Book Reviews, Reviews

[After Dark] Review: Bonds of Hope (Lynda Aicher)

[After Dark] Review: Bonds of Hope (Lynda Aicher)Bonds of Hope Series: Wicked Play #4
on 9-9-2013
Pages: 228
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

Quinn Andrews has a lot to learn about the world of BDSM. Once America's sweetheart, she has an opportunity to revive her career by playing a sexual submissive in a highly anticipated new series. Quinn is ready to throw herself into the role, and her hometown's premier sex club, The Den, is the ideal place for a crash course.

At first Marcus Reese is reluctant to take on Quinn's erotic education, despite his intense attraction to the stunning starlet. While she fulfills his every command perfectly, she's also a consummate actress—and Marcus is determined to uncover the real woman hidden behind the mask.

Quinn's been taking direction all her life, so submitting to a Dom comes easily. But it's not just the most amazing sex she's ever had—Marcus challenges her to define her own needs and make her own decisions. And when her training is over, Quinn will have to choose between continuing to play a part in her own life, or living by her own rules.

Plot: ★★★
Characters: ★★★
Readability: ★★★★

Quinn Andrews is an actress determined to shed her good girl image and break into some different roles.  She plans to revive her career by taking on the role of a sexual submissive.  It’s like nothing she’s ever done before, so she’ll be taking a week of instruction at The Den first in order to play her part convincingly.

Marcus is still adapting to his new role as part-owner of The Den, and at first he’s very reluctant to take on Quinn’s training.  He’s expecting a spoilt celebrity brat, and he can think of plenty of things he’d rather be doing.  He’s pleasantly surprised by Quinn’s apparent natural submissive nature, and they click fantastically.  How can he tell whether she’s truly a submissive or just a damn good actress?  Marcus knows he needs to find out what Quinn really wants in the bedroom – and getting her to face up to that within a week is not going to be easy.  The two also seem to have a blooming attraction but is it real? And could it ever blossom into something more?

Although I really enjoyed the first two books in the Wicked Play series, I was thoroughly disappointed by Bonds of Desire, (book 3).  I was a bit nervous about Bonds of Hope because of that, but I’m pleased to say that Bonds of Hope felt like a return to form for Ms Aicher.  The writing and editing issues I had with Bonds of Desire all seemed to have been addressed in Bonds of Hope, and the book flowed much more in my opinion.

I loved Quinn as a character.  Her life has been planned out for her every step of the way, and she has little to no control over anything.  She also has a nightmare of a stage mother.  Despite all that, she’s vulnerable without being a victim.  She’s certainly used to following orders, but beneath all that she does still have some fire which makes her more likeable.   Her celebrity status doesn’t make her feel shallow, because we also see the difficulties she’s faced because of it.  It’s quite lovely the way she grows so believably throughout the story.

The relationship in Bonds of Hope grows very naturally, helped, I’m sure, by the fact Marcus is such a likeable character.  He’s great at what he does, and he knows just how to get Quinn to open up to him.  Marcus and Quinn have great chemistry, but their relationship is in no way completely physical – they also talk things through, have coffee and generally get to know each other.

All in all, I found Bonds of Hope an enjoyable addition to the Wicked Play series. While there is definitely some steamy sex scenes, Bonds of Hope is above all, a romance.  It has a slight coming-of-age feel, likeable characters and since it’s quite short, would make for an ideal indulgent evening read.

Buy it? It’s currently only £1.53, so I’d definitely be happy to buy it!
In a nutshell: A fun, sexy, character-driven romance.

1 thought on “[After Dark] Review: Bonds of Hope (Lynda Aicher)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.