When I saw the offer from this author for a free copy of her latest book I admittedly didn't really expect very much; after all it is a freebie and I had never read anything by Eden Connor before. After reading Rain on Me, I will be correcting that oversight in the near future! Before I begin singing the praises of the book I will issue a warning. This book is FIRMLY in the erotica genre with all that that implies. This is my first true bondage book and I can't think of a better way to have been introduced to this subgenre of erotica than having this as my first read. Others now have a high bar to hurdle. Okay, I said that I wouldn't start gushing yet, but I just can't seem to help myself. This book is written with highly descriptive sex scenes that in my opinion does not in any way take away from the overall story Connor weaves. Now, let the gushing begin!
Ray, the main character, is a dominant with a difference. He is a Shibari master and he takes his passion for the art of bondage seriously. Zin, is a toughened cop who considers herself a master of lies and has mastered the art of transforming herself into whatever character her job or situation calls for. Whether it be an innocent faced young woman, a tough cop ready to take down a meth addict, or the doe eyed new submissive looking for the right Dom to take care of her. Zin hates gambling with a passion and after her SLED unit busts a huge load of illegal slot machines she is determined to track down the source of this illegal gambling operation and do her part in stopping the ability of everyday people to destroy their lives with the pull of a handle. As you can guess, Zin has a very personal reason for hating these machines that at first seems almost irrational, but as Connor leads the reader through the story all becomes clear.
Yes, there is a lot of sex in this book and some may find it too much, but this book is so much more than just mommy porn disguised as a love story. This is a book about hard choices. Ray's choice to trust in his ability to love and care for a submissive without the fear of failure. Zin's choice to face a fear so many women have about their health. Zin's ability to choose between being strong enough to release control of things and people that are truly beyond her ability to control. Zin has, without a doubt, had it tough. As a child she had to make a choice that no parent should have asked a child to make, but as an adult she has to make a choice to either let things that have happened in the past go so that she can move on in her life in order to become and have what she so desires; or she can choose to hold on to fear, disappointment, and anger that just may not have been appropriately placed. Zin had to figure out that self pity and selfishness on her part may have played a small part in her estrangement from her family. What was done to her was unfair and wrong, but if you don't have all the facts sometimes things get judged wrong.
This is the first book that is categorized as erotica that has made me cry. I don't consider myself a sappy weepy person, but there is a part of this book that took my breath away and it brought forth such a strong reaction from me that I laughed after I had the cry. All I could think was that this sex book just made me cry! Again, this genre may not be for everyone and there was a surprise with a touch of breath play in one scene, but it definitely fit the goal in that section of the book. I can not over emphasize how surprised and blown away I am by the depth of the characters and the breadth of a story that I thought would just be a quick sexy read. Even if this story is a fluke and I do not enjoy any more of Connor's stories she will stay on my favorites list because Zinnia Jackson and Ray Casey will be on my mind for days to come.
I have to share a few of my favorite parts:
When Ray says: "I wanted Zin the way I wanted my next breath and I wanted to taste the rain on her skin..."
Zinnia's sister's description of dying: "It's a little like being a raindrop. You wanna cling to the glass, but the ground's calling your name..."
And finally, why I love Ray Casey! He says to Zinnia: "I want to be your thunderstorm, woman. I want to be the reason the hair on your arms stand up, even when I'm not with you. I want to be the white-hot lightning sizzling through your veins, drawing your back off the mattress. I want to be the soft patter inside your head, telling you how much you're loved. I want to quench every thirst you'll ever have."
Wrap this man up-I'll take him!
**I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.**
If every heart’s a package someone else has tied in knots, how did bondage unravel mine?
I’d sleep with the devil to nail the source of illegal poker machines pouring into my district. It’s personal between me and those one-armed bandits, but when my captain asked me to go undercover as a sexual submissive to catch our suspect, my gut said “Hell, no, even I can’t tell a lie that big.”
Enter Ray Casey, shibari master, who spent two weeks showing me the world of erotic bondage. I fell hard for Ray, but the outcome of our affair was preordained; duty above all.
When the unthinkable happened, where could I turn when I couldn’t trust my brothers in blue? My instincts led me back to Ray, but he wants me to submit to something harder than a little BDS&M….
~Zinnia J. Jackson, Det. 1st Grade, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division