Picking up directly after Personal Geography, book 2 continues India and Cris’s story. If you’ve not read book 1, this will contain spoilers as these are not stand-alone books. I made mention in my review for Personal Geography specifically about India – I didn’t like her and to be honest, I still didn’t like her in book 2. I found her immature, selfish and a class A jerk. This conclusion reveals a more pleasant demeanor, but she was in no way likeable to me. But as I’m a sucker for a good story, credit goes to Tamsen Parker because this was a compelling read, even with India for a heroine.
At the end of book 1, I was left with a – what just happened? moment. I couldn’t believe it wasn’t even an HFN, but I also knew going in that this wasn’t a stand-alone. Furthermore, I really didn’t know if Cris would continue in the next story because India is undecided and plain wishy-washy, if she wants to continue the weekend visits with Cris. The more I got to know India, the less I felt sorry for her. She’s got the “my family didn’t love me” syndrome that some how manifests itself in this need to submit and have kinky sex. I’m not judging her for the kinky sex part either, because to each his own, but I was never clear on how being submissive was the answer for her.
It’s like she lived in this bubble created by Rey and herself where her ENTIRE world was either work or some elements of BDSM. I mean nothing else. She had zero friends outside of world that Rey introduced her to. I still didn’t understand what Rey’s occupation was – even India didn’t know. I’m not sure you can really call someone your best friend if you don’t even know what they do to earn a living; especially when said living might or might not be selling India’s services to the highest bidder. I really don’t know, so I’m speculating.
The development of the relationship that India and Cris have is completely on India’s terms. If I tell you she’s an unpleasant child, I would be understating my impression. She says when, how and where. She’s still going to Rey when she’s having a bad day. It wasn’t until way past the 75% mark that I had a modicum of not-dislike bordering on apathy for India. But even with all that – I still read, because the story telling was engaging. I was really wanting some redeeming quality that would make me like her – I don’t know.
I continue to have a lot of questions about Cris and his past story (and I read every word of these stories). Other than knowing that he’s a very experienced Dominant and a sadist, there’s no history that I was privy to that gave me a good feel for his past as a Dom. There’s a good story line about his parents and what he feels he’s obligated to do as a good son; there were other parts of his personality and his life away from India that I would have liked to see. His kink factor is just as high as India, there’s a clothespin scene that made me cringe. Speaking of kink factor – it gets turned up a notch from book 1, some of their activities read almost like an instruction manual.
Last, as a reader of romance, there are certain things that I expect and one of them is monogamy even when there’s a split between the characters. I feel the same way when guys have sex with women who are not the heroine. India has a sexcapade with someone who’s not Cris, it happens early in book 2 so it’s not a spoiler, but between her act and Cris’s easy forgiveness my eyebrows hit my hairline. It pains me to say this, but India didn’t value the sexual act as an expression of affection or love – she has no problems having angry sex with someone who isn’t Cris. Furthermore, unless there’s a D/s dynamic she’s not having a good time – as a matter of fact, her and Cris had no sexual relation where there wasn’t an exchange of power. For this reader – that got tiring and repetitive.
If you enjoy erotica with strong BDSM elements, this would be a good pick.
Happy Reading folks!
*Book provided by author for review
Click to purchase: Amazon
Intimate Geography (The Compass, 2)
by Tamsen Parker
Release Date: March 2, 2015