Awakening by Elene Sallinger
My Rating: 2/5 Stars
Confounded and baffled on so many levels, it’s hard to state rather emphatically how I truly feel about this read. On the one hand, I rather liked Claire Ryan, Bridget (no last name), and Evan Lane to the point that I considered them good acquaintances by the end of this tale. In some ways, Claire reminded me of…well me. If I were female, that is. Shy, but definitely not quiet, her stronger, talkative self was just bursting at the seam of her jeans. She tentatively explored the BDSM world through a series of engorging reads, becoming more aroused with each tale, and her high pain tolerance helped her out immensely in this new universe. Bridget with her bubbly personality and stunning good looks reminded of a cheerleader who hasn’t exceeded her expiration date. Evan, on the other hand, confounded me a bit with his overemphasis on past guilt and unwillingness to embrace the present. While his actions and motivations become clear, it’s hard not to be a bit frustrated with his constant clinginess to previous wrongs.
Steamy scenes and passionate embraces filled the pages, but not to the point that it ever exceeded my threshold. The peek behind the bedroom curtain left me hot and heavy and bothered and squirming in my chair, while the downtime allowed me to catch my breath, reevaluate the purpose of my life, and study long division. Elene Sallinger knows how to turn up the heat and strike your pleasure points with a fine leather flogger.
But…the first half of AWAKENING reminded me of a high school crush not yet realized, and the buildup proved an exercise in self-control to continue to flip the pages. Sure, there’s character development and story, but there’s a whole lot of dancing around in Claire’s and Evan’s heads. Had more external conflict been presented here, instead of massive amounts of the internal variety, this would have been easier to sludge through. Instead, I probably needed a larger pair of boots. But possibly even worse than that was the moment the mental tango turned into a physical one for our dynamic duo. *BEGIN SPOILER* With very little preamble and no real buildup whatsoever, in the middle of Bibliophile and during normal business hours, Evan yanked away Claire’s black silk thong and gets her off, and then he fucks her mouth with his dick. Excuse me…what? That rattled me a bit, worse than being shoved against the book stacks by some leather bound hellion with a whip and a pair of handcuffs. *END SPOILER* But once I shook my head and wormed my way back into the story, all was right with the world. The suspect beginnings, though, left my world with a tainted haze that never completely went away.
I received this book for free through NetGalley.
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