Apr 1, 2015

Review: SOUL REST (Knights of the Board Room, #7) by Joey W. Hill


Celeste has worked hard to establish her freelance blog as a source of accurate crime news for the Baton Rouge area. Being a workaholic, focusing solely on her career, was her choice. Five years ago, she had a life-changing experience in a BDSM club that made it clear she is a submissive, but she believes her past makes embracing that path impossible. Then Sergeant Leland Keller walks into her life. He’s the Dom she’s always feared and hoped she’d meet, and he recognizes her as what he’s been looking for as well. But she fights submission as much as she longs for it.

Leland always thought he was looking for a docile, sweet-natured sub, but the heart wants what it wants. He can tell Celeste is aching for love and surrender. Having served in the military and now as a patrol sergeant in one of Baton Rouge’s most dangerous districts, he doesn’t shy from a challenge.

His job is to protect and serve. He’s not going to let her down.



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5 stars: 4 for Celeste & Leland plus one extra, special star for getting more of all the characters from the previous books, making this the perfect series ending.

Another winner from Joey W. Hill!

Since I'd already read Retribution, a free vignette available on Ms. Hill's fan forum, Celeste was not a new character to me, but one I was looking forward to reading more about. After everything I found out about her in her session with Ben--which I would recommend reading before Soul Rest--I was glad she was finally getting her happy ever after. I had wondered if she would go on to further explore her submissive side, and if she would find a good Dom for herself, and because I had been in a matchmaking mood, Leland had occurred to me. I had only met him briefly in Afterlife, but it'd been enough to think he and Celeste could make a fine couple, so needless to say, when Soul Rest was announced, my reaction was: YAY!!! However, I did have one teeny tiny concern: reading Willing Sacrifice did not go as well as I had expected, and I thought that perhaps one of the reasons for that was that I'd grown too fond of the Knights' stories that I didn't care much about the secondary characters, so I was a bit afraid that would happen with Soul Rest, but as it turned out, I had nothing to worry about. Celeste and Leland both proved to be one of those characters I love reading about most in Joey W. Hill's stories.

A submissive who wanted to be a submissive so badly she fought it like a trap.

That is who Celeste was. I had wondered if she would go into BDSM, and for the most part I believed she would, but that was probably just wishful thinking. I should have known it would take a lot more than one great session for her to completely embrace it, even if that session was with Ben O'Callahan. Five years after that night, that session still remained the first and the last she'd had, and Celeste had given up on experiencing that again. Then he showed up, and made her re-think everything, and along the way proved to be a worthy hero in a series about Knights.

Sergeant Leland Keller had come to a point in his life where he didn't care to date anymore until something real, special, serious came along. He had thought that when he found his special someone she would be a sweet, docile submissive, but then he met Celeste, and showed him a bratty, challenging sub was what he needed all along. That she was what he needed. That conviction served him well in the battle for Celeste's heart as she was not the easiest sub to work with, but he made it. Ms. Hill's Knights always make it.

I complained that it took me a week to read this book, but it wasn't because I had problems with it. I was out of reading shape, but that wasn't the main reason, either. It was because of something that always happens to me when reading Joey W. Hill's books: they just pull me in, the characters' emotions are so well described, everything is so vivid, most of the times intense, I just have to absorb the words slowly and savor them. And this book had a lot of words, a lot of amazing words. So now I can happily say that even though I'm kind of ashamed I spent a week reading one book, I spent a week reading one amazing book

From the moment they met, both Celeste and Leland knew the attraction they felt for each other was only the beginning of something more serious and long-lasting, only one of them had more trouble accepting that. Celeste was difficult; any step forward with her was usually followed by two steps back. It could've been frustrating, if I hadn't felt terribly sorry for her for denying herself what she most desired, and if I hadn't believed Leland wouldn't give up on her no matter what. 

Every time I read anything penned by Ms. Hill, I feel like I'm learning something new about the many aspects of D/s relationships, or rituals, scenes or toys. All the scenes Leland and Celeste had were special for something, but one stood out: the Ichinawa session.

“Ichinawa is about the connection between Dom and sub using that one length of rope. I’ll tie only one end of it to one part of you. Your wrist, your ankle, your thigh…wherever I’d like, and then wrap you up in it. Then I’ll unwrap it and do it again. Different ways, the same way, over and over. Every time I wrap you in the rope and then unwrap you, it reinforces the choice. For me to take you, then let you go. For you to submit and then come back to me to submit again. It’s as organic as breathing.”

It was incredible. The cover reminds me of it. Speaking of, this is my favorite cover in the series. One of the good things about this being a self-published book is that it got this beautiful cover. I don't think I've ever found a cover of a book published by Ellora's Cave that I liked. This is a nice change. Plus, it reminds me of one my favorite scenes in the book.

