Series: Loving on the Edge #5
Published by Berkley, Penguin Genres: BDSM, Erotic, Erotica, Romance
Source: Net Galley, Publisher
Loving On the Edge – Book 5
by Roni Loren
March 4, 2014
Contemporary Erotic Romance
Trade Paperback and Ebook 400 pages
ISBN-10: 042526856X ISBN-13: 978-0425268568
Disclosure: Book provided by author or publisher for review purposes. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted. Interview questions were answered by author Roni Loren.
She’s making a wish list, and he wants to be on top.
From foster kid to trophy wife, Tessa McAllen is about to reinvent herself all over again—and defy every insult her cheating ex-husband ever used against her: Selfish? She’s championing a charity. Stupid? She’s getting her degree.
Boring in bed?
Kade Vandergriff can help her with that one. When they encounter each other at a singles event held at one of his restaurants, Tessa blurts out that kink is for girls who try too hard, and Kade instantly wants to show this sassy stranger how thrilling a night under his command can be…but when he learns her name, the game changes for both of them. In high school, Tessa was the popular girl who stuttering, awkward Kade fell for. But she chose another. Now, as she eagerly learns lesson after lesson, he’s going to make sure she never forgets him again. Penguin/Berkley
This is the third book I’ve read in Roni Loren’s LOVING ON THE EDGE series (see below for review links). It is definitely erotic suspense with a scary component to each story.
I have always liked how Loren gets into the mind set of each woman or man to understand what makes them tick, and the role of their sexuality in their lives. If it is repressed I think it affects one very negatively.
That being said, this is not my favorite in the series. It’s totally subjective, but I didn’t like any of the three main characters really, not even the more sympathetic ones. I thought the characters felt dated and unrealistic, and I felt Kade brought Tessa into too many situations blindly, something I don’t like in a BDSM scenario.
The action in the story is exciting though, there’s a real sense of danger and I had real antipathy for the bad guy. He reminded me of someone I went to school with.
Anyway, I had a chance to ask Roni some questions about the book and some of my issues with it.
One of the things I like about Roni is the way she writes her stories subtly, with almost imperceptible plot layers. For some writers that requires extensive outlining and for others it is a seat of the pants thing. It’s fascinating to know which way the author you are reading goes. Are they incredibly methodical, with outlines and character story boards, or do they just sit down and start writing?
I also ask about the sexual fulfillment I mention above, and ask why BDSM.
Plus, it can be really hard to see the line between what makes BDSM a lifestyle and not abuse. I always want to know more about that difference. And, then, a bit like Joey W. Hill, Roni mentions a certain device Kade uses on Tess. Often Joey’s devices are pure fantasy; are Roni’s?
HERE’S RONI’S “OFFICIAL” BIO
Roni wrote her first romance novel at age fifteen when she discovered writing about boys was way easier than actually talking to them. Since then, her flirting skills haven’t improved, but she likes to think her storytelling ability has.
Though she’ll forever be a New Orleans girl at heart, she now lives in Dallas with her husband and son. If she’s not working on her latest sexy story, you can find her reading, watching reality television, or indulging in her unhealthy addiction to rockstars, er, rock concerts. Yeah, that’s it.
She is the National Bestselling Author of The Loving on the Edge series from Berkley Heat.
Me: Roni, Welcome to my cyber-lair. This is where I grill authors on their deepest, darkest secrets. ((winks)) Thank you for visiting with us today.
Me: Your plots layer almost imperceptibly – do you do a lot of planning/outlining or are you a “pantser?”
Roni: Thank you. Glad the plots work, lol. I’m about 95% pantser. Before I start writing a book, I have a one-page summary (similar to back cover copy) and I do what’s called a beat sheet, which is a screenwriting technique that hits 15 major points in a story. But the book almost always ends up different from that rough plan. Really the only thing I have to have before I start writing a book is a good handle on the characters and their backstory since I’m a character-driven writer. Then I let them lead me.
Me. At one point Kade talks about owning and celebrating one’s sexual response – is this one of your messages?
Roni: Yes, I had a writer friend tell me that all my books have themes of healing and self-acceptance. Of course, I had no idea that these are the themes I’m always playing with, but sure enough, she’s right, lol. And when it comes to the bedroom stuff, I’m of the mind that people have the right to like and enjoy what they like and as long as everyone is consenting and of age. Life’s too short not to embrace that part of yourself—even if it doesn’t fit into a neat box of what’s standard in society.
Me: Can you tell us about what it is that makes you write erotic/BDSM romance? Are you interested in the differences between the sexually repressive way most of us are raised and how your characters own and celebrate their sexuality? The should and should not?
