Cali Reynolds is taking hesitant steps to claiming the life she wants. After more than 20 years in a passionate-less marriage she craves touch and hopes to find it at The Den, the most exclusive BDSM club in the area. Her first night there, she pairs up with Jake McCallister, one of the club owners. He gives her more than she ever dreamed of in a D/s relationship but she can’t get rid of the insecurities of her past.
Jake may be the perfect professional Dom but he has his own private demons. After a troubled childhood, he doesn’t get close to anyone. After any significant time in one place, he gets the urge to run. From their first meeting, Cali is different for him. He finally wants to claim something as his own and the more time they spend together, the easier it is for him to imagine a future in one place with one person.
This book started very slowly for me. The scenes from Jake’s POV were engaging and zipped right past but as soon as it switched to Cali’s POV, it started dragging. It did pick up around 60% and that’s when I realized what my problem with this book is. While I am sympathetic to some of Cali’s issues, I just don’t like her. She came across as weak and self-centered. It was always what she is getting out of it, what other people will think about her, and what her needs are. She doesn’t give a thought to Jake, his feelings, or his needs outside of the bedroom.
On the other hand, I really liked Jake. A fabulous hero, he had his own issues but was working through them and really put himself on the line for their relationship. From the very beginning, he treated Cali with the utmost respect. And he was oh, so sexy.
My favorite quote:
“I’m fine,” she reassured him, her attention focused on the floor.
Every inflection of her body told him she wasn’t. But that wasn’t his problem. Physically, she was unharmed. And she was refusing his comfort. His job as a Dom was done.
But his honor as a man wasn’t.
Later in the book, Cali totally overreacts to a situation. She doesn’t trust him, humiliates him in public, and walks away. After thinking on it for a day, we get this.
She owed Jake the chance to explain and she was ready to hear what he had to say.
That pretty much sums up my problem with Cali. Jake didn’t need to explain anything, he’s not the one that spun out. And now, after putting him through all that pain, she’s ready to hear what he has to say. Like she’s doing him a favor. I love a good hero grovel as much as anyone but it wasn’t his place to grovel. That would be Cali’s place. I thought Jake deserved better.
There was a very interesting secondary character that I’ve developed a crush on. Deklan is Jake’s best friend and business partner in The Den. Big, gruff, a little cranky, and a lot sarcastic, he stole every scene he was in. According to the blurb in the back of Bonds of Trust, his story is next and it is one I want.
Genre: Erotic Romance
Release Date: November 26, 2012