Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Deep End (Honey #1) by Kristen Ashley @KristenAshley68 @InkSlingerPR

 4 Stars 

The Queen of all Alphas finally entered the BDSM genre realm with her latest release, The Deep End. Welcome to the decadent world of the Bee's Honey Club and prepare yourself for Olivier and Amèlie’s wildly erotic ride.

I'm always excited when hearing there's a new series in the making and Kristen Ashley, my favorite author, now writing BDSM stories is like making all my literary dreams come true. Her romances are extremely steamy, I could only imagine what a full-blown D/s read would be like. Reading the synopsis piqued my curiosity and all these wicked thoughts flooded my mind…
A love story set in a sex club! Sign me up!
A hedonistic den where all dark desires are fulfilled;
Limits of sexual fantasies are boundless;
The promise of sizzling mouth-watering kinkery;
And gorgeous Alpha males submit to the salacious commands of their Mistresses...
Wait. What??

Okay, so the concept of an Alpha submitting to a Domme was nerve-wracking and screwed with my mind a little. It was inconceivable that KA, the author who spoiled me with so many beloved and incomparable heroes, would write about an Alpha-sub. (Not even sure what an “Alpha-sub” was for shit's sake – but I certainly do now). I LOVE the way her fictional men dominate both in and out of the bedroom. How can I possibly love a hero who sexually submits? It's their overly controlling nature that melts me into a big pile of goo and one of the countless reasons why I love getting lost within her stories.

Nervousness be damned, I trustingly laid my heart in KA's hands knowing full well that she would never - could never let me down. Delighted to say she hasn’t. Admittedly, the beginning of this read had a different feel than what I'm used to and it took some time for me to connect with Olivier and Amèlie. However, the vividly descriptive writing that I am familiar with surfaced as the story progressed. Once these characters revealed themselves, and their relationship evolved from sexual encounters and club scenes to feelings of love, I was all in. And note ~ it is a testament to Ashley's story-telling talents to pen an extremely different kind of tale, one that really tested my comfort level, while remaining true to her a style. That's why she's my queen of romance. Whether writing about badass bikers, anti-heroes, vampires & werewolves, ghosts that haunt the living, insanely hot PI's, brooding sexy cops or D/s erotica - I know down to my bones the very essence of a KA story that I relish will ultimately shine through. This time, she sprinkled a heavy dose of delicious kink into her goodness.
Olivier (Olly) is a KA hero through and through, who could be extremely dominant at times, despite his sexually submissive nature. He's all sorts of sexy, swoon-worthy manliness and I love him. A cocky and cheeky S.O.B who's insanely intense, temperamental, possessive, controlling and most importantly... ALL ALPHA-MALE. Amélie is undoubtedly his woman, and Olivier goes about claiming her in every way, in a very clear and dominant way, inside and out of the Honey Club.

Olivier is a mighty beast. Strong, passionate, devoted – he possesses some of the important qualities I look for in a storybook hero. But it was his internal conflict that fascinated me.
He struggled with submitting, regardless of his deep-seated yearning to surrender control. I loved the way Amélie sensed his hesitations and as his Mistress, handled him with care by freely giving exactly what he desired during their scenes.
Amélie was both patient and forceful when opening up her world to Olly. She broke through the barriers while allowing him the time to find comfort with his sexual proclivities. Conversely, being a dominant herself, Amélie willingly accepted the man Olly needed to be when playtime was over. It was an essential part of their dynamic relationship that I needed to understand in order to connect with this couple.

Amélie's (Leigh-Leigh) character took me by surprise and not what I expected a Domme to be. Overly sophisticated, reserved and confident in her sexuality, she wielded her dominance and riding crop with finesse. However, she was burdened with insecurities. Tired of entertaining temporary "toys", Amélie wanted to share her life with a man who could own her heart and satisfy her desires. I adored the way Olivier recognized Amélie's vulnerabilities and affectionately tended to her needs as well. Together, this couple’s relationship grew sexually and emotionally, both giving and taking. They balanced each other beautifully. I savored every moment of their journey from building bonds of trust to discovering a shared deep-rooted connection from their play/love relationship.
Now with a new series, a new genre and taking a great departure from the norm, fans may be apprehensive fearing the unknown. After all, this is unchartered territory for Ms. Ashley. Having read The Deep End and expressing the same concerns, I would encourage both fans and those who enjoy BDSM reads to open their minds, take a faithful leap into this couple’s story, and judge it for themselves. I had my doubts, it was unfamiliar to me in the beginning, but happy to say I enjoyed it. I will warn that Olivier and Amèlie's sexual play was wildly kinky and outrageous at times. More than once I needed to take a step back, catch my breath and wrap my head around the scenes – they were extremely intense and scorching hot. A good start to what I believe will be a great series. I cannot wait to play with more sexy bees from the Honey.

I voluntarily reviewed an advance copy of this publication  

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