- File Size: 2765 KB
- Print Length: 455 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: October 17, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01M1BHR9Z
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,501,562 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Reckless Abandon (Gilded Knot Book 1) Kindle Edition
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From the first line of Reckless Abandon (Gilded Knot Book 1) you are drawn into the intrigue of what's to come, and within the next few lines you're already lost to the world opening up before your mind's eye. Indeed some version of this can be said of this author's entire catalog (turn to the first pages of Without Consequence (Babylon Book 1) or Without Mercy (Babylon Book 2),Ethan Walker's Road To Wonderland (Road To Wonderland Series Book 3),The Favor, or Parallel (Mortisalian Saga Book 1) for reminder or evidence). It's difficult to discuss Elle Luckett's work without gushing over the author herself. An immense talent, Luckett writes with a seemingly unguarded honesty and freedom that translates to intimately relatable characters and stories and fluid prose that is positively enchanting. She's an author you wish you had on speed dial and could call up anytime to say "Write me a story" and you'd be obliged immediately. There's an intrinsic comfort in her style, a subtle magic that is ferocious in its quiet subtlety, making her an instant and lasting favorite. The woman is brilliant, and you know this whether you've experienced her as Elle Luckett or L.J. Stock; but, if you are new to her or only know her as one or the other, I highly suggest you get to know her as both because her brilliance does not fall short under any moniker. Her latest offering is more proof of that fact. Tenacious and meddling friends and parents. Loveable pets. Pint-size warriors for compassion. Evil exes. Seriously scorching scenes of sex and BDSM complemented by cleverly stimulatory tone and pace. And, of course, Luckett's unfailing exploration and interpretation of the human experience. Reckless Abandon (Gilded Knot Book 1) is a heartrending and heartening story that will leave you thoroughly entertained and enlivened. This book is not a string of sex and BDSM scenes held together by a weak story. It's a beautifully imagined and insightful second chance love story of a woman and man's transformative journeys of healing and self-realization. The BDSM component, along with themes of acceptance, trust, love, loyalty, forgiveness, self-concept and perseverance are seamlessly woven into the heart of this erotic romance, providing a read that arouses your nether regions as effectively as it does your mind and soul.
---She already had the arguments she needed in her own head. She already knew what she was afraid of. Rejection. Humiliation.---
Nixie Fitzgerald struggles with self-confidence and trust in others. She is a woman so insanely tormented by self-doubt that your aching heart will be in dire need of relief from the rawness of her experience. But you'll know this character. You will have watched her from afar, spoken to her countless times, counseled her through her distress. You'll have looked into her face as you stared in the mirror and felt the immense weight in her heart as her eyes closed against the ugliness threatening to consume her and derail her dreams and desires. You'll know the depth of pain in fight after fight over something that haunts you, something that you best from time to time but never quite eradicate. You'll also know Nixie's strength and resilience, the fullness of beauty in her laughter. You'll know how she can be damaged but not broken. Scarred but not cowed. Uncertain but indomitable. Hopeful without evidence. You'll recognize the immense light that pours from her as the core of who she is. Indignant, comical, compassionate, Nixie is head to toe perfection--everything about her so natural, so human that you will undoubtedly fall in love with her. Her insecurities are not markers for obligatory angst; they run deep and you feel her pain and confusion as she struggles to move past them. Nixie is so many of us, whether due to identical circumstances or others of the same effect. The balance of strength and vulnerability in this character roars with a veracity that is deeply affecting, and I am both impressed and grateful to Luckett for her crafting of this heroine because in doing so she communicates the importance of acceptance (through Nixie, obviously, but also through Carl and Sasha and BDSM) and she does this not through preaching or overt messages but through whispers of relevance to the reader's own experiences. I cannot say that Nixie and I are remarkably similar, yet she embodied so many familiar qualities that in many ways I was her and she me as we took this journey of "Reckless Abandon" together. And this, by the way, is another attribute of Luckett's storytelling--she never leaves a reader behind. No matter how fantastical, foreign, outrageous or simply unknown the world she takes you to, she anchors you to the human condition, making the inevitable connections between you and the story meaningful and resounding.
