Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Review: Asking For It by Lilah Pace

Series: Asking For It #1
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Erotica / Contemporary / Dark Romance
Source: Copy provided for honest review
Rating: ★★★★
Book Links: Amazon US  | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | iBooks

“This is who I am. This is what I want. Now I need a man dangerous enough to give it to me.” 

Graduate student Vivienne Charles is afraid of her own desires—ashamed to admit that she fantasizes about being taken by force, by a man who will claim her completely and without mercy. When the magnetic, mysterious Jonah Marks learns her secret, he makes an offer that stuns her: they will remain near-strangers to each other, and meet in secret so that he can fulfill her fantasy.

Their arrangement is twisted. The sex is incredible. And—despite their attempts to stay apart—soon their emotions are bound together as tightly as the rope around Vivienne’s wrists. But the secrets in their pasts threaten to turn their affair even darker...

Reader Advisory: Asking for It deals explicitly with fantasies of non-consensual sex. Readers sensitive to portrayals of non-consensual sex should be advised.

Asking For It pushes the boundaries of twisted and dark erotica by seating the reader soundly in the middle of sexual uncomfortableness, hopeful romanticism and psychological curiosities.

Vivienne Charles is perhaps the most interesting character I've read all year.  The path that leads to her fantasies and how those fantasies rule such a major part of her life, was beyond intriguing. She doesn't want to think the things she does, she certainly doesn't want her body to respond to those thoughts with so much passion. She lives in secret, trusting people with such dark desires isn't easy.

Jonah understands Vivienne's plight. He has some depraved wants of his own. The difference between Vivienne and Jonah is that Asking for It is written in Vivienne's point of view. So, we get to understand where her desires stem from. Maybe understand is too strong of a word. Regardless, we don't get that with Jonah. He's a mystery for a good portion of the book.  But no less interesting and appealing.

When the secrets all begin to unravel and the emotions taking place outside of the fantasy play, hit...that's when it becomes all the more heartbreaking.

Asking for It is not a standalone, but I'm thankful for that. I don't think the issues these two have, with themselves and each other, would be easily tidied up in one book.  The life and times of Vivienne and Jonah is, at best, bone jarring.  That shit takes time to mend.

I had a hard time setting this story down to live my own life. I was so curious as to how any real, sustainable relationship could come out of something so deeply personal and terrifying.  Asking for It is a strange mix of sadness, tenderness, tragedy and sexuality - told by a tender hand.

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