This was first published in 2007. I assume it had since gone out of print after failing to make much of a splash. Now with the success of Fifty Shades of Grey
it has been hauled out of obscurity and given another chance.
Does it deserve to turn up in bookstores again?
Yes, in that it's a BDSM novel that can't be categorised as porn, and fits perfectly into a new popular niche that didn't previously exist.
No, in that it's a so-so book that had its chance. It failed to make an impression and faded away. Survival of the fittest, and it wasn't fit enough. It's too average to have made it back into print on its own artistic merits alone. [For all I know it's never been out of print, and it's merely being reprinted in order to give it a new cover.]
Apart from its new commercial potential nothing has changed. It was so-so when it was published in 2007, and so it remains in 2012. I've not read Fifty Shades of Grey, but I've been consistently told that it's appallingly written. So it seems an easy stretch of my imagination to say that this competently written book is probably a much better, and more readable, book than the market leader.
I've called it so-so, but that's a little harsh. It's decent enough. It's just that it doesn't rise above average. The main problem is that it's quite a small story that would have been better suited for the shorter novella format. At nearly three-hundred pages it's simply too long. I have to confess I was page counting the last third with an eye on when it would finally end.
The story is too simple and linear. There is the main plot concerning Rowan and Christian. She is a dom who has been challenged to explore her sub side. Then there is the much more minor, borderline irrelevant, second plot. It deals with the submissive April's romance with the dominant Decker.
The second plotline is okay. I have no issues with it being there. I only say it's borderline pointless because it could have been removed without doing any damage to the main storyline.
The stories only intercept because Rowan and April discuss their relationships with each other. For all intents and purposes the other characters don't really meet each other, at least not in a way that impacts on the story. The two plots are completely unconnected. I guess there might be some thematic resonance going on between them, but I didn't really notice anything.
Both storylines start at point A, and get to point C via point B. No twists or complications turned up. Eden Bradley had a story in mind and she told it straight.
It was odd how focused the writing was on the plots as nothing much was mentioned outside of those. Usually a prose writer ranges all over the place. No attempt is made to bring the rest of the world into the novel. In this book she never really mentioned anything beyond what was relevant to the story. It read more like a screenplay than a novel in some ways.
There was plenty of sex in it. The descriptions were not particularly graphic. It does not describe the "pumping and squirting" in great detail. If you're looking for outright porn then I doubt you'll be satisfied as it aims more for erotica.
The BDSM is light and not overly kinky or odd. It's all pretty straightforward and generic stuff.
In the end it's more of a romance than anything else. The book could be sold just as legitimately in a fairly standard chick lit cover. The last half is all about emotions. Both the having of them and the denying of them. Personally I found it to be a little tiresome, and as I said before I was page counting.
It's not a book of great substance. It's overlong, has a rather drab and too simplistic story and the characters were nothing to shout about (and all four of them are constantly being described as beautiful, so don't expect it to be about average looking people).
It's a decent book and it's just about worth reading. If you're looking for pornography I suggest looking elsewhere, such as the Nexus
series of books.
FYI The tone of it reminded me of an Australian art film called Sleeping Beauty