Monday, January 27, 2014

Slow Seduction by Cecilia Tan

The Basics:
Slow Seduction by Cecilia Tan
Book Two in the Struck by Lightning series
Published Jan 28, 2014

Why I picked up this book:

I liked that Karina, in the blurb, is actively going after what she wants - agency!

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


Unforgettable passion . . .

Two months have passed since Karina's painful departure from James, the mysterious lover who awakened her darkest desires, and she'll do anything-anything-to locate him and win him back. Her search takes her to London, where she finds herself immersed in the world of fine art and forbidden pleasures. And soon, Karina meets another enigmatic man who promises to help her find James .. . for a price.

Unexpected pleasure . . .

Damon George is rich, gorgeous, and a member of a secret society that caters to the sensual thrills of the wealthy and powerful. Though Karina insists her heart will always belong to James, Damon is determined to have her, body and soul. By the time she finds James, Karina has been "trained" to please another. Will James reject her again . . . or find her more irresistible than ever?

My thoughts:

I haven't read the first book in the trilogy which put me at a disadvantage. I don't have an emotional attachment to Karina and James as a pairing, so her need to find him, to reconnect, doesn't quite resonate with me.

There's a lot of sex and sexual activity in this book - I liked that there was a such a variety and the creativity of it all. I didn't like that Karina was submitting to it as part of her training, to find James. Sussing out her own sexual preferences was, at least, a small pro of it all. I felt a bit uncomfortable about it otherwise.

I did think that Karina was a pretty cool character. I liked that she set boundaries and maintained them. Her willpower was a fierce thing. She was also willing to put herself out there in so many different ways, and I have to respect that. Her actions weren't just about sex and pleasure but an expression of love and hope and optimism. I hope that she sticks to her guns through the third book.

I loved the art and the play of it against all the sexual material. It was a good way to ground the book, I thought.

Bottom line:

The line about being trained in the blurb concerned me, but I did actually like the approach to BDSM that this story takes. That said, there's too much sex without much interest in it. Karina puts her body on the line for a chance to find James and I didn't find it to be an exchange nor to be particularly sexy.

That said, I'm curious about the third book will bring after the way this one leaves things hanging....

4 stars**
For fans of BDSM erotica, practical erotica, yearning, spanking

** Confession time: when I started reading the book, I had misgivings about the 'training' language in the blurb, which didn't phase me when I selected the book initially, so I guess it was a mood I was in. I skipped to the middle and then to the end, and then back to the beginning. In the end, I never read the book straight through from front to back, though I did read multiple chapters in a row.

At first, I really didn't like what I was reading, but it did grow on me. I was going to give the book 3.5 stars, but after thinking about the fact that I was curious about the third book, and that the more I read from start to finish, the more I liked the book, I bumped the rating up to 4 stars. I acknowledge that if read as intended from the very start, this book *might* have received an even higher rating.

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