****This review will undoubtedly contain spoilers :)Read at your own risk.****
The first impression that I got from the hero who stars in this story was that he was a complete tool. His character was all over the place and I had no clue where the author was going with him. At first. Then comes the hero's first sexual interaction with the heroine and it became clear where this author was going. Yes, he/she is going there. The book is lacking character development. I don't mind D/s BDSM romance or erotica, I've read tons of it. There's no set up for that type of relationship between the hero and heroine in this book. Lines are not drawn, and no boundaries set, it's just suddenly there and the reader is supposed to believe it.
Break out the book "D/s BDSM books for Dummies". Let's take the Safe, Sane, and Consensual out of the equation people. Let's continue with trope after trope, and sprinkle with clichés. Rich, broody hero, who is both hot, and demanding. Check. Down on her luck heroine who has an insatiable sexual appetite. Check. Not long into the book I had begun to question the hero's sanity because he was a little off in my opinion. He enjoyed humiliating the heroine by calling her names such as greedy s*ut. She enjoys being debased, so who am I to judge? The reason it bothered me was because the hero often questions himself as to why he enjoys humiliating her the way he does.
"That's nice baby, I like that noise. I like those embarrassing noises. You yowl like a cat when I fuck you hard, and you whine and beg like a dog. This might be my favorite, though. You're grunting like a pig. Does that mean you like this?" I shoved my finger in another centimeter. Hannah shuddered. "Where's my noise? Come on baby, start grunting. If you don't make this good for me I won't fuck you."
Collar, nipple clamps, gag, and domestic discipline are quickly introduced with no prior warning or lead up. I was thinking that this was a first for this H, and since I had already begun to question his sanity, I quickly began to question the heroines safety as well. We do later find out that he has participated in these kind of activities with previous partner's before, but not to what extent. Meanwhile, God/god is mentioned so often in this book that I was certain he was going to appear as a character in the book. Normally this is not something I notice, but it was there over 200 times.
Through all of this the hero has been keeping secrets from the heroine. First he has a live in girlfriend that he failed to mention, and he has also been hiding the fact that he is a best selling author. Her favorite author. He has lied and schemed to keep these secrets from her. Now that he is falling in love, the guilt begins to tear him apart. This is when we finally get some depth in the story.
Every thing comes down on this hero at once. He finally does the right thing and breaks up with the girlfriend, but she gets even by outing him to the world as best selling author M. Pierce. No longer safe with his anonymity the heroine finds out about the girlfriend, and who he is. She leaves him. He falls apart. His devastation was absolute and heartbreaking to read. I didn't care for him during the first half of the book due to what's mentioned above, but now my heart hurt reading his breakdown. The rest of the book is spent with the heroine dealing with his mental health and trying to salvage their relationship. There is a sex scene just before the end that disturbed the hell out of me, pretty much ruining the second half of the book. The hero is still mentally unstable at this time when he subjects the heroine to a beating from his belt out of the blue. At the beginning of the whipping he's being pretty manic and she is scared. He goes on to tell her that she is soaking wet and loving the pain and she admits to liking it. By then it was just too much and too brutal.
The book ends with a HFN, but I still have no idea why he is the way that he is. No diagnosis was given about his mental health and none of the questions I had were answered in the end.
Then we have the Epilogue.......
A certain scene from a movie crossed my mind after reading that epilogue. You may know which one I'm referring to but just in case.... Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
Lois Einhorn is Ray Finkle, Ray Finkle is Lois Einhorn!