Top critical review
44 of 48 people found this helpful
Promising characters that became less when together
on July 11, 2013
I thought this book started off pretty well. I could really appreciate how well the author wrote the socially awkward hero. He had some really great phrases like "If people are dumb, it's not my job to educate them all the time". I also found the author's geeky phrasing very fun such as "Two arguing geeks were stoppable. Three arguing geeks created an infinite argument vortex of doom that sucked time down like a black hole." It gave the book a lot of promise in my mind. I couldn't wait to see Ivan come out of his shell and figure out how to form relationships and interact with people. I thought Camilla and her friend Agatha would be a good contrast to Ivan's lack of relationships.
Then the sex scenes started. I didn't realize it was going to be so heavily and only BDSM. These were some deep, dark scenes that skirted the border of consent, but never actually crossed it. And Ivan was a completely different person in his BDSM world. I would say the middle half was basically composed entirely of BDSM scenes. Which ended up being a bit too much for me. I'm ok with a little bit of BDSM, but this felt like it happened at the expense of a real relationship for these characters.
I kept waiting for Camilla to grow some backbone and insist that they have some form of relationship outside of the bedroom. I kept hoping that she'd force Ivan out of his comfort zone and let her be an active member of their sexy times. I kept thinking that some of Ivan's secret smiles would actually lead to him wanting something more because he actually liked Camilla. For the whole middle half of the book, we don't get anything about the characters other than what they are to each other in their scenarios.
I ended up not liking either character because they didn't feel like real people. It didn't feel like Ivan even looked at Camilla like an actual person. She was his Sub and he'd never had "his own Sub" before, so this was special to him. Camilla was an empty shell for him to use as he pleased. He liked that and she didn't mind it either, but it felt like she left all forms of her personality behind the farther I read. Her initial goal had been to help him in social situations, which I assumed would mean "forming relationships". But instead he just used his Dom abilities to focus on a couple conversations.
From the parts we see of the book, if I were Camilla's friend, I would have been worried for her that Ivan seems to be isolating her from her friends, not caring about her job, and wants her to only be around him whenever he feels like having a Sub. But reading this book, Camilla wouldn't have taken that advice from her friend anyway because by the end she had no interaction with anyone but Ivan.
Bottom line, I liked a lot of the phrasing in this book. It started out with a lot of promise. I didn't care for the BDSM, but if that's your thing you'll probably like this book. I wouldn't really classify it as a romance though. Read if you like sexy, heavy-duty BDSM, but not if you're looking for a hero and heroine who grow into more complete people because they're together.