The beginning of Marie Force writing as M.S. Force surprised the you-know-what out of me. I wasn’t surprised by the writing skills of Force, which I’m a fan of, but that she’s delving into the ever-popular BDSM category. I held on to this story for a couple weeks before I started it. I dang near got on my knees and prayed that Force wouldn’t fall in the erotica trap where it’s more prevalent to get to the sex than it is for the story line to make sense and the characters to stay true to themselves. Fair warning, this is a serial and the books continue one to the other. If you read this story, you should expect to have a cliffhanger.
Natalie Bryant is a 23 year old teacher who has recently moved from Nebraska to NY. She’s a first year teacher in the big city, loves her job and is perfectly content with her life. One day while walking her dog, Fluff-O-Nutter, the animal gets away from Natalie and runs right smack dab into Flynn Godfey. Flynn Godfrey is the current reigning champion in the world of acting. He’s also someone that Natalie is aware of through the media and she’s flabbergasted when Flynn wants to spend time with her. Accepting his spur of the moment invite for coffee then dinner later, up front Natalie sets Flynn straight by letting him know that she’s not going to sleep with him and furthermore, she’s waiting for marriage before she has sex.
The thing about this innocent young girl and the older (Flynn is 33) male is an old premise, not quite May/December and the experiences of each character is varied. Flynn is from Hollywood royalty – both of his parents are well-known and well-loved actors and his own past has signs of nepotism but Flynn’s goal has always been to make his parents and family proud. Natalie’s past is much different than Flynn’s. There are glimpses of what that life was like but I’m not 100% sure, yet, of what her story is.
There are not a lot of ups and downs for this couple outside of the typical paparazzi stuff that’s portrayed by the entertainment media as a ‘breaking story’. It’s kind of a scary thing, that because these people are actors and are in the public eye that we ‘need’ to know about their personal lives too. But I digress.
I liked Natalie. I didn’t like the way she so quickly surrendered to the lust, but she’s 23 and this is supposed to be edgy and towards the steamier side of romance, so I guess that’s to be expected. I didn’t think she was as mature as many of the characters thought that she was, but then again, I have high expectations. At 23, she’s already graduated college, she’s living on her own; she has a job. She’s moved half way across the country to become a school teacher, for goodness sake. I hope she’s smart and has a good head on her shoulders. There are enough hints for her background that suggest that she’s already been knocked about by life and circumstances, so I’m hoping that she’s going to stay strong and not fall for any stupid lines from Flynn.
Had Flynn not had his own voice, I’m positive I would have not have liked him anywhere close to how much I actually do. He’s got a past, as he should. He’s 10 years older than Natalie and the ease of getting sex with his status in Hollywood makes it believable that the women and sex were his for the taking. What he’s not revealed to Natalie, however, is that he’s a Dominant in the BDSM world and he’s the owner of 2 BDSM clubs. He’s keeping all this from Natalie because he senses something fragile about her and along with that, she’s already told him that she’s got no interest in having sex outside of marriage. So why scare her, right? Best laid plans…
Told in 1st person POV, there’s a good deal of both Flynn and Natalie’s thoughts and motivations. It’s rare for me to enjoy this POV but thank goodness, I was neither disappointed nor confused. There’s a plethora of characters to get to know and love and they’re all integral in the path of this couple finding their HEA, but not yet. Book 2, Valorous, is coming up next.
Happy Reading Folks!
*ARC provided by author for review
Click to purchase: Amazon
by M.S. Force
Release Date: April 14, 2015