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Published: November 5th, 2013
My rating: 3 stars
***Copy of the book provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.***
"River Rock, Vermont, 2011. This is the story of Claire Ryan and Evan Lang. 35-year-old Claire joins a local book club for romance readers in order to get over the breakdown of her 10-year relationship, there she meets book shop owner Evan, a dominant man who has never recovered from the sudden death of his submissive wife. As their relationship develops and they embark on the path of Claire's submission, it becomes harder and harder for Evan to keep his emotional distance. Claire is open and responsive and he wants her badly, but refuses to let himself go. As Claire falls deeper in love with Evan, she realises that he is holding back and decides to end their relationship, forcing Evan to confront his own past and his feelings in order to save his new love."
It's not what it looks like. So, being a fan of kinky fuckery novels, it is logical that I just had to get my hands on this book as soon as I saw it. Not to mention that pretty cover. I'm wondering where did they bought that stockings? :) It was a dull evening and I needed something to lighten my mood - Awakening looked like just the right thing to help me out. Now, if you are expecting whips and chains, St. Andrew's crosses, ball gags and gang bangs in the style of Cherice Sinclair, well... This is not that kind of a book.
What is it than? Imagine what would you get if Tammara Webber, Annabel Joseph and E.L.James would have a child. Can you picture it? Kink 101, sweet romance, brooding but gentle alpha male, intelligent main heroine, interesting setting of the story and, of course, HEA. Fans of hard core BDSM stories or 90% sex/10%storyline novels would probably be disappointed. Elene Salinger in Awakening brings us story of two people who look like someone we can pass everyday in our own boring lives and not even think about twice after we see them. She deals more with real life and emotional aspects of BDSM lifestyle than few steamy spankings or torture.
Was it for me? Or maybe not? I gave it three stars, didn't I? It means that I did enjoy it and that it is not a bad book. Awakening has amazing premise and actual plot, it's not usual sugar-kink erotica that looks more like paranormal romance but instead of vampires or werewolves, you have this big, bad Doms with super powers. Perfect for easing into the genre. I have nothing against books like that, but what I did mind was a bit too much sweetness and few character "attributes". I can't imagine that someone can be that clueless as Claire or that much "exclusive" as Evan. On the other hand, what I seriously adored was bookstore setting - I kept wishing all the time to have something like that in my town.
There will be sequel! Claire's best friend Bridget will get her own novel - Reflection. It's more companion novel than sequel. I'm looking forward to it because I found her much more intriguing than Claire.