This review is difficult for me. I had to give it 5 stars as everything I judge a book on is there: the story line, character development, enough backstory, emotional involvement as they progress in their relationship. Why do I have a problem? The Dom is a sadist, I have a personal problem with sadists. That should give you an idea how well I think this author writes.
Ms. Dalton states in the forward to her book that she is personally involved in the BDSM lifestyle, I really appreciate this insight as I always wonder. It also added to my consideration while reading the book.
Anyway, the Dom is not a millionaire, but a manager in a well paid job, one that he keeps his private life separate from, something many of us can identify with. He's had a 'committed' relationship before, it didn't go well, and he knows himself well enough to know he doesn't like, or want, 'drama llamas' in his life, (book's words, but I like the label). He's involved in a club with good friends where he is a DM, sub trainer, & player. Oh, he's also a sadist, and an 'Old School Dom'.
The female reporter has just relocated due to an emotional wounding, her former fiance put her in debt due to his addiction to BDSM porn. The porn is very much on her mind when in her first staff meeting her boss asks for story ideas & she blurts out 'kinky sex practices'. She takes on the assignment to learn why her former boyfriend was so enthrall to it, even though the entire idea makes her very uncomfortable.
Of course our Dom becomes her sub trainer. During the course of her journey Shay meets, and becomes close friends with, several females who have been involved in the lifestyle for some time, in varying roles, and help to rebuild her trust in people. These women give her the needed perspective of intelligent, independent, secure women who also are subs.
This was not only a journey of discovery for Shay, but also for me. It didn't change how I personally feel about sadists, but thanks to Ms. Dalton I understand so much more, about their motivation, and about the receiving partner's, who's not always a pure masochist.
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in a more knowledgeable, and less sugar-kink, version of BDSM. My personal dislike with sadists & 'old school' Doms not withstanding, I will be reading the rest of the Suncoast series.