flesh is willing, Nora's mind is wandering. To thoughts of Søren, her master, under investigation by a journalist with an ax to grind. And to another man from Nora's past, whose hold on her is less bruising, but whose secrets are no less painful. It's a summer that will prove the old adage: love hurts.
ARC provided by netgalley
What a surprising series. When I read the first one, I was blown away at the intense characters. Dark, handsome, controlling Soren. Light, fun loving Wesley, and Michael, the wounded angel. They all play very important roles in Nora's life, and you immediately become attached to each one. At the end of the first book when Nora makes Wesley leave, I actually cried for him. To love someone that much to lose out in the end? But Nora doesn't know how to choose between her dark king and her light prince. But this summer we get to follow along behind Nora and Michael as they hide out at Griffins, and we get to watch two people fall hopelessly in love thru very unconventional means. This series, for me anyway, is not about the sex. It's about love found in the most unusual of circumstances. What is normal anyway? The "stage" they all play on is just that, a stage. It brings them all together, but then the real fun begins, the emotions that drive each of them to the absolute loyalty and love they have for each other. And the safety they feel while not being judged for their "kinks".
I didn't like Soren very much in the first book, but we learn a lot about him in this one and he really has grown on me. The lengths he will go to make Nora happy is beyond what anyone else would do. Would you let the love of your life go so she can resolve an unfinished dream? But when that unfinished dream is Wesley, you can't really hate the guy anymore. I'm torn as to who I really want her to be with, can she have both?
This series is not for the "light" erotic reader, they all have very dark tastes and are very open about sex in all kinds of kinky ways. So don't go into it lightly. But if you can give it a chance, the raw emotional component will make you a fan....
And lastly, thank you, thank you, netgalley. I would have pulled my hair out waiting for this one!!! And even though I got ARC copies, I will certainly buy the printed ones for my keeper shelf and recommend to everyone!