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The Complete Divine Trilogy Paperback – August 25, 2015
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"I have read all three books and find them funny, charming and steamy. ... The lifestyle represented is authentic. The look into the mind of both a submissive and a Dominant are very real."
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We meet Catherine/Erin who recently moved to Dallas, and it's her first attempt to get back into the Lifestyle. We do eventually learn why she left it and her past... which, given that she's 22 isn't all that distant. And she's got a really interesting past (which could have been explored more, frankly). She meets Master/Jayden who's been looking for something different in a sub and finds it for some reason in Catherine.
And like a lot of books in this genre, he's a millionaire, and there's a contract involved (this is getting old), and he's got two other subs already, but one is male (and his driver) and the other is his executive assistant. And while she's great at her job, she's just not into pain. Poor J.
C loves her kinky side but her former Dom was a bastard and she's scarred, physically and mentally, but she can't walk away from who she truly is... where have we read that before?
So it's all about being their D/s relationship and how it morphs over time. J is painted as a romantic Dom and C as the perfect sub, and the treatment of this is very heavy handed.
There are plenty of steamy scenes across the trilogy representing many major kinks: basic submission, vaginal, anal and oral sex, pony play, M/M, M/F, F/F, M/M/F. M/F/F, bondage, toys, humiliation, exhibitionism, whipping, flogging, electricity, food.
There's also quite a bit of romantic drama which never truly threatens to separate these two. I have to say though, by the third book I was getting tired of reading just how much J loves her and vice versa. It was getting annoying...and the third book felt forced in many places. I didn't feel this couple progressed together after they declare their love for each other and that is what knocked this down to 3 stars for me. The first two books are very strong in character and plot development but then book 3 falls flat.
What made the story work in the first 2 books is the relationship that develops, rather than any forced drama or other characters "interfering".
So only 3 stars.
TO SERVE IS DIVINE
I mean. Whoa.
I demolished this book in a few hours, it was just that good. It took me 2.5 days to read the entire trilogy - and it only took me that long because I wasn't home for most of the second day!
Catherine is a sub that has been hurt by a previous Dom but knows that she needs the Lifestyle to put herself back together. Jayden is a Dom who is looking for a sub that fits his needs. Together, these two heal wounds that will leave you gasping for air.
This book was an incredibly intimate look at what the Lifestyle can truly be. I absolutely loved it. The truth rang out so clearly in this book that I truly wonder how anyone could have enjoyed 50 Shades of Grey. 50 Shades paled in comparison to this book series.
I was absolutely shocked at the reality this book portrayed. The truth is that many people think that the relationship between a D/s is simply abuse. To Serve is Divine actually explains a lot of things that many people don't understand about the relationship. Jayden and Erin are so attentive to each other's needs and Jayden is so incredibly protective of Catherine's mental and physical health that it's breath taking.
This book is a MUST read if you're curious about the D/s Lifestyle. It's an amazing read on it's own but I walked out with an awareness I didn't know I was missing.
A DIVINE LIFE
ADORED this follow up to the novel To Serve is Divine.
Master is ready to cement his commitment to Catherine on their one year collaring anniversary but there's only one problem - Catherine doesn't know it yet! After the humiliation she endured at the hands of her previous Dom, Catherine believes she's going to be given away, certain that Master has sensed her deeper feelings for him and is disappointed. As Catherine is lead through a variety of scenes, dare she hope that Master is simply giving her his love?
A Divine Life is a good look at some of the more intense scenes that are possible. We get a deeper look at what some Doms specialize in and how each D/s relationship is different.
This book is perfect.
Catherine/Erin absolutely OWN this book. There's a moment...in the club...and I cried. She was so amazing and powerful. She FINALLY demolished her past. This book allowed me to breathe and I was completely okay saying goodbye to these characters. I wasn't worried that Catherine/Erin wouldn't be ok. I finally knew that she had gotten absolutely everything she ever deserved.
Jayden is absolutely wonderful and adorable in this book. And the happiness that is shown to be shared by the group was stunning. I absolutely grew to love all but a couple characters. You'll know who I'm talking about when you get there.
R.E. Hargrave tied up this series perfectly and I am so incredibly happy to have read it, even if the resulting book hangover sucks.