Author: Eve Dangerfield
Genre/Age: Contemporary Romance/Erotica
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Format: ebook via The Romance Reviews
Synopsis: Going to an eight-day tropical wedding sounds great, right?
Elle Sahlstrom hates weddings, but she promised her best friend Tory she'd attend her destination ceremony. That is, despite having to endure obnoxious cousins, bad wine, and a phallus-laden bachelorette party. But that’s not the worst part.
The worst part just happened to be sitting next to her on the plane, on his way to the same wedding, guaranteed to be the same insufferable jerk he was years ago.
Jackson Proveaux knows Elle hates him with a passion, but it’s that same passion that has him convinced she’s perfect for him. Unfortunately, he made mistakes in the past, mistakes that involved cocktails, out of control minivans, and a giant misunderstanding that cost him his one and only shot with Elle. The French expat sees the wedding as a chance to atone for his sins. He offers to spend a week at Elle's mercy, and if she still hates him at the end, he’ll leave her alone forever.
Unable to resist a win-win deal, or Jackson, Elle agrees. Their arrangement quickly becomes more complicated than either of them could have anticipated. The grumpy environmentalist never thought Jackson would be able to make her laugh, and he didn’t count on the hot-headed beauty dominating him in the bedroom…or the fact that he'd like it.
A fiery temper, two sets of handcuffs and copious amounts of tequila are guaranteed to make this situation complicated. As the lovers become more entwined in each other’s lives and hearts, one question remains—will their truce survive the wedding, or are they living on borrowed time?
Is it possible to like a book when you despise one of the main characters? Not really...
Elle is a woman who knows what she wants. And what she doesn't want. But as strong as she pretends to be, deep down there is a secret lurking that is hard for her to admit. She is a natural dominant in the bedroom. And because of this, she requires a partner who is willing to submit to her.
Jackson is trying to live down his past and live up to Elle's expectations for a lover. It's a tough job but he's determined to win her over despite their checkered past. And cracking through Elle's shell is a job that requires a lot of patience and sexual stamina. He's got both in spades. Mostly.
Their whirlwind romance (if you can call it that) begins when our couple are thrust together to attend and perform at a friend's destination wedding. Traveling together, singing together, and living next to one another make it hard for Elle to avoid Jackson, though she tries. But when Jackson comes up with a deal in which he will be her sex slave for the week, even Elle cannot refuse. And so it begins...
The story was steadily paced and full of humor. I enjoyed most of the humor but I found Elle to be a bit too much at times. Jackson was a pretty great character with layers and emotions that I could appreciate. He has learned from his history and wants to do better in the future.
Elle was a character I just couldn't bring myself to like. Her best friend had to beg her to come to her wedding. It was pitiful. Who is so self-absorbed that they can't put on a fake smile and do something nice for their bestie? I was turned off from her in the first few chapters. It only went downhill from there...
I eternally cringed, even up until the very last few pages, in which Elle shows that she really hasn't matured a bit in the five years after the main story ends. How can someone claim to really want to be someone else's wife, yet refuse to take their husband's name and require all words that are even somewhat romantic to be removed from the ceremony? What's the point in even getting married? Taxes?
It was almost as if Elle was all of the feminist-ish qualities that I hate, all wrapped into one person. She hated romance even until her last moments and that's a hard pill to swallow when you're reading a *romance* book. The only thing she wanted Jackson for was sex. She didn't need a partner in any other facet of her life because she was just so darn independent, to a fault. Definitely not my kind of heroine. I want to see partnerships and even BDSM couples can have an equal partnership outside of the bedroom. I didn't get that from our couple.
As for the sex, most of it was pretty hot. I've read my share of BDSM so nothing was over-the-top surprising for me. It was less of the pain/spanking sort of sex and more of the denial/delayed orgasm kind. I don't scoff at most kinks and completely understand staving off satisfaction can make it better, but there was definitely no love making here. Not even once. It was disappointing that Jackson couldn't help Elle to see how sex between two people can be emotionally fulfilling, too, not just physically.
One last note, as the story tackles this theme in what I found to be a startling harmful way: Confessing emotions during sex is NOT a terrible thing. It is literally the most emotionally connected and vulnerable you can be with someone. If you can't tell your lover that you care about them during sex, when can you? Thinking it's too soon is one thing, but to suggest that it's never the right situation to say it in? That doesn't sound like romance to me.
Jackson's character is the saving grace that forces me to give this two suns instead of one. If not for him, I'd just assume let Elle suffer forever on her own. Two sulking suns!