Review: True North by Tamsen Parker

true northReviewed by Shelly

This is a really hard review for me to write, because I find myself wanting to say so much and not give too much away. I’ve done way too many revisions before settling down. I read this book purely on my experience with the writer. I find her storytelling to be very engaging, even when I neither like the characters or when I find the story category not to my liking. This one crossed too many lines of what I find pleasurable to read but I still found the writing to be good solid stuff. As with India, Slade’s story is his POV only.

Six years after his divorce from his wife, Pressly Allwyn, Slade Lewis, Assistant Secretary of HUD, is still floundering in a way that makes it very difficult for me to like him. As a matter of fact, just like India Burke from books 1 & 2 in the series, I can’t stand this guy. When I say that Slade is floundering, his weapon of choice is humiliation (he likes dishing it out) and he doesn’t understand why he needs that in his life to make himself happy. Do you know how disrespectful it is to be the unwilling recipient of spitefully hurtful words that are very rarely true? Well the thing is Slade doesn’t care who he calls gutter trash because that’s how he gets his rocks off, literally. And even worse yet, this piece of sh*t douchebag enjoys saying that nonsense to his subordinates; way to be a man there (that’s all sarcasm).

This story overlaps from Book 2 when India and Slade are working on a project and have mutual physically violent sex. There was so much wrong there I can’t even begin to tell you. But it’s through India that Slade finds out that there are people out there who willingly like to do the kinds of things he wants to do. After getting a referral to and contacting Reyes Walter – he’s in India’s story as her mysterious caretaker and pimp (I can’t be convinced he’s not her pimp), Slade is thrust into the BDSM world that he was previously unaware of.

During a random night at Black House, Slade runs into – of all people – his ex-wife, Pressly. Pressly is a member of the club and is described more of a submissive than a bottom (I don’t know the difference) but she definitely enjoys the lifestyle and has a much more experience than Slade. And it turns out that she likes being called a sl*t during her scenes with Slade. It’s not long before they’re interacting and having sex in all sorts of previously denied ways. Slade is in heaven now that he can call Pressly all the vile names that he’s always dreamed of. Yeah, he feels bad after but he so enjoys it in the moment.

Slade is a contradiction of everything I want in a hero. He’s insulting to everyone but Rey and that’s only because Rey gets him access to the things that make his heart go flutter. There’s nothing about Slade that’s redeeming to me, not even in their HEA. I didn’t like Pressly either. She’s been raised to basically be a politician’s wife, so I would assume that the self esteem had to be relatively high to make a comeback from their divorce – I would have really liked to find out how Pressly managed in the six years since their divorce; I was really interested to know how did she get introduced into the lifestyle that she lives. The biggest thing for me was I really truly didn’t understand how Pressly’s kink. She enjoyed these endearments during sex – filthy cock-hungry whore, slut, are just a few and let’s not get into the whole licking of the shoe. I would have liked to have something that I could at least empathize with and I never found that.

I know there was romance in here, but I had the dickens of a time trying to find it because these two, it/they was just a bit too much for me. Then Slade just kept doing things to chase Pressly away and for some reason she just kept coming back. It was too easy and too quick and I seriously had no clue what she found endearing, attractive or worthwhile in that man.

The character development is there ,but even though I disliked Slade, this story didn’t grip me the way that India’s story did. Slade was too much of an all encompassing jerk for me to appreciate him; or maybe the category is just something that I don’t enjoy – I didn’t realize humiliation could be so… humiliating.

Speaking of, I’m not sure how this as*clown is going to make it in public office – never mind, he’ll do just fine up in D.C.

If you enjoy erotica and BDSM elements where the kink factor is humiliation, this would be a good pick.

Happy Reading folks!

Rating: B for the story but this is not for me

*Book provided by author

Click to purchase: Amazon

True North
by Tamsen Parker
Release Date: July 25, 2016

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