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Rough Play (Aphrodisia) [Paperback]

Christina Crooks

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Book Description

10 Oct 2011 Aphrodisia
After escaping her sexually dominant husband, dating coach Charlotte is ready to play it safe. But when her client, Gail, disappears after visiting a fetish-oriented club called Subspace, Charlotte must enter the erotic underworld to find out what happened to her. Club owner Master Martin is willing to help Charlotte - as long as she agrees to a little role-playing. As Charlotte slowly surrenders to Martin's sensual enticements, she finds that her penchant for submission is more intense than ever. But at the same time, as her search for Gail leads her deep inside Subspace's catacombs, Charlotte fears it may already be too late to save Gail...or herself.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique Plot Line in a Hot BDSM Novel -- Heavy on the S&M! 31 Aug 2011
By Among The Muses/Novel Reflections - Published on
Rated 4.5/5 on the blog.

Christina Crooks delivers a story packed with intense and steamy sexiness, uniqueness in both the heroine and plot, and a captivating mystery in her newest release, Rough Play. Rough Play satiates erotic/BDSM literary fans who enjoy a story with a little suspense, a whole lot of D/s and S&M, and an HEA.

Interweaving the idea of a group of sadist men who believe in, and occultly follow, the views of a Gorian society (series written by John Norman) where men are the ultimate masters and women are the ultimate slaves, Rough Play is uniquely created and uniquely executed.

Meet Charlotte:

"I'm not a submissive."

"There's no shame in being a submissive." [Master Martin]

"There is. Shame and danger. I don't have a slave's heart."

Meet Master Martin:

"Your fear and lust radiate on a certain, special wavelength. People like me pick up on it."


"It's easier to simply do as I ask. But I'm glad you don't. You know why I'm glad, don't you? Because I'm a sadist." He paused considering. "A fairer kind of sadist than you've known, I suspect."

Heroine Charlotte has escaped her marriage that nearly destroyed her ability to act her true sexual self: being a submissive. Her overly sexually dominant husband abused her trust and pushed her to a point she felt "wrong". Instead, she's resolved to sticking to her job as match-maker, finding her clients a perfect happy-ever-after, since apparently she has horrible luck creating one for herself. Her unique gift (you'll have to read the book to find out how she's unique) brings her clients love and passion, something Charlotte never thinks she'll be able to find, until unfortunate events lead her to one man that has the power (literally) to change that.

Master Martin is jaded by the submissives he's worked with. Plus, he's got his own personal problems, all of which drill home the fact that all he wants is out from his ownership of Subspace, a popular BDSM club, and a chance to find the right person/submissive to settle down with. Just when he thinks his dreams will never be attainable, in walks Charlotte, on a mission to find her 'missing' friend, and the biggest enigma he's ever met. The challenge has been set -- find out who Charlotte is and why she's in complete denial of her submissive qualities. The only problem is the more he learns of Charlotte's painful past and why she steps foot into Subspace, Martin starts to realize that Charlotte's past echos some of Martin's current problems.

Readers who enjoy a BDSM romantic suspense are sure to enjoy Rough Play. Master Martin is delicious, and the chemistry and sex between Charlotte and him is great -- albeit moves very quickly in the trust aspect. But, they have an immediate connection, one of which that is aided by the something the heroine "sees". One of my favorite aspects of this book was the fact that Christina Crooks did not shy away from role playing. There's a doctor/patient scene that was very hot! And, my favorite was the rape fantasy. Christina doesn't overplay the scene, nor underplay it, but rather runs right down the middle with her approach.

The unique inclusion of the Gorean Saga (series written by John Norman) philosophy was fabulous and unique! It allowed for the foundation of both the heroines internal and external conflicts, as well as drove the plot. Charlotte has a lot of mix messages about herself when it comes to her submissive qualities -- all steaming from her marriage and her husbands Gorean philosophy. Martin is the one that shows her the difference and helps her to realize her true nature and the shamelessness of being a submissive.

And, all the while Master Martin and Charlotte are finding one another, Charlotte is also trying to find her missing friend, in addition to keeping herself out of harms way. Something that is easier said then done.

The bottom line is that this was a fantastic read that kept me highly captivated and always more than a little warm! I applaud Christina Crooks for her unique creation of the captivating, unique, kinky, and oh-so-delicious Rough Play. I can't wait to see what she has in store next for readers!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 blue ribbons from Romance Junkies 26 Jun 2013
By C. Dionne - Published on
Dating coach Charlotte has no regrets about leaving her sexually dominant husband... well, except for having to leave her beloved dog Hoagie in his care since he has a yard and her apartment doesn't. She's happy to remain single herself but knows other women aren't and is only too happy to help. The trouble with basing a business on her matchmaking skills is the simple fact that she's entirely too good at it, which means no returning clients.

