*I was given a free copy of this book in return for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. I was not paid by the publisher or the author for my review*
Available: July 22, 2014
Desired – Stacey Kennedy
Apparently, I’ve been reading the wrong type of BDSM novels. Well. I mean… I don’t read them that often. Not that you could really tell from what I’ve been reviewing.
This was another new read for me. I’ve never read anything by Stacey Kennedy before, and just like the last BDSM book I reviewed, I loved this one.
Desired is set in Las Vegas — Sin City. Which was totally appropriate in my opinion. I looove Las Vegas. I was actually there a few months ago. I love when books I’m reading are set in places that I’ve been to, so that when they’re describing the scenery/buildings/area I can picture it in my mind, because I’ve been there.
Most people when they think of BDSM books (in my experience) automatically think Fifty Shades of Grey. Which I read. I read all three books. They were entertaining, but they weren’t great. This book was great.
Kyler was nothing like Christian, thank lawd.
Kyler was very clearly a Dom. It radiated from him… that “I’m powerful and not going to take any shit” type thing. He was also a cop. Phew. I do love a man in uniform. He was very clear on his limits, on things that he wasn’t okay with. But he was also very clear in his desire for Ella. From the very start he was drawn to Ella — even though she was very clearly vanilla.
Ella was beautifully flawed. She’s fresh out of an abusive relationship, and she just wants to put her past behind her and move on. Unfortunately, things aren’t that easy. Even with all that’s happened to her, she’s still sassy and loving.
Ella and Kyler (I just LOVE his name. Sorry not sorry) meet at Kyler’s friend, and Ella’s boss Aidan’s wedding. Aidan, of course, is a Dom too and is a member of the same club that Kyler is a Master of. Aidan see’s Kyler’s interest in Ella (not that he was really trying to hide it… ) and kind of tries to warn him away from her. Aidan knows Kyler’s kinks and is pretty sure that Ella is too vanilla for him. Like that could keep Kyler away. Hah.
Kyler knows pretty much from the moment that he and Ella finally speak (and dance at the wedding — even though she stepped on his foot) that he wants to pursue this thing that they have burning between them. They can both feel that something is there, and he wants to jump on it.
She’s a little more reserved. Yes, she’s very attracted to him, and is very okay with the idea of jumping into bed with him (or hot tub) but she’s not so sure about jumping into a relationship. That abusive relationship I mentioned earlier? Ella is in the middle of trying to get a divorce from her husband Rory. He physically assaulted her and she knew right away that she had to leave. When she reported his abuse, and filed for divorce, all of Rory’s friends (who Ella thought were also her’s) deserted her. After filing for divorce and getting a restraining order, Ella makes the move from Savannah, Georgia to Las Vegas to start over and be as far away from Rory as possible.
Because she’s still trying to get Rory to go along with the divorce (he’s fighting it… of course) she tells Kyler that she’s more interested in having a “friends-with-benefits” type of deal. He goes along with it, but is still clear that he wants more.
I was a little bothered that she didn’t mention to Kyler that she was still married. Separated, yes… but still technically married. I mean, I can understand partly why she kept it a secret, but I was still slightly bothered by it. Especially when they started actually getting into the heavier Dom/sub stuff. Communication and trust is key in those types of relationships, and it didn’t seem like she fully trusted Kyler like she should.
Rory can’t get over the fact that Ella left him and that she’s moving on. He breaks the restraining order, leaves his treatment for alcoholism, and flies to Vegas to find Ella and to try to convince her to take him back. He’s not terribly smart. Of course, he starts drinking while he’s in Vegas and becomes violent and scary again. Rory starts showing up at Ella’s work, and her apartment and at one point, attacks her. Ella ins’t the same woman she was in Savannah, so she fights back even though she’s terrified and is able to get away.
Kyler finds out about everything that’s going on with Ella after she calls the police back in Savannah to report Rory’s appearance. Savannah PD sends a report to LVPD to be on the look out for Rory, and because Kyler is a cop — and a sergeant — he finds out about it. Understandably, he’s hurt that she never mentioned it. He’s also pissed for the same reason. He’s more upset with the fact that she kept it from him than the fact that she’s still technically married.
After finding out, he gives Ella multiple opportunities to come clean about it, but she still keeps quiet. It isn’t until he confronts her about it that she finally tells him the truth about her past.
Kyler takes it upon himself to seek out Rory and warn him away from Ella. He, of course, finds Rory in the bar of one of the casinos working his way into a drunk stupor. Unfortunately for Kyler, his meeting with Rory ends up kind of backfiring. After leaving the casino, Kyler heads to Ella’s apartment where he’s supposed to be meeting her and his friends from the sex club (Club Sin). He’s trying to bring her into the fold, and make his friends her friends too.
Rory ends up showing up at Ella’s apartment (drunker than shit and belligerent) and causes a scene. Kyler and Ella’s friends have no idea about Rory, so they’re shocked to find him there, and to discover that she’s married. Luckily, they all handle the news well and are supportive of Ella. Kyler calls for assistance from his PD and Rory is taken away in handcuffs.
Thankfully, Kyler is able to persuade Rory at the police station to sign the divorce papers (without hitting him, GO KYLER) and has Rory’s ass sent back to Savannah. Now that that’s behind them, both Ella and Kyler are able to move forward with their lives.
I thought that the topic of spousal abuse in the book was handled in a very tasteful way. It wasn’t too in your face, but it also wasn’t just glossed over. Stacey Kennedy brought up the fact that for a lot of abuse victims, they’re vilified for leaving their abusive partners. They lose people they thought were friends, and their life changes.
Overall, I liked the book a lot and I would read it again. I do wish a few things had been slightly different (like Ella telling Kyler that she was separated earlier and without having to be confronted about it) but I understand that it was presented that way so that the story would work.