Review: Fixed on You by Laurelin Paige

Reviewed by Caitlin

Alayna Withers works at a nightclub. She just graduated from her NYU MBA program and plans to use it to work her way up the ladder at The Sky Launch. She has a lot of great marketing ideas and loves her job.

But Alayna has a past. She has an obsessive disorder that most recently ended up with her stalking someone and getting a restraining order against her. She’s humiliated to have this in her history, and so she’s wary about any guy that might feed into her obsessive instincts.

Enter Hudson Pierce, a 28-year-old billionaire and CEO of Pierce Industries. He’s a dominant kind of man who hooks Alayna’s interest as soon as he comes by the club for a drink, so she knows he’s all kinds of wrong for her and her, ah, condition. Then when he offers her a two-pronged proposition, she knows she should resist — but she’s not sure she can.

See, the proposition is this: the handsome, sexy, seductive billionaire needs her to pretend to be his fiancĂ©e to get out of having to marry his childhood friend Celia Werner. The relationship will be totally fake. He’s willing to pay off all her student loans to do so.

But he also wants to sleep with her. And the chemistry they have is undeniable.

If this sounds like the book for you, I’ll admit it delivers exactly this. It’s definitely in the vein of 50 Shades of Grey, which I’ll admit I’ve never read. The billionaire trope isn’t one that typically does it for me, and this book reminded me of why.

I picked up this book because I read a couple books Paige wrote with Sierra Simone that I really enjoyed. Since I had read Simone’s back catalogue, I figured it was time to check out Laurelin Paige. Her books aren’t what I usually read, but I was willing to try them because of my past experiences with her.

And the books are easy to read. I devoured them. But I guess my issue with dark romances like this is that Hudson continually crosses Alayna’s boundaries, but it’s okay because he’s so sexy/she’s so into him. Never mind that she has issues that his games are totally going to trigger. He’s a man who gets what he wants, which sounds like the personal motto of every overgrown frat boy in politics right now.

(Is there a way to write a dominant male character who sets his sights on a female character without it coming across as controlling and icky? There has to be, right? Because I’m into that idea, but I feel like the execution is a tough, tiny line to walk.)

However, my biggest issue with the story was Hudson as a character. I guess I just didn’t buy it. I didn’t find him sexy. His lines made me roll my eyes. And I also didn’t believe that a man with such a selfish, dysfunctional past would be so willing to turn everything around for Alayna (who has nice breasts and loves sex and has an obsessive disorder and I think that’s her personality right there?) because of… love, maybe? A love he was unwilling to admit to out loud?

I get the appeal of a story like this, and it’s weird to grade it because when I turned my brain off, I could enjoy it just fine. I sped through it. The suspense is well-paced, even if it does stretch credulity. I would just love to see a BDSM story with a dominant/submissive relationship where the Dom doesn’t cross boundaries that the sub decides aren’t that important after all.

Rating: C

Click to purchase: Amazon

Fixed on You
by Laurelin Paige
Release Date: June 22, 2013
Publisher: Mandevilla Press

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