Sting of Desire
Published August 11th 2009 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Love comes at the turn of a card-or the crack of a whip.
Sandine would love to walk out of her ex-boyfriend's life forever. Except the sadistic bastard stole the ancient tarot cards her late mother gave her, knowing she'll do anything to get them back. Including endure his abuse on the stage of his sex club.
For the crime of trying to get her prized cards back, she's steeling herself for the public beating of her life. Knowing that no matter how much she screams, no one will come to her aid.
Harry Marshall should be immune to undercover work at sex clubs by now. From the moment he spots Sandine chained at the mercy of the suspected drug dealer he's after, his gut tells him something isn't right. He can't believe he'd risk blowing his cover by stepping in, much less his body's erotic reaction to inflicting pain on her luscious body.
Question is, how deeply involved is she in her ex's drug dealing-if at all? If she'd stay out of his way long enough to find out, he wouldn't have to put his own mission in danger to keep protecting her from her ex- and herself.
Warning: Contains lots of bondage, sex clubs, whippings, orgies, tree sex, m/m and a variety of other creative sexual scenarios that might surprise you. Oh, and the hero has a striking resemblance to Han Solo.
Okay, Han Solo is *so* not sexy.
To date, the best BDSM book I have read was Cameron Dane's The Ultimate Kink. It delved into the darker side of the fetish while focusing on the sensual side. This story, however, is all about the perversity of a sex club.
Sandine broke up with her boyfriend, Cain, over a year ago but she hasn't walked away from their sex club, Le Cheval, just yet. She wants her Tarot cards back, the only link to her mother and grandmother she has left. When she attempts to steal them, Cain catches her and binds her on stage, preparing to whip her for her thievery.
Harry Marshall, undercover cop on the biggest case of his life, can't sit idly by in the shadows anymore and for the first time he approaches the one woman who has kept him enthralled since starting the case. He offers himself to be her punisher. But he doesn't expect the lust that flares up at the idea of whipping her soft skin and beats himself up over it on the ride home.
Of course that doesn't stop him from breaking into her apartment and screwing her on the bathroom tiles.
As crazy as it sounds it took me a while to hate Cain, a drug addict who'd rather take a man to his bed than have any other woman besides Sandine. He loves her. In a very intervention needing way. The story is set in the future but the evidence of it is only sprinkled in. Invisible cuffs. No more STDs. And you basically just speak your drink order into your coffee maker.
Sandine is a sex addict who awakens the wilder, dominating side of a boring cop. Which is a nice way of saying she corrupted the man, seducing him into her world where vanilla sex doesn't pack as much as a punch as it once did for Harry. I wouldn't classify her as a sub because she doesn't really submit nor give up any control. For every order Harry delivers, she challenges him back.
Instantly there's a bond born from instinct to trust between Harry and Sandine as they find completion in one another. The relationship between the two does escalate quickly and it's even jumpy at times as moments just appear to happen without any buildup or flow into. Even so, I can't bring myself to agree with Kerste where she reviewed this book on Goodreads and said "Wow, this is probably the worst piece of trash I've ever read. At times it even felt like pages were missing, it was so incoherent." That's just too harsh, even for this. 2 out of 5 stars.