Roni: I love writing the sexy stuff because it means I don’t have a lot of boundaries to worry about. Like hmm, can I use this word or is this too out there or whatever. I like the freedom of it. And the BDSM I like because the power dynamic is an interesting one to write. And yes, I was a Catholic school girl, so I’m familiar with repression, lol. Maybe that’s why I write a lot of heroines who are breaking out of that good girl/proper role. There’s a lot of I-am-woman-hear-me-roar in it even if the woman is finding out she’s submissive—claiming that right to relish and celebrate her sexuality is an empowering experience. Also, the guys have societal stuff to overcome too. Good, proper men shouldn’t want to hit a woman, they shouldn’t want to treat them as anything but equals, right? So a decent guy might have a journey to make to come to terms with being dominant as well.
Me: It seems like part of the book is about the difference between the emotional abuse in Tessa’s marriage and humiliating forms of BDSM (so called in the BDSM community – I have read) like being called a slut and submitting to other forms of slavery like crawling.
Why is it okay to take her down a notch verbally in a scene but abuse when her ex does it? Can you explain the difference in the two forms of relationship when both deal with similar language? I ask because Tessa had no contract or real preparation from Kade about what the relationship would entail.
Roni: The difference is consent and intent. Abuse is done to someone without their consent; BDSM is between people who have made an agreement to play these roles. And no, Tessa didn’t have a formal contract, but she had safewords. So if Kade told her to do something—like crawl—that she didn’t want to do, she could safe out and he would stop immediately and not hold it against her.
Everything doesn’t have to be written out all the time because often with my couples, they don’t exactly know where there lines are yet because one of them is inexperienced. Also, things that can sound unappealing to someone outside the bedroom—like a humiliating word like slut—can feel very different in the midst of a scene with someone you trust. It plays with the forbidden, which can be a turn on for some. In BDSM, slut can be a form of endearment. But that same person who might let their dom call them that behind closed doors would punch a guy out if he called her that in some other context. Same reason that having your lover tie you down for sex is different from having a rapist do it. Consent and context changes it all.
Me: On page 245 What is the name of the type of ring that Kade attaches to Tessa’s clitoris?
Roni: It’s a clit clip, which can be used in place of a piercing, similar to the ones here: https://underthehoode.3dcartstores.com/Clit-Clips_c_1.html
Thanks for the interview. These questions made me think! : )
ME: Thanks for the candid and honest responses. That link is very interesting!
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Use the raffle copter form, please. And,
Leave a comment (in the comment section of the post not in the rafflecopter). You can leave any MEANINGFUL comment, but here are some ideas if you’re stumped:
What do you like, dislike or worry about in BDSM books or lifestyle?
If you were to have or use sex toys, what is or would be your favorite?
What sexy thing do you find intriguing, titillating or fantasize about?
What would you do if you met the one that got away; your old crush? (I might slap mine!)
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Excerpt (Rated R):
*Note: Kade is going by the name Van in this scene (his nickname)
Her heart was thumping and blood was roaring through her veins, heating all the best spots. She couldn’t do this, right? She didn’t even know this guy. Considering a quickie with him had been risky enough. But sending her ride home and spending the whole night with him was a whole different story. “I can’t go home with you.”
He leaned down and brushed his lips along her jaw, his blond hair falling forward and tickling her cheek. “We don’t have to go anywhere but here.”
Even the simple touch had her ready to groan aloud, her body starved for this kind of night. This kind of man. How long had it been since she’d felt so desired, so utterly seduced? Maybe never. Somehow, he made it all feel so easy, so natural. Like saying no would be a preposterous notion. Even though it was the most logical answer.
But that logic angel sitting on her shoulder didn’t seem to have much fight to her tonight. No, instead there was another altogether deviant voice whispering in her ear. Stop denying yourself. You need this. You’ve earned an indulgence. A woman should not live by vibrator alone.
She took a long, shuddering breath, letting the temptation take her under. “I’ll text her.”
“Good girl,” he said, the words she’d normally find patronizing like a hot caress against her. “I’ll make sure it’s worth the trouble.”
After Tessa had sent the text and gotten one back from Sam, complete with about twelve exclamation points following her OMG, Van left for a few minutes to bring her keys down. And he must have brought them in person because Sam sent another text shortly afterward.
HOLY shit, girl. U’ve hit the hook-up lottery. Enjoy the condoms!
Tessa was still laughing when Van came through the doorway. He smiled. “What’s so funny?”
“My friend approves of you.”
He gave her a roguish grin. “I’m charming that way.”
“And she thinks you’re hot,” she said matter-of-factly. “That goes a long with Sam.”
He laughed, not bothering to deflect the assessment of his hotness, and crossed his arms. “And what do you think?”
She lifted her chin, jaunty. “I think I don’t like cocky guys.”
He stepped in front of her chair and braced his hands on the table behind her, caging her in. His expression held playful challenge when he leaned in her space. “Liar.”
She raised her eyebrows. “How would you know?”
“Because you didn’t wait a whole year only to waste a night with some guy who’s unsure of himself.” He put his lips next to her ear, his voice turning dark and ripe with promise. “I may be cocky, but I’m not going to fumble around. I’m not going to lie back and wait for you to take the lead. I’m going to feed you the best meal of your life. Bite by bite. Then I’m going to fuck you. And I promise, when you wake up tomorrow, you won’t remember the food.”
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