Series: Asking for It #1
Published by Berkley on June 2nd, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance
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ÔÇ£This is who I am. This is what I want. Now I need a man dangerous enough to give it to me.ÔÇØ
Graduate student Vivienne Charles is afraid of her own desiresÔÇöashamed 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. AndÔÇödespite their attempts to stay apartÔÇösoon their emotions are bound together as tightly as the rope around VivienneÔÇÖs 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.
****** 6 STARS ******
I’m a mess. An emotional, blubbering mess trying to catch my breath.
“Asking For It” by Lilah Pace has destroyed me. It has deconstructed everything I thought I knew and put it back together – completely different.
“Asking For It” by Lilah Pace isn’t for everyone. I wasn’t sure it was for me. But soon, the story, the writing, the characters have drawn me in, captured not only my attention, but a part of my heart and soul.
Lilah Pace addresses a taboo topic with so much sensitivity, finesse and respect and still manages to make it captivating, emotional and full of heart-ache, passion and romance.
This book evoked so many emotions, I’d need a whole review just to name them all. It was thought-provoking, heart-breaking, sexy, hot, unnerving. And the list goes on.
It had a certain mellowness to it, that brought out the intensity and rawness of the characters, their actions, thoughts and feelings.
Vivienne is a young woman who has a hard time making peace with the sexual fantasies she has. Fantasies of being taken by force, of non-consensual sex. The rougher the man and act in her fantasy, the more she feels turned on. She feels ashamed and alone, knowing she won’t find someone to share this fantasy with.
When Jonah Marks enters her life and learns her secret, fantasy might become reality as he is willing play the role. What starts out hesitant and slow, soon becomes all-consuming passion, both of them relishing the games the play and the sex they couldn’t share with anyone else. But this kind of closeness and trust leaves them not only vulnerable but blurs the lines and limits they set for themselves at the start. Soon the need to remain strangers fades as they crave each other emotionally and feelings that go beyond the sexual emerge.
But can two people with horrible secrets find a way to each other? Can two people that are broken heal each other?
The characters Lilah Pace created are incredible. They have depth and so much personality.
Vivienne is strong, despite feeling damaged. She’s guarded and secretive, yet has people in her life she loves unconditionally. She’s an incredible friend, a great artist and despite everything in her life so balanced. I admired her strength so much. Seeing her change and grow, learning to speak up, to not hide from conflict was beautiful. The way her feelings for Jonah were changing and the way she acknowledged it, made her stronger than she probably ever realized. I loved how she wasn’t self-centered. She didn’t wallow in self-pity, didn’t whine and complain. No matter what happened, she went on with her life. She struggled, she cried, she hurt, but she never gave up.
Jonah on the other hand doesn’t give much away. What’s clear from the start is that he’s troubled, haunted, damaged. But despite that and despite the fact that his craving for the role play him and Vivienne indulge in should be scary, he comes across as thoughtful, protective, caring, respectful and controlled. As wrong as it felt, I found him to be extremely appealing. He was controlling and his darker side was unnerving, and yet it didn’t stop him from being sexy. There were moments where he revealed a tenderness that took my breath away. Moments, where it was clear he’s carrying the pain of the world on his shoulders.
Vivienne and Jonah’s journey tilted my world on its axis. “Asking for It” by Lilah Pace broke my heart in ways I never thought possible when I read the blurb.
This book is in a class of its own.
6 I-wish-I-could-give-it-more stars.
~Review by Paula
(Previously posted on TBE)