The main character in these books is India Burke – the getting it on boss I first ran into in Due South.
First off, I love India, because India is a stone cold bitch. Being a bit prickly myself I was so happy that someone thought someone like me deserved the HEA and the romance while still getting to be herself, to be hard and tough. She doesn’t have to take off the black eyeliner as soon as someone wants her.
India is a Sub who has periodic contracts with Doms. It’s been a while for her and her best friend, Rey, sets her up with a Dom named Cris. Ugh, no “H?” Right? That’s what she thinks too, pretentious. Except his name is Crispin and spoiler – he knows the speech.
India and Crispin work their way through to their HEA over two books that cover two years of their relationship. No five days to forever after but someone balancing work and play and love and existential crises and panic attacks. And she really does grow. It takes time and effort and set backs but she grows as a person without having to give up her boss bitch status.
India has compartmentalized her life and personality for so long that she has tons of work to do before she can have a relationship. She was traumatized, badly, by her first Dom and her parents. Crispin is genuinely good for her. It’s not magic dick or love at first bite. This is a real person working through their issues with a supportive partner. That’s a loving relationship that I recognize.
Parker is very good fleshing out of supporting characters. India doesn’t know how trapped she is but the reader can see how she has put everyone in a box. Those characters have a lot of impact on her when they show her they are more than she gives them credit for, including Lucy and Evans from Due South.
A lot of books with BDSM don’t really get to the heart of why. Why some people are doms and subs, what they get out of it and what it means.
At one point in the second book India is in a bar. She needs someone to step into her, to tell her what to do and to make her feel safe and controlled. Remember , DS is a separate thing from BD and SM. Yes she likes the BD and the SM but what’s important is the safety she feels when she trusts someone enough to give up to them. She learned to top and found it nerve wracking because of the responsibility. When you’re a Dom you’re totally in charge of making sure your Sub is happy. It’s a huge responsibility, one that Crispin rises to explaining that her submission makes him feel 100 feet tall. His dominance goes all the way, her total welfare is vitally important to him. Eat, sleep, bathe, take care of yourself. A+ for getting into what people get out of this kink.
Warning. The heroine fucks someone not the hero. This can be a deal breaker for some romance readers.
-Heteronormativity – PIV is not “actual sex” because that implies all other sex is not actual. Oral sex, manual sex, toy sex, is all actual sex. /Rant
-A couple of missed edits, small technical points that only take away from the book because I’m extremely detail oriented.
A – Parker is now a must read for me.