: is immediate and intense. Rachel, who sees vanilla as only a baking ingredient, enchants him. Michael can whip up some pretty hot delights himself, outside of the kitchen. He introduces a curious Rachel to powerful experiences of sensuality. Her Ladylike sense of propriety engages in a running battle with her now sparked Tinderbox desires.
Michael is an excellent cook and knows how to turn up the heat. Sampling the flavors offered, Rachel experiences humorous hiccups. On a date, Michael ramps up the risqué, resulting in a memorable skirt swirling salsa dance. Rachel’s “What the hell, I ain’t getting any younger” attitude spurs Michael to take her to the exclusive, adults only club Pandora’s. Here, Rachel witnesses even more variations of earthly delights, and begins a lifelong friendship with another guest.
Michael is a realist, convinced that within 90 days, his affair with Rachel will be but another painful memory of loss. He is neither willing nor able to yell ‘Geronimo’ and fall for her. He can’t, and that’s that.
Maybe he should just get a damn dog.
This modern, urban, grown up love story is a recipe –three cups romance and one cup of slapdash humor. Blend in spices of eroticism, and beat until smooth.
**adult –only read**
I have been reading books for a very, very (sigh, I am old), very long time and I can honestly say I still, every once in a while, get ahold of a book that is nowhere close to what I was expecting it to be. Now this, of course begs the question, what kind of “what was I expecting” is she referring to – the “Oh! Crap, that was awful and I thought it was going to be amazing!” kind of not expecting or the good kind of not expecting that? In the case of K.D. McLean’s The Story of Rachel, it is the very, very good kind of got what I totally was not expecting. J
Meet Rachel, a thirty (OK, closer to 40) something journalist who lives a pretty charmed life. As a part of her job she gets to preview and review art openings, concerts, and new theatrical productions; she has an apartment she loves and; friends and family who adore her. What Rachel doesn’t have is a boyfriend and while she is pretty happy with her life, a little roll in the hay from time to time sure wouldn’t hurt. And then one night, everything changes . . . .
Meet Michael, an intelligent, witty, and clever author with a care-free lifestyle designed to bring him maximum pleasure with little to no commitment. Michael is a highly successful author who travels frequently; has a couple of close friends he enjoys hanging out with and; doesn’t mind at all that he doesn’t have a girlfriend. Several times a year Michael engages in an extended fling he can end easily with no hurt feelings on either parties’ part. And then one night, everything changes. . .
Rachel and Michael’s first meeting at an art opening is like being struck by lightning for both. Each is intrigued by the other and by the art which features tastefully presented BDSM images. Rachel knows little to nothing about the lifestyle and Michael seems to know quite a bit. The two are so taken by one another they decide to continue their conversation over dinner. Dinner is as enlightening as it is delicious and both Michael and Rachel want to see more of the other as soon as possible. Most intriguing to both is Rachel’s expressed desire to take a more hands-on approach to understanding the world of BDSM. Naturally, Michael is more than willing to be Rachel’s guide and partner.
For the next several weeks Rachel and Michael engage in a whirlwind romance which involves all manner of naughty fun. Rachel is learning, in a most delightful and satisfying way what it is to be a Sub to Michael’s Dom. Some of the funniest moments in this novel involve Rachel’s two inner voices (Ladylike and Tinderbox) warring with one another about Rachel’s behavior with Michael and how she should proceed. Almost everyone (the exception being a horrified Ladylike!) agrees they should proceed to a night at Pandora’s, an ultra-exclusive, member’s only club for those interested in BDSM. After an absolutely stimulating night out, Michael and Rachel go back to her apartment where they finally, truly consummate their relationship. All is going completely according to plan until Michael shouts out, multiple times (no pun intended) “I love you!” and then stunningly and epically panics and runs out on Rachel. At this point, all love for Michael is gone and both Rachel and the reader are left at a total loss as to what the hell just happened? Over the next few days Rachel wracks her brain trying to understand Michael’s sudden departure and why he hasn’t called. Over those same few days Michael convinces himself he is absolutely not in love with Rachel and can certainly live his life without her. And then one night, everything changes . . . .
Rachel shows up at Michael’s place wicked pissed and in a deliver an ultimatum kind of mood. Rachel gives Michael precisely one week, no more and no less to pull his head out of his ass and come back to her. This is the part I was so not expecting! The week Michael and Rachel spend apart is gut-wrenching for everyone. Rachel is miserable, Michael is trying to convince himself he is not miserable, the reader is miserable, and the warring voices in Rachel’s head are no longer warring but consoling one another. Yes, misery does indeed love company. L The conclusion of the week apart is just as unexpected and surprising as the events of the week apart. Michael is forced to face his past and confront the issues that have kept from committing to a relationship and acknowledging how he truly feels about Rachel. When he finally comes to his senses, it is just in the nick of time and yet another singularly hilarious moment occurs– seriously, the series of phone calls Rachel receives during this moment had me laughing so hard I was shaking the bed J
The Bottom Line: I went into this book expecting and perfectly fine with a naughty little romp through the BDSM world. I was prepared for sex on every other page and hoping for a decent plot to wrap around the sex. What I got is an exceptional plot with two fully-developed characters who both like their sex with a little bit of kink. Ultimately, The Story of Rachel is just that, the story of Rachel, a slightly naïve woman with an open mind and willingness to explore new things with the right partner. The Story of Rachel is also very much Michael’s story, a handsome and delightful man who is slightly broken and in need of a good woman to help heal his heart. Certainly the sex is a large part of this read but it does not define this novel, it enhances it and fits both logically and convincingly into the plot line. The Story of Rachel is further proof that erotic novels can be so much more than just hot sex! I can honestly say I am thrilled to have not gotten what I expected and am looking forward to the next installment in the series.
Want to own your own copy of The Story of Rachel (Tales of Pandora #1)?