This is my first novel by Roni Loren. As book 4 in the Loving on the Edge series, I’m not sure this was the best place to start. One of the things I wish I had prior to starting this book was a content warning – BDSM, m/f/m, m/m/f (not between the H/h), exhibitionism/voyeurism and role playing including a slave scene which made me so uncomfortable that I glossed over it. So consider yourself warned. I’ve recently read a few of these stories where the heroine didn’t have a history in this kind of lifestyle and I’ve yet to find one where I truly understand the woman’s motivation for getting in to it. But then again, maybe I’m not supposed to.
Filled with twists and turns, there was enough non-sex story line to make it a quick read. Considering I’m such a sucker for dialogue, I especially liked that conversations flowed so well. Back in Dallas after ending her 13 year marriage to her high school boyfriend Douglas Barrett, Tessa McAllen has a long way to go to getting her life on track. She has no marketable skills and works as a temp. Restaurant mogul Kade Vandergriff is a man of means and power. During a singles event at one of his restaurants, he runs into Tessa and they share a fun-filled night of sex and cooking.
I had a lot of trouble with Tessa, her beliefs and her actions. I’m not sure where to start with her so I’ll start at the beginning. We find out about Tessa and Kade’s history through flashbacks and while that’s usually not something I mind, I found myself wanting to know more about these present day characters. After her mother overdosed, Tessa grew up in foster care and has moved from home to home. She found herself in a home where she was determined to stay. It’s during that time that she met Kaden (there’s a purposeful name change) for the first time and they get to know each other due to Tessa’s need for an English tutor. Douglas is also in the picture as the big jock on campus and Tessa’s boyfriend. There’s a lot of back and forth between these three and it all led up to a night when some pretty bad things happen.
I could understand the old Tessa’s motivation for wanting to have a secure future where she would always have a place and always know that she’s welcome. I get that. What I didn’t get is the transition from Douglas being a total asshat in high school to being a celebrated pastor. I honest to goodness could not see how that happened. But I digress.
Present day Tessa, I definitely didn’t understand at all. And here’s why – in all the years of being married to Douglas and going to church and being involved in the church, how do you not have one single solitary friend there? How does that church life, not as a pastor’s wife, but as a member of the church just disappear because of a divorce? Am I being too picky with the situation? I don’t know but I just didn’t understand that at all.
The scenes that included any aspect(s) of BDSM and its associated lifestyle were fine and dandy, but even within that, I didn’t understand many of the choices they made, especially about sharing Tessa and Tessa being okay with it. I didn’t see what in her past would suggest that she would be okay with that considering the reason she divorced her husband. There were many situations that Tessa easily accepted because Kade wanted her to – that caning had to have hurt something fierce. The way she fell into all aspects of BDSM was too easy and convenient for me – she didn’t say no to anything.
The only part of Kade’s personality that I liked was his role as a father. Nothing else rang believable for me. I would have liked to know more about his relationship with his ex-wife and how she manipulated the situation to her advantage, but I didn’t. And I feel kinda cheated that I didn’t get to see the court case when the judge was no longer in her corner. But oh well.
Overall, the chemistry between present day Kade and Tessa didn’t work for me. I can’t say that I ever saw these two as a couple and I always felt that they were both in it for the sex and the kink. Douglas, the ex-husband and one of the worst excuses for a human being is one of my favorite bad guys this year. There’s a line that I’ve heard that so perfectly describes him – ‘a wasted opportunity for cradle death’. He’s so disgusting and shouldn’t even be a member of society but I couldn’t enough of him. I still don’t see how he could get away with what he did and be a pastor but then again, what do I know? There are some other characters – Gibson, Kane’s brother and Colby, Kane’s best friend – who I’m sure will have their own stores eventually. Unfortunately, this wasn’t a story for me and I doubt either the previous or the latter ones in the series will be either.
Happy reading folks!
*ARC provider by the publisher via NetGalley
Click to purchase: Amazon
Need You Tonight
by Roni Loren
Release Date: March 4, 2014