Friday, August 7, 2015

3 stars--Without Restraint (Southern Shield #1) by Angela Knight

So, Without Restraint caught me by surprise pretty much from page one since I don't read blurbs and was expecting scifi-ish something and walked right into an erotic BDSM romantic suspense! Um. Hello, flogger! lol I'm good with that though. I do love a bit of spice. And spice it had! A lot of sensitive issues brandied about as well.

The quick of it is that Frank and Alexis have kind of been hooked up by friends and decided to pursue their mutual kinky interests in BDSM together. Yay kink! There's an undeniable connection between them and one that's thrown into overdrive when tragedy strikes the local police department and they find their lives turned upside down not only with their new relationship but with being faced with a cop killer in their town as well.

I loved the characters. Both Frank and Alex are cops with a BDSM kink. He happens to have been a SEAL as well and a Dom and does the growly alpha male oh so well. And she's pretty badass too. Submissive in some ways but not in others which could lead to quite the challenge between them and some very interesting scenes as they battle it out over control. I enjoyed them both. Their strengths and weaknesses and the chemistry between them. Things happen VERY fast but while reading it was easy to forget they'd just met. They just worked so well together it felt like they'd always been together.

The sex scenes were hot but had a bit of old school to them. There's lots of creaming and such which, eeeeehhhh, not my favorite but it was okay. On the BDSM front I enjoyed the actual scenes--they're hot, passionate and intense and had some humor and fun mixed in as well-- but it also was a very BDSM 101 type read. Both characters were experienced but it very much assumed that the reader was not and was completely new to any lingo. So everything was explained and in a heavy handed feeling way. Instead of working BDSM ideas into dialogue the characters thought them in almost a lecture type style. So seeing a sub go into subspace and then the character thinking. Subspace is when... A sub will need aftercare because...etc. Once that kind of thing was passed it was very hot though.
Frank opened his arms and she stepped into them. The kiss was so wet and passionate, it had both of them breathing hard all over again. He broke it at last, smiling down at her. "Lets go on to my place. I want to try something really kinky."

Alex gave him a puckish grin and an eyebrow lift. "What do you have in mind?"

"Sex in a bed."

"Wild man."
The suspense side was interesting and where some might have issues with this one. Lots of sensitive subjects that have been in the news lately are breached as they deal with both with family finding out and disapproving of their kinky lifestyles and with attacks at work as fellow cops are murdered. Cop killings, racial hate, homophobia, the stigma of leading a kinky lifestyle. There were definitely some touchy moments as the bad guy spews their hate and cops with alternative lifestyles are targeted. You do know pretty much from go who is behind everything which walked a fine line of being too transparent and keeping me engaged. I kind wish I'd not known exactly who and why things were happening but that may just be my personal taste.

Overall, I did enjoy Without Restraint. I had some issues--mainly with the writing style just not quite meshing for me--but I loved the characters. Knight easily pulled me into the lives of Alex and Frank and will have me coming back for more of the series.

Have you read Knight? Have a favorite?
Do you like books that deal with current societal issues?

Atlanta deputy Alexis Rogers and Navy SEAL Frank Murphy know all about power and restraint, necessary force, and pushing their limits. When they meet in the darkness of a BDSM club, their skills are put to use. With each successive night comes a new adrenaline rush, and while they’re falling into something perilously close to love, their games are still too private, too extreme, and too daring ever to be exposed.

But their intimate lives are upended when a fellow deputy of Alex’s is killed. It’s not a tragic hazard of the job. It’s cold-blooded murder. And he’s not the last to be taken out. Now Alex and Frank have found themselves more vulnerable than ever—and exposed to a killer with a twisted vendetta who turns desire into the most dangerous sensation of all.

Amazon | All Romance | Book Depository | BAM | Goodreads

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