College professor Conn and his student Rae have been drawn to each other all year but didn't act on it until the last day of class. She visited him in his office, and he gave her an erotic spanking that turned her on. She was so frightened of her desire, that she ran from him, quit college, and married someone else. She was trying to forget about Conn. Five years later Miss Belle hires Rae to be property manager of her Bed and Breakfast. The amount of money offered was too good to turn down, so Rae signed a contract. Soon after, Rae discovers that Belle is Conn's grandmother, and that Conn lives in the cottage next door. Conn has been pining for Rae for five years. Now he has a chance to win her back. His style of love is bondage, spanking and pain. She loves to be his submissive, but she thinks she is flawed because of it.
Side stories involve Rae's abusive ex-husband, her father who was injured on the job and needs Rae's help, Belle's chef is having domestic problems, a ghost lives in the house who talks to Belle, and Belle solves others' problems with her psychic knowledge.
The main story is Rae thinking something is wrong with her because she likes pain during sex and being a doormat. After she and Conn get together, she wants to leave because "she's afraid she'll drag him down." During her five years away from Conn, she wrote letters about her love for Conn and her fears. During the story we read these letters as flashbacks. The effect of this was too much time pondering her fears. I would have preferred fewer letters and more action. For most of the story, she's a frightened mouse he's trying to soothe. I didn't get to see much of his dominant side. He was always being so gentle with her, trying to make her feel safe.
The conflict about Rae's fears wasn't a good enough story for me. Actually, the side stories sound more interesting, but none of those were developed enough.
Conn was pining for Rae for five years. Why he didn't track her down? She was still living with her parents and working in her dad's business. I also didn't understand why Rae left Conn (a dominating guy) and married another dominating guy.
Not enough attention was paid to character development or dialogue. Sometimes that's ok when the purpose of the book is sex. But the sex scenes didn't have enough emotional punch for me. I wasn't drawn in.
The characters quoted a lot of poetry during sex. This was more distracting than enhancing.
I am annoyed with the cover picture. It shows a woman tied with red yarn. In the book, Conn used scarves and white silk rope, not red yarn. I know this is the publisher's fault not the author's. It just bothers me when the publisher doesn't care enough to match the content.
Story length: 248 pages. Swearing language: strong. Sexual language: moderate. Number of sex scenes: 8. Approximate number of sex scene pages: 35. Setting: current day Missouri. Copyright: 2010. Genre: erotic contemporary fantasy romance.