It wasn’t supposed to be like this between them. She knew it was wrong, but it was so very, very right at the same time.
Technically, Eden “Sugar” Maillheux had been Cash Daughtrey’s step-sister for more than a decade now, but she’d never felt sisterly towards him in the least, and, aside from the fact that he took to disciplining and controlling her very, very strictly – once she became an adult – it definitely wasn’t brotherly love that was radiating hotly from his side of the desk he bent her over so often, either.
Cash’s brand of lovingly strict discipline naturally developed into something more – much more between them – wildly hot lovemaking that took her breath away every time she thought of it, and kept her coming back for more through out her college years.
Yet it wasn’t quite enough to ease her mind about the rightness of those deep, dark desires, and she moved away, taking his heart with him.
But he ruthlessly used the only means that presented itself a few years later to get her back on his land, knowing he would never again let her go.
3 stars with major reservations
I’m starting to think that Carolyn Faulkner is the Queen of Great Blurbs…because this is the 3rd book of hers that I’ve read that sucked me in via the blurb. She should give lessons, lol. I’m not sure how this keeps happening.
I have to say…I liked this one a lot better than the first one (Kept) but just as the last one (Skye’s Submission) this one has some glaring problems.
The biggest problem that I think Ms Faulkner has is editing. She is in desperate need of an editor. There are (again) major editing issues with the beginning of this book. My copy literally has strikeouts over words that she planned to replace (and did not). There are also moments where you can tell the author re-worked the scene but forgot to delete or add certain words. Luckily, all of this is mostly in the beginning of the book. Of course, this makes me think that this book has never been touched by a beta reader, forget editor.
The second problem that I think crops up time and again is TIME. Pacing, cadence, flow, speed, and actual Time itself. There are sections of this book where it is really difficult to tell what time it is. Past, present and internal monologues are all jumbled together at points. (Again, editing) Some parts are very draggy and some parts are…just over way too quick.
Going back to editing (and timing) I can now focus on what bothers me the most about this book…it has some seriously creepy moments. Damn. I know exactly where the author was trying to go. I *think* I understand what she was trying to do…but the actual execution…didn’t quite work. But I wanted it to so bad. 😦
The hero is the step-son of the heroine’s step-mother (both the H/h’s parents are deceased). Which puts him…sorta like a step brother but not. I’m not sure how much older Cash (hero) is than Sugar…but he was installed in her home as her step-brother/father figure when she was “an adolescent.” Which says 12 or so to me.
The author seems to want to emphasize the authority that Cash has had over Sugar since she was a young girl…while still showing the intimacy of their relationship as adults. One book that does this particular power dynamic really well is Dark Without You by Sue Lyndon. But the power dynamic just didn’t quite work here due to the jumble of Sugar’s thoughts (and the need for editing). Instead of it looking like Sugar and Cash slowly developed this relationship…it looks like Cash has been training Sugar up to be his submissive since she was 12 or so years old. And that was a little creepy.
Emphasis is put on the fact that Cash only spanked Sugar as a child once…but the escalation to harsh but extremely sexual (in nature, not in touch) bare bottom spankings as soon as she hit 18 belies that fact. In fact, I appreciate that the author made a point to state that Cash never touched Sugar as a kid…because the story doesn’t flow that way. It gives the impression of a 20 or 30+ y/o predator sexually spanking a young child. I think that making it really obvious (by showing, not telling) when specific things happened and when particular feelings started would go far in changing that impression.
Another thing that bothered me was that it was difficult to tell why Sugar left Cash and how long they were in a sexual relationship before she did so. I was literally at 86% before I found out it was because Sugar felt it (the pain aspect) was wrong. Previously, I had the impression she was concerned about the appropriateness of their relationship (with him being her step-step brother and all). I get the impression that Sugar and Cash were together for years before she ran off. So WTF? I don’t get it. The author never gives you a sense of what she was thinking about/dealing with at that time.
And, let’s all be honest…I’m always expecting to find more penetration sex in an erotic romance. There is only one of those scenes in the book. There are spankings galore…but the sex gets cut off right before it starts. OMG. Is this just a factor of DD/Spanking novels?? Or is it the author? I haven’t read a lot of DD books…it’s hard for me to find ones that are even remotely interesting. I’m not into pain sluts, age play or bratty subs. My options are limited, lol. But the spanking scenes are hot. 🙂
But…Vick’s Vapor Rub on the poontang?? *shudder* That sounds like a yeast infection begging to happen.
Typically I would give this book 2 – 2.5 stars. I’m rounding up to 3 stars because I appreciate where the author was trying to go even though she didn’t get there (for me, at least). I really want Ms Faulkner to get an editor.
ETA: A friend explained to me that Vick’s Vapor Rub is actually a common product used in chemical play. It still sounds painful but I have learned something new!