Monday, June 1, 2015

You Know I Want It

"Whatever it is that binds people together through a lifetime--
the kind of love that allows them to transcend themselves for the sake of someone else."
--Lilah Pace, Asking For It

Genre: Adult Contemporary, Erotica
Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 336
Publication Date: June 2nd, 2015
Source: eARC provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Previous Books in Series: First book in series
Goodreads Description

“This is who I am. This is what I want. Now I need a man dangerous enough to give it to me.”

Graduate student Vivienne Charles is afraid of her own desires—ashamed to admit that she fantasizes about being taken by force, by a man who will claim her completely and without mercy. When the magnetic, mysterious Jonah Marks learns her secret, he makes an offer that stuns her: they will remain near-strangers to each other, and meet in secret so that he can fulfill her fantasy.

Their arrangement is twisted. The sex is incredible. And—despite their attempts to stay apart—soon their emotions are bound together as tightly as the rope around Vivienne’s wrists. But the secrets in their pasts threaten to turn their affair even darker...

Reader Advisory: Asking for It deals explicitly with fantasies of non-consensual sex. Readers sensitive to portrayals of non-consensual sex should be advised
Welcome to my stop on the Asking For It Blog Tour, by Lilah Pace! If you've been following my Twitter you may have seen me flipping shit about this book. I absolutely LOVED it. Couldn't put it down, wanted to do nothing else, and wanted to talk about what was happening with EVERYONE! So without further ado, here is my review and don't forget to enter the giveaway if this book feels like something up your alley or you're interested in. 

I won't lie to you, I don't troll NetGalley or Edelweiss very often so this book was not on my radar...until I got an email from Berkley via NetGalley with a warning to future readers about its sexual content...a book with a warning about sexual content? THAT is a book I want to read. My excitement to start this book was off the charts and I had high expectations even when I know that is the worst thing in the world to have before starting a book...but that fear became unfounded as I read.

I was almost immediately invested in Vivienne and her struggles. See here, Vivian's ultimate sexual fantasy and the only way she gets off is if she imagines she is being forced aka raped. Hold your judgemental thoughts for a moment and keep an open mind to the fact that people's sexual desires are the most intimate and private thoughts one has and to be judged for it is in its own realm of cruelty--in my humble opinion, of course.

Vivienne is ashamed of this and has been seeing a therapist for years to work through her issues. This is one of the many reasons I love this book. Vivienne alludes to a trauma in her past and that is a main part of why she sees a therapist in addition to her sexual fantasies. While this is a major part or her life, she is an otherwise well-adjusted woman who has career goals, is in school, and has a few close friends she regards as family. While I understand and know everyone deals with trauma in different way, it was really refreshing to read about a woman who has been through trauma who is otherwise living a happy and full life. I really liked this about Vivienne, especially after knowing how absolutely awful her family is, you can really see her strength as an individual that she is able to overcome her terrible family and is able to love and open up--to an extent--to other people.

Vivienne has struggled to find a sexual partner who meets her needs and fulfills her fantasies, she finds a kindred spirit in Jonah who is the yin to her yang in regards to her particular desire in the bedroom. Their meetings and discussions about fulfilling their shared fantasy is on point. They are mature, thoughtful, detailed, and safe. There is zero fault you can find in their logic of how to go about this in the appropriate way. The scenes they act out are out of this world hot. I feel like I need to point out, yet again, that this is fantasy and consensual and with that said their scenes are some of the hottest I have ever read. Their chemistry is off the charts and their banter is grin-inducing.

And then we go beyond the bedroom because these two inevitably are drawn to each other in more than a sexual way and I couldn't have been happier. Their attempt to have an otherwise "normal" (I hate that word) relationship is a great companion to their hotter than hell sex life. Their struggle to be intimate and not sexual was a lesson they were both learning and I loved watching them do it together. There are scenes late in the book--don't worry, no spoilers!--that Jonah had me fist-pumping, gasping, and smiling like a moron. His protectiveness and possessiveness with Vivienne had my heart racing. He also takes her on some okay dates...I mean, they're really subpar but it's something I'll forgive him for (heh heh). He is a fantastic romantic hero even if his resting bitch face would scare most people away.

Jonah Marks...oh, Jonah. Where do I begin with you? I love a good broody man, resting bitch face included, and he meets the mark...see what I did there? He is intense and passionate, wicked smart, driven, and compassionate. His tale is not an easy one to learn but he is a better man not only in spite of his past but because of it. I loved that Jonah wanted to pursue things beyond the scenes he shared with Vivienne and his protectiveness of her is on another level. He wins all the awards for supportive boyfriend of the year and I'm foaming at the f'ing mouth to get my hands on this next book.

While rape fantasies is actually a common fantasy for women to have, the actual act is very obviously life-ruining. Pace makes this distinction throughout her novel and it is perfect. She is not romanticizing or glamorizing rape. There is a distinct and clear line between rape and rape-play. She handles this controversial topic with grace, eloquence, and psychological understanding of the issue. I really cannot say enough about her writing or plot and how she accomplished what, I believe, very few authors could do.
Backstage Pass
If you love controversial subjects, dark exploration of sexuality, and complex characters...this book's for you.
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1 comment:

  1. I've got to say - this sounds like a VERY Kelly book, and I mean that in the best way. Like, it's the type of story where if I read the summary, I'd immediately think of you. I'm glad you wound up enjoying this one though!


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