---Open. Exposed. Vulnerable... This was too much, and entirely too soon.---
When Nixie's date unexpectedly leads to an open night at Beech Tree Manor, a BDSM club, she is shocked, afraid, a tad pissed but also game. She hasn't had much luck in "normal" relationships so the addition of BDSM, something that not only is she clueless about but that also requires scores of the trust she struggles to give, does not seem promising. But onward she goes into the unknown, driven by a determination to live her life fully and free of fear. Meeting Jackson unsettles her, but it also inexplicably soothes her and gives her a sense of security that turns her reticence to acquiescence and membership to The Gilded Knot. Though, this being Nixie, the battle between mind and body is a humorous one as her submission continuously undermines her autonomy.
---Why was she thanking him for marking her as his property, even if it was just for the evening? She'd lost her mind; that was why. She couldn't recollect a time in her life when she had been so eager to please someone, let alone a man she barely knew... "What do you want, pet? You may answer me." ... "You. I want you, you son of a bitch."---
But it's not just the BDSM lifestyle that Nixie struggles with.
---He could have had any woman he wanted, and he was standing in front of her telling her she was it. It couldn't be true.---
Her self-confidence takes hit after confusing hit as she tries to reconcile her long held self-perception with a sudden influx of contradictory opinions that denounce it. It's as though her life had been cast in the shadows of deeply embedded scars and although she accepted and persevered through them to build a satisfying life for herself, she was blind to the light coursing through her. Until Jackson Hancock enters her life and unveils the truth, showing her that she is beautiful without exception.
--"Stop!" a loud voice boomed with authority, making her feet stick in place before her brain had registered the command.---
Perhaps the most surprising (though also satisfying) discovery in reading this story was my reaction to Jackson, and it was with this one-word command that I realized his hold on me, a real person experiencing him as a fictional character in a fictional story. (Ridiculous!) It goes without saying that Jackson Hancock is delicious. Thoughtful, caring, unnerving, intuitive, irksome, funny, playful, sadistic, demanding. He's over six feet of confidence, easy smiles, and charismatic dominance dripping from his pores. From his introduction, nearly every word from this man slithered across my skin to elicit a variety of reactions, not all of them kind but every one of them sharp and unbidden and sublime. Luckett has created a man who seems patently too good to be true even as you believe in the possibility of him. A Dominant who's more than a mere caricature of the real thing. A hero whose shining armor is nicked with flaws in action, not character. What I loved about Jackson's role as a Dominant was that it wasn't something he played at. Jackson himself says that he does not "do the dominance thing" twenty-four seven, but as is the case when we live our lives as who we are, there is no question that his involvement in BDSM is an extension of who he is. While the Jackson we meet in Reckless Abandon (Gilded Knot Book 1) is already an expert in BDSM, it's evident that his gravitation towards it was not in order to force his will on others but because the tenets of the lifestyle suited who he already was. There's a thoughtfulness, and I dare say even a specific maturity, in Luckett's portrayal of Jackson, and that made the character more believable and the BDSM component an essential fit to the storytelling, as opposed to steamy but ultimately disappointingly unsupported fodder for sensationalistic fictional fantasy.
---Damn it all to hell, he thought as his d*ck twitched. He was in so much trouble with Nixie Fitzgerald. He'd known he was attracted to her, but he'd never thought he would be this invested...so soon. She was almost too good to be true. He'd never met anyone like her in any of the clubs he'd been to in his life... She lit up the room when she was being herself, and he wanted that part of her in his life as much as he wanted her on her knees, desperate to please him.---
Jackson claims Nixie before he even knows she's meant to be his. He charges forward full force and exudes such potent masculinity and authority that you will feel his manner affect you through the pages. This made Reckless Abandon (Gilded Knot Book 1) a significantly interactive reading experience for me, one in which my temper rose in response to Jackson's dominance, then receded, sometimes through an action that countered the harshness of his dominance but often merely in response to his certain authority. (Again--ridiculous!) Despite being unapologetic about who he is and what he likes, Jackson pursues Nixie with an abundance of patience and care. Realizing that his need for her is obviously more complex than the typical dalliance, he is undeterred by the growing connection to her because the possibility of letting her go is not a possibility at all. But Jackson has his own issues and conflict that reveal themselves in a frightening and heartbreaking scene that brings revelation and devastation.
