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by Eden Bradley

Pub Date: May 16th, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-425-26998-5
Publisher: Berkley Sensation

A bold Scotsman woos a Creole artist with a bit of BDSM and a whole lot of trust.

Duff Stewart is new to New Orleans by way of Edinburgh, heading up the motorcycle division of his cousin Jamie’s auto shop. While Duff loves vintage bikes, he loves BDSM in the bedroom even more, frequenting the local BDSM club called The Bastille. It’s there that he first sees Layla Chouset, a domme who only plays with women at the club and never takes the role as a submissive. There’s a hidden story there, and Duff is determined to get to the bottom of it, pursuing Layla through dinner dates and a shared interest in art and design; Duff’s focus is on motorcycles, while Layla’s is on sculpture. This is an erotic romance with little external conflict; readers won’t find any jealous ex-lovers or meddling third parties hellbent on tearing the couple apart. Instead, the focal point is on coping with insecurities and learning to accept yourself. Layla has been burned by men before, which is why she insists on taking a dominant role in the bedroom, and her estrangement from her conservative family makes her wary of being judged by those close to her. At times, Layla’s monologues about her self-doubt can become tiresome, but her family’s dysfunction and the hurt she feels about not living up to their standards are easy to relate to. Duff is a pillar of support for Layla as she works through her baggage, and it’s good to see a romance hero take on a more nurturing position. Fans of Bradley's Dangerous series (Dangerously Broken, 2015, etc.) will enjoy the frequent boundary-pushing love scenes, but the heart of the romance isn’t terribly complex.

A steamy courtship in which love can hurt so good. Just don’t expect the substance to rival the sex.