I've said that what swayed me to give Soul Rest the highest possible rating are the parts involving the characters from the previous books. Those are the characters that have over the course of six books and two vignettes become one of the characters I love reading most about, so when they became a part of this story, I... well, I squealed like a little girl. What can I say, I'm a fangirl of the Knights, and, yes, even while writing my review, I couldn't wait to get to the part about them...
Okay, I couldn't wait to get to the part about Ben and Marcie.

Both Leland as a police officer and Celeste as a reporter were involved in investigating murders that happened recently. That investigation didn't take up much space in the book, but did put Celeste in danger. While I was sad she had to go through that, I couldn't have been happier that it led her to my aforementioned dear characters. Since this is the last book in the series, I couldn't have imagined it without them. I liked seeing them all once more, but as always I had my favorite scenes. (They are listed in the order they happened in the book.)

First, it's Ben and Celeste's night chat before the big day. It was interesting seeing them interacting in a normal situation when the only one I've read about was that night in club Surreal. Even more interesting was finding how much in common they have.

Second, the wedding! With all the couples in the series, we'd get to the end of the book before they'd tied the knot; all the weddings happened in between installments. That is why having a wedding in this book was one more thing on a long list of what I loved in this book. And the wedding being none other than of Ben and Marcie made it one my favorite parts.

Third was the after party, of course! If you read it, you'll know why. ;) But in all seriousness, that intimate gathering of the main couples from this series (minus Janet & Max) and some others that I haven't had the pleasure of reading about was a lovely farewell. To see them all, happy and in love and lust one more time before the ending was wonderful. Most of all, I was happy to finally see Matt and Savannah engaging in a more public play. They are the couple that's always kept to themselves the most, and I've always craved to get more of them, since their book Board Resolution won't miraculously become longer no matter how much I wish it. 

I'm sad we've come to the end, but I'm happy with how it ended. Only fitting to end it with a story starring the reporter who dubbed our heroes the "Knights of the board room".
All the books in this series are dear to me for some reason, but my favorites are Hostile Takeover, Afterlife, and Board Resolution, and now Soul Rest.

My reviews of other books in the series: Board Resolution | Controlled Response | Honor Bound | Afterlife | Hostile Takeover



  1. That's always awesome when they go out with a strong book. And getting to see the past characters. Always love that. I'm really going to have to start this one some day. Glad you had a great time with them!

    1. I adore a great finale, but afterwards I miss the series even more. Sometimes I wonder if it would be better for the last book to be bad so I feel glad it's over. :)
      Having all the characters in one place once again is awesome; I love that in TV series too.
      I enjoyed this series immensely. If you ever find yourself in a mood to read BDSM erotic romance, this is the author to go to. I've loved most of her books I've read so far. :)

  2. I've always wanted to read a book by this author, but I've not had the opportunity to. Someone gifted me the first book of her vampire novel a while back, so if that's as steamy as this one, I have a feeling I might like it too. :)

    Great review!

    1. Thank you! :)
      Ms. Hill has written a lot of books. I've read quite a few, but still I don't think I've even read the half of them. I haven't gotten around her vampire series yet; I'm still trying to finish the contemporary ones (at least, this one is done). I did read the tenth book in that series, because it was part of Mastered anthology, and I loved it, even if it made me sad. I did hear the vampires aren't the easiest characters to like, and the whole system they have is not so easy to accept, but I'll be reading it someday no matter what. I hope it doesn't scare you off. Perhaps it would be better to start with some of her lighter books. :)

  3. I meet Joey Hill in a romance convention a few years back, and she's a super sweet woman, I really got great vibes from her, but I'm afraid to read her books! I don't know why. I can read Tiffany Reisz with no problem. My friend has told me numerous times that she's the best BDSM author out there...Maybe one day I get the nerves.
    Great job!

    1. You got to meet her?! I'm soooo jealous right now. :)

      I'd have to agree with your friend: she is the best. I've yet to find an author whose BDSM romance books work better for me.

      I read Tiffany Reisz's books, too. In fact, I'm reading her latest OS book right now. If you have no problems with her books, I see no reason for you to fear Joey W. Hill's. They're very emotional, not scary.

      Thank you, and I hope you find the courage to read JWH soon. :)

  4. This sounds amazing! I've never heard of this series or this author, but after reading your review I seriously want to read this installment. Must you read the previous books to enjoy this one? Wonderful review, Danija! :)

    1. Thank you, Rachel. :) When it comes to BDSM romance novels, Joey W. Hill is my favorite author. If that's what you like, too, then I highly recommend her, but please bear in mind she doesn't really write light BDSM.
      While they are part of a series, all of these books do work as standalones, so you can read just this one. Of course, you most likely won't go all fangirl over those parts that involved the other characters, but I believe Celeste and Leland will be enough. I would recommend reading Retribution, the story where we first got to meet Celeste. I mentioned it at the beginning of my review, and added the link to it. It's free, but you'll just need to register on the fan forum. That could also be a good way to see if this author could be right for you. :)


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