Are You Always in Control? CONTROLLED RESPONSE by Joey W. Hill

Controlled Response




Lucas Adler has recently realized he wants more from a relationship than just fantastic sex. But while on a cycling trip through the Berkshires, he encounters a beautiful blonde in the woods. Dressed in only white silk panties and a matching corset, she’s stretched out on the back of a motorcycle and revving her engine—just not the one on the bike. Although he wonders if he can have the fantasy and the reality, Lucas is certain of one thing. He wants her…


Cassandra Moira wants to relax. Things are crazy back home, and the deal she just tied down has unraveled. So when an opportunity comes along to hop on a motorcycle and take in some scenery, Cass takes it. Stopping to rest and reflect, she remembers the weak men she’s dealt with in her life. So she closes her eyes and imagines a man who can take charge. A man, who with the blink of an eye, is right in front of her…


After their encounter, Cass enters Lucas’s life again. This time, she’s part of a negotiating team on a three-day business deal. She’s also not about to let any man control her. Now Lucas must use every strategy he knows to prove his love before she’s gone from his life again.

Knights of the Boardroom
by Joey W. Hill
ISBN 9781101611173 | 158 pages e-book | 05 Feb 2013 | Berkley a Penguin Group Imprint
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Sometimes life is so crazy we have to button ourselves up really tightly or we will fly into pieces.  Cassandra does that by always being in control of her emotions, not having relationships and wearing a corset so she remembers to be in control.

I think that is a very interesting concept.  If you watch a costume drama wear the women wore boned foundations you will understand the idea that a corset keeps you aware of your body, but of your emotions? Yup, you don’t slump in a corset and may not want to be breathing too hard depending on how tightly laced it is.

More than anyone I’ve read Joey helps me understand, or at least helps me try to understand, the BDSM psychology.  It’s known she is a sub and that recognizing that about herself allowed her a lot of personal emotional freedom.  But Cassandra’s life is a whirlwind of family and professional obligations.  If she lets go of one thread in the complex net of her life the rest might unravel and then everything she works for could be just a big pile of knotted string.

Lucas is aware that his life is a little less  complete than he wants it to be.  Seeing the emotional fulfillment his friend’s marriage has brought him, he realizes something is missing.  He’s a Dominant and when one of the knights finds “the one” that’s pretty much it.

I loved how a  very hot, chance encounter in the woods far from home turns out to be a defining moment in the lives of two people and their families. Once that happens I think that net that is Cassandra’s life is going to come apart and rebuild it into a stronger net. Add to it her profession of corporate negotiator and you have a woman with Type A stamped on her forehead.

A lot of women: single parents in particular, live lives of tight control of their emotions.  It’s often all they can do to juggle work and home.  And letting a man into your life lets him into your children’s life too. And, it changes and restructures your life as well.  Because of the Knights’ actions she is able to jump through a lot of trust building issues much faster than if the guy were an unknown. That’s good because otherwise she would talk herself out of it, shut him out and get all buttoned up again by morning.

Luxury Corsetry
Luxury Corsetry (Photo credit: Corsets MCoello)

Is a Dom the answer to every single mother’s plight? No! Of course it is not. This story is just a careful confluence of circumstances and characters. But it is a story that applies to a lot of people.  Everyone needs help and someone to lean on at some time in his or her life.  And you have to let go of that control that keeps everything working at some time too, or pressure will build until it lets go  in a way that doesn’t help anyone.

For some people that relief may come in the form it does for Cassandra. But only because Lucas is a stand-up guy. It’s hard, in real life though, to give trust in a new relationship and it can go horribly wrong.

Joey spends a lot of time explaining the trust issues because the story is in a shorter format.  If Cassandra and Lucas had to go through the normal courting rituals it would be much longer.

It is unusual that Joey is able to define her characters as well as she does within the short format. She even draws decent pictures of some of Cassandra’s family members.

And the erotic component is smoking hot, although the language used is not to my liking at times.  But, JOey uses the sex as a foil for the emotional journey. And, that’s what good erotica is about – you don’t just get turned on. You should get tingly reading it, but good erotica engages our minds and emotions as well.  How do you keep or give up control?

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this entire series.  My favorites are AFTER LIFE and HOSTILE TAKEOVER.  Youcan read much more about the Knights of the Boardroom series at Joey’s website: http://www.



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