Review copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley
I have to be honest here. The first time I attempted this book, it was a DNF for me. I was just turned off right from the start with this guy bossing this girl around and kind of being a dick to her. So I quit and didn't think about it again for weeks. Then I started thinking... I thought, "Who am I to quit a book just because I didn't like how it started? Shouldn't I at least give it 25%? 50%?" So I tried again and wow, I was in love! This review is coming after my third time reading it (second time all the way through) and its just as hot this time around!
I really liked Abigail "Abby", out heroine. I think she's the perfect entre into the BDSM world. She knows a little bit... just enough to get her in trouble, as the saying goes. She submits her application to be a submissive for Nathaniel West. Right there, I was like Wh..wh..whaaat?!? An application?!? You have GOT to be sh*tting me!! I don't know if that's a real thing or not but whatever, just go with me here, ok? Once all the details are ironed out and Abby starts being his submissive, its get VERY interesting. And oh so hot!! Again, I think Abby is just great because she knows so little about what she's getting herself into. It helps to ease the rest of us readers into the culture a little bit. The things that Abby thinks to herself are things that I think would also cross my mind. There are times when she's on the cusp of saying her safe word but backs off at the last second just because 1.) she trusts Nathaniel not to actually hurt her and 2.) she wants to see what happens! But there are also times when Abby is pretty funny as well. She has her "Crazy Abby" and her "Practical Abby" thoughts and they are sort of arguing in her head and I really identified with that! Abby takes just the right amount of bullshit from Nathanial before she puts her foot down and you KNOW I like that part. I know that it might seem that this dom/sub scene would not work for someone who is all about "Girls Rule" and all that but it really calls to that side of me that also wants to be whisked away. Or, more accurately, that side of me that wants to be punished! LOL! ;)
Then there's Nathaniel West. This is yet another multi-billionaire who is all jacked up in the head due to a childhood trauma but really, he's a really great guy... he's just misunderstood. Blah blah blah. I've seen it, been there, done that, got the T-shirt, and now I use the T-shirt to wash my car. I wonder how many more authors are going to try to shove this trope down our throats? I know that sounds really bitchy and nasty and that's pretty much how I mean it...BUT I never said that I minded it. I love billionaires who are effed up and way into kink. Who doesn't? I'm just saying that its way beyond simply "unoriginal." Anyway, Nathaniel is very sexy, very dominant and very rich. Three things that I love in a man...occasionally. I don't think that Nathaniel's kinks are way out there, at least, not in this book. We get to see him in his dominant role but we also get to see a playful side of him and I just really loved that. I think its great to see this hard, sometimes cold guy turn it around and just be a young man, having fun with a beautiful lady that he enjoys spending time with. In fact, I think books like this NEED that tension release or it just gets too heavy and too serious. I mean, reading is supposed to be fun, right??
I know, I know, I haven't told you a lot about these characters or about the book. But what can I say? This is similar to Sylvia Day's Crossfire series and J. Kenner's Stark Trilogy. I would say that the main difference is this: What it took those authors three books to tell, The Submissive tells you almost as much in this one book. Now I don't know where the author is going to take us next, but I'm pretty sure I'd like to go there!
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The Sexy Time was plentiful and it was very hot! The scenes between Abby and Nathaniel ran the gamut between tense and sweet, hate and love. I really enjoyed them together and if you like this type of book (see the above books I mentioned), this will be another one that you should give a chance. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys erotic romance with a damaged hero and heroine who can save him.