---It was dangerous how Jackson always seemed to know exactly what she needed. It was never anything obvious, just subtle reassurances and gentle touches when she started feeling adrift or lost. His attention always made her feel unsure because even with his explanations, she couldn't figure out why he'd picked her, but the moment her thoughts ran away from her, he was there to pull her back down to earth... "Where did you come from?" he asked thoughtfully, his hands moving to her cheeks and working slowly back to her neck.---
The relationship between Nixie and Jackson is endearingly portrayed. Their chemistry is instant, but it is not instant love that keeps them together. It's the rightness of the instant connection that keeps them moving towards each other and their inevitable fate. It's that feeling you get, the assurance of rightness, when you meet someone you can't move on from and being together ceases to be a decision or question because it's a driving need. Nixie has walls. They're engraved with fear and doubt and the filth of dark experiences passed, and those walls do not suddenly crumble when Jackson enters her life. We see her struggle in adapting to this new lifestyle and trusting this new relationship. But we also see that her walls do not block Jackson's entry because he belongs inside them, with her. Still, as with all stories, crisis does come for this couple and their relationship is threatened in a big way, and although I won't tell you what happens I will say that the cause is an internal one that will remind you of the fickleness of life and the power and beauty in forgiveness.
---Pain seemed to flow and ebb through Nixie's body, and it wasn't from the stupid bruises on her neck... She wasn't sure that her confidence could ever be earned again. How was she supposed to trust anyone now. It had taken her a while to put herself out there the way she had... Now, without the blanket of security, she felt lost and adrift.---
Reckless Abandon (Gilded Knot Book 1) is not confined to Nixie and Jackson. Their love story is enriched by supporting characters who are enjoyable and compelling in their own right--from Carl to Blaine, Sasha, and Millie-- and descriptions of beautiful scenery that will color your mind. And since Luckett notes that Reckless Abandon (Gilded Knot Book 1) is intended to be the first in a series of novels, the possibility of more opportunities to visit The Manor and experience The Gilded Knot family is a promising one.
Jackson and Nixie story was everything it was supposed to be a story of struggle of love, lost, a second chance of love and passion. This book kept me interested from page one and when I wanted to throw my kindle I couldn’t put it down. Luckett wrote an excellent book and I cannot wait to see what she will write next because if this is an indication then I know I will love it .
Review by Lindsey
Nixie is an amazing woman, practically a saint. She's kind, caring and totally selfless, putting everyone else's feelings above her own. However, we do find out that she struggles with some major self confidence issues, stemming from her emotionally abusive father and her controlling ex-husband. These two really did a job on her and she trusts only a handful of people. I really felt bad for Nixie, but at some level could relate to her. I think this was one of the things I loved most about this book. The characters were like you and me, everyday people, going about their lives. She meets Jackson at an open house night at a BDSM club, and she was mesmerized by him from the very beginning. She found herself being open and honest with him, without really knowing why she had this level of comfort with him.
Jackson...seriously?! My God! He's amazing. He's kind, gentle, patient when he needed to be; but holy hell...when he put his Dom hat on!! Seriously, my heart was pounding, knees were weak and that need to rub my thighs together in search of some sort of relief was very prevalent! I was tempted to run to my nearest BDSM club and seek out my very own Jackson.
Even the secondary characters are great. Blaine, Jackson's long time friend, is pretty amazing as well. Even though we only get bits and pieces of him, he definitely has a presence about him. I can't wait to get to know him better!
This was my first Elle Luckett experience and by no means will it be my last. I am looking forward to reading more of her work. As this is a series, I sincerely hope that Blaine's story is next. I have a feeling that the woman that tames this man is going to have to be one hell of a woman! I'm hoping that I'm right in my assumption.... can't wait to find out!
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