When Kendra Morgan attends a party at an exclusive sex club, she’s not driven by mere curiosity. Hoping to prove she’s put the past behind her, Kendra must instead face up to needs she’s denied for too long. Despite her lingering fears, she can’t resist the temptation to play…
Deklan Winters has had his eye on his attractive neighbor for months, but only senses Kendra is no stranger to the BDSM scene when she walks into his club. And he can tell that’s not her only secret. What surprises him is his own overwhelming desire to give her what she craves—and to show her a side to the Dom/sub relationship she’s never known.
With Deklan’s guidance, Kendra begins to accept her forbidden needs and to recognize the fine line between pleasure and pain. But when her former Master returns to reclaim her, it will take all her courage—and all of Deklan’s love—to defy her past.
Author: Lynda Aicher
Length: 85000 words (212 pages according to Amazon)
Series: Second in the Wicked Play series
Kendra Morgan is a former submissive driven from BDSM by a mysterious ex- Master. Deklan Winters, one of the co-owners of The Den, is drawn to Kendra’s obviously submissive nature, and is determined to help her move past the emotional scars left from her past relationship.
Kendra is a very different heroine to the likes of Anastasia Steele (Fifty Shades). Not only is she already familiar with the world of BDSM, she’s also a feisty, determined individual, fighting to overcome her own demons. Kendra is also a masochist, which means there is some pain involved in scenes – however, it was never overly graphic, (less explicit than Enslaved for those of you who have read that). Deklan is also a great character – a patient, caring Dom with a slight hero complex. He’s not perfect – he has his own scars, he asks his friends for advice and he occasionally has a hard time stepping back. He can also cook, he’s not terribly sociable and he gets frustrated at times. It’s nice to see a hero who manages to also come across as a normal guy!
Although Bonds of Need is an erotic novel, it’s also very much a romance, and despite a lot of play, Kendra and Deklan don’t just jump straight into bed. It makes a refreshing change to see their relationship build, rather than the ‘out of character’ one night stands that seem to begin so many stories. Their romance is really the key to the story, with the sex an addition, rather than the other way around. One thing I loved about Bonds of Need is the added plot that comes from having a crazy, stalker ex-Master. It may be a plot that’s played out many times before, but it works! The anticipation of a threat (or worse) from Eric added just enough suspense, and I finished this in an evening – I literally couldn’t put it down!
The book tackles a few real issues, which is something I loved about it. One example is that Kendra’s former Master had her convinced that her masochism was wrong, that there must be something wrong with her to enjoy pain. Kendra’s self-esteem plummeted as a result, and she constantly doubted her own desires. As well as this, through Kendra’s experiences, Aicher manages to convey the differences between a healthy, safe and consensual BDSM relationship, and an abusive relationship under the guise of BDSM. These are realistic, important issues that Aicher addressed wonderfully, with gradual, believable resolutions.
Although this is the second in a series, I firmly believe you can read this without having read the first book. It was nice to see the familiar faces from Bonds of Trust, but I don’t think it would in any way detract from the story to read this alone.
Buy it? I’d be happy to buy this one (and I hope it comes out in print because it’s a keeper)
In a nutshell: A romance first and foremost, with complex characters, a novel plot, and some heart-breakingly emotional scenes.