One of her clients, Gail, has proved to be a difficult woman especially since the men she's attracted to simply aren't compatible with her - and nothing Charlotte says can convince her to throw her marriage minded hooks into a different dating pool. Or worse, when she does go looking for something different it's in the BDSM community which Charlotte is undeniably extremely uncomfortable with. However, when Gail goes missing after visiting Subspace, a fetish club, it's up to Charlotte to find out what happened to her.

Master Martin is the proud owner of Subspace - and the man Gail had gone there to meet. While he claims not to know what happened to Charlotte's friend he does agree to help her locate her friend - for a price. Unlike Gail, whom was absolutely not submissive, Martin is intensely attracted to Charlotte, and it's impossible for her to hide her submissive nature from him. If Charlotte wants his help she'll have to endure a little role-playing with the sexy Dom, but doesn't realize how doing so will affect her - or how much she'll crave his touch. Finding Gail and saving her from whatever fate has befallen her is imperative, but resisting Master Martin is impossible.

ROUGH PLAY by Christina Crooks is a captivating read from beginning to end. I fell in love with Charlotte and her quirky personality and had to admire her for enduring Gail's asinine demands when it comes to finding a perfect match. Master Martin is sweet but demanding and you just know he'd never do anything to harm a woman or allow any sort of that behavior in his club, so while you know Charlotte is safe with him you can't help but wonder what happened to Gail. ROUGH PLAY has so many twists and turns to the plot and intriguing coincidences that keep the reader eagerly turning pages in anticipation of uncovering the truth. Meanwhile there's a romance brewing between Charlotte and her Dom that is full of humor and heat and genuine happiness. This story is beautifully written and wildly imaginative with strong female characters that carry the story.

Chrissy Dionne (courtesy of Romance Junkies)
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hot Read 30 Aug 2011
By Aimee - Published on
Hot, hot, hot! It took me a bit to try and understand exactly what was going on. But when I did, it all made sense and the story really took off! Romance with plenty of mystery all the way through, this book was hard to put down until everything was solved and figured out!

By now, people know my preferred genre in erotica is BDSM. I can't get enough. There was some serious stuff in here, some that wasn't for me (blood play, maiming, the more extreme stuff, although not used to try and entice the reader) and stuff I was happy to read about (consensual role plays).

Charlotte is hesitant to get back into the scene after some pretty bad experiences. I like the books where the heroine needs a little healing and a little coxing in a safe environment. Martin is a great pick for her and I highly enjoyed their romps, that seemed to happen all but in a bed.

Very sexual, very hot story! Hot enough to make you melt in all the wrong but oh so right ways! Definitely not suitable for the under 18 crowd and for those who aren't into more than light bdsm. But if you like a little more to your bdsm, this is definitely a novel worth checking out!
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Suspenseful BDSM Romance 9 Sep 2011
By Book of Secrets - Published on
Charlotte is a dating coach with a special knack for bringing couples together. She's had success with all of her clients, except for her most difficult one, Gail. At Gail's insistence, Charlotte reluctantly agrees to fix her up with the owner of the fetish club Subspace. She knows Gail is completely wrong for Master Martin, but there's no dissuading her. When Gail goes missing inside the club, Charlotte knows she must track down Master Martin to find out what happened to her.

Charlotte is not thrilled about being inside a fetish club. She divorced her husband because he took BDSM to the point of abuse. Since her marriage ended, she's struggled with her submissive nature, terrified to explore her kinky side. That is until she lays eyes on Martin. The dominant club owner with a sadistic streak may have been wrong for Gail, but he's just what Charlotte needs to bring out her inner desires. But Charlotte knows she shouldn't let her guard down. Gail is missing and anyone, even Martin, could be responsible.

Whew! ROUGH PLAY is a very hot read. Christina Crooks combines elements of romantic suspense and BDSM to make a unique and gripping tale of kidnapping, blackmail and S&M. Charlotte and Martin had amazing chemistry. The villain in the story is positively wicked. This book also takes the reader on an exciting journey into a fetish club. It gives us a look at the extreme subculture of the Goreans, a group that believes women are naturally subservient to men and should be treated as slaves. ROUGH PLAY was a page turner with a fantastic ending. I would recommend this book to fans of erotic romance who like their stories a bit darker and edgier.

SOURCE: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't love 14 May 2013
By MissyGirl - Published on
This one was not really what I expected. There are a few reviews about how hot this book was, but I didn't feel it much. About 3 actual sex scenes total, and none of them had me glued to the pages. There was also a sci-fi element in one of the side stories, which is not my thing at all. I start reading names like Gorean, Kartane, and Ubar, and my eyes start to glaze over.

I did, however, like the 2 main characters-Charlotte and Master Martin. Charlotte has a special skill that I won't spoil for you, but it's fun to read about. And, Master Martin is a big, strapping Dom, who knows exactly what Charlotte needs. I just wish there were more of the just the 2 of them in the book!
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