Published by St. Martin's Griffin My Best Friend's Stepfather #1 on November 3rd 2015
Genres: BDSM, Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance
I knew this story could launch my career, but I never thought it would lead me down a path of sin and decadence...bondage and submission. He was my subject; I became his slave.
Ashley's first lead feature as a reporter should have been simple: interview Darien Gallagher, a real life Dom, for a magazine article and launch her career as a leading journalist, but with Dare, nothing is ever simple... Mysterious, wealthy, sexy as sin, and completely off limits, Ashley knows she shouldn't crave his touch, his kiss, but she does. Even though he's her best friend's stepfather...
What started for Dare as a lesson in domination suddenly has become so much more. He knows Ash is younger, more sheltered, friends with his former stepdaughter, but he can't deny the spark between them, even though he knows it's wrong.
With every word, every lesson, Dare tests Ash's resolve and pushes her boundaries. While Adam, Ashley's boss, has her craving things she shouldn't. The assignment that was supposed to land her on the top is about to topple her to her knees.
I was confused reading this book because I couldn’t figure out the identity of the hero. The blurb features Dare but the story began with Adam’s POV, the heroine’s best friend. Adam and Ashley both have feelings for one another but have never acted on their attraction. This book has, and what I call, a soap opera feel with an obvious love triangle brewing. There’s not much character depth and this serial is definitely meant for a quick read. The BDSM doesn’t have a ring of authority, and there was no mention of safe words. It was literally wham bam. The BDSM feels like it was tacked on, but regardless it was a cracky read and I can see the appeal of the author, who I’ve never previously read before.
From reading the first installment, I’m predicting the conflict is going to be Ashley wanting both Adam and Dare. While she feels this overwhelming excitement towards Dare, who has this commanding presence and is a lot older, she views Adam as a dear friend, someone deeply closer to her but she’s unwilling to ruin their friendship (and she also wants Dare) so she’s not willing to give Dare up for Adam, which sucks for poor Adam. Adam really likes Ashley but they’ve never realised (until now) that they both like each other. Adam also has a secret history with Dare after he worked with him for experience years ago, but he won’t say a word what happened, other than Ashley noticed it changed him completely.
Dare is divorced from the bestfriend’s mother. There’s some history with her former bestfriend Helen, who is the former the step-daughter to Dare, but the girls, including Ashley’s other bestfriend, Jennifer, haven’t talked in years because of secrecy surrounding why Helen went away.
I repeat there’s not much character depth and the story is totally different to what the blurb described but the read was cracky, a little fun, with immature characters, and yes, I’m going to read the next instalment to find out what happened to the very dramatic ending.
** Update: There’s not going to be a review of the second installment because what I read was not good and I DNF it at 38%. Lots of immaturity and found it incredibly disturbing that all these young women were fawning at Dare, with one scene in which his step-daughter threw herself at him, and then at Ashley. All over messed up in an already messed up premise.