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Monday, 5 August 2013

Waking Kiss by Annabel Joseph

Waking Kiss (BDSM Ballet, #1)
A stranger in the wings, a traitorous pair of toe shoes, and a traumatic turn dancing with The Great Rubio… For ballerina Ashleigh Keaton, it’s been one hell of a night.
But it’s not over yet. When Rubio drags her to a private BDSM party at his friend’s house in the ritzy part of London, she meets Liam Wilder, a lifestyle dominant and frighteningly seductive man. Liam pursues Ashleigh, attracted by her strength and talent, but she has secrets—an abusive past and a crippling fear of intimacy that prevents her from connecting to anyone, especially a kinky playboy reputed to be legendary in bed.

Eventually he wins her trust and sets out to heal the troubled dancer, awakening her to a world of erotic obedience and sensual abandon in a series of “sessions” at his home. But how pure are his motives? Is he helping her or endangering her fragile soul? Liam hides his own destructive secrets, and so does Fernando Rubio, their temperamental friend. Over time the three become embroiled in a tangle of artifice, fears, and lies that threaten to undo everything they’ve worked for.

Will Ashleigh and Liam find the strength to defeat their demons? Or are they cursed to sleepwalk through life forever, afraid to experience the passion and intimacy of love?

Note: This 81K word romantic novel contains reflections on childhood abuse and violence which may disturb some readers.

Rhonda's Review:

This is the first novel by Annabel Joseph that I’ve had the pleasure of reading, and I really enjoyed it. The City Ballet of London provides a nice back drop to the story. Now I’m fairly picky when it comes to erotica. I prefer a story that actually has a story, and this book came through for me. 

Ashleigh Keaton likes being the invisible corps girl in the ballet, until an injury to “Sleeping Beauty” abruptly thrusts her into the spotlight, and into the life of Liam Wilder, and opening up a new world for her. Ashleigh has become complacent in her life, but when she finds herself at a party at Liam’s home after a show she witnesses a lifestyle that sparks her interest. But Ashleigh’s damaged past that keeps her from letting go in her sexuality. 

Liam Wilder is a busy man, running an international personal security service. He doesn’t have time for complications such as a relationship, so he entertains himself with “BDSM sluts” in his very own playroom where he commonly has parties. The night Ashleigh comes crashing into his life, she starts chipping away at his walls. Liam has secrets of his own, secrets that keep him from letting go with his heart. 

Ashleigh and Liam find themselves in an arrangement. One that has them both at some point revisiting their past. I really loved how Annabel Joseph intertwined these character’s stories and brought them together. There were some very emotional moments and I found myself tearing up, there are also some funny moments in this story. I thought Annabel Joseph did a beautiful job with the character development with the main characters, and also the secondary characters Fernando Rubio, and Mem. I have to say Rubio absolutely stole the show! My first impression was that he’s an ass, but it didn’t take long before his crudeness and lack of filter won me over. I absolutely adored him and look forward to his story in book 2. 

This story is a light introduction to BDSM, which is not the focal point of the story. This in my opinion is definitely a character driven story. There is no cliffhanger, the story wraps  everything up in the end. 

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