A successful executive, M. Taylor Hamilton is on track with her ten-year plan. Too bad her personal life consists of hitting the gym and grocery shopping. Enter the seductive Adam Kirliss. They may have a working relationship, but everything changes at an office party when he handcuffs her to the rail of a yacht. Taylor writes off the adventure as too much champagne, but when Adam challenges her to a date, she agrees to meet up with him. And follow his rules. They share a night of exquisite intimacy, brimming with both pain and pleasure. But afterward, fearful of losing her heart, Taylor pulls back emotionally. Adam is determined to prove that she longs for the loss of control he can give her–and the passionate release it provides. How can he make her see that he wants her, and not just her body?
**This title is classified as erotica and is for 18+ readers only**
Meet M. Taylor Hamilton, a high-powered, highly successful control freak who lets nothing and no one slip past her cool exterior. Taylor has cultivated a reputation and a life that allows for little beyond her work, the gym, and her home. She fully intends to make CEO within eight years (not the standard ten!) which means there is absolutely no time for a relationship – of any kind. Adam Kirliss is a highly successful business man, top-notch negotiator, and dead sexy individual who has set his sights on none other than the Ice Queen herself, M. Taylor Hamilton. For months he has worked alongside Taylor in fierce negotiations and now that the work is done, it is time to melt the Ice Queen.
The fun begins almost immediately with Taylor and Adam both attending a cocktail party to celebrate the successful conclusion of their business deal. Lots of dirty deeds can happen in dark corners if one allows themselves to explore such avenues. Adam stirs feelings – dark and naughty feelings best left to the night – in Taylor and so she allows him his fun and allows herself one seriously erotic and powerful orgasm. As far as Taylor is concerned, this is a one-time thing, a fling and nothing more; tomorrow morning it is back to business as usual. Adam however has vastly different plans for the Ice Queen and begins another significantly more erotic set of negotiations.
Adam and Taylor’s time together is a highly charged night and day full of sensuality, sex, and eroticism. Adam reveals his kinky side in an effort to thaw the Ice Queen and Taylor experiences a total loss of control that frightens her as much as it excites her. Adam proves to be a skilled and imaginative lover the likes of which Taylor has never encountered. Though she thoroughly enjoys her time with Adam, the loss of control and Adam’s admission of wanting far, far more than a one-night (and day) stand causes her to panic and run.
The Bottom Line: Though I did enjoy this read, I discovered my kink comfort level is not quite as high as what Kennedy offers in Sapphire. Though there is nothing completely disturbing, I found the straight sex scenes with no toys and/or bindings to be far more enjoyable. Taylor is initially a very cold and unyielding character whose transition to a more relaxed and sexual being is worth hanging on for. Adam is initially a bit too domineering for my taste but does reveal that he also has a very caring and kind nature I was glad to see emerge in the end. For those of you who like your reads to end in a HEA, there is indeed one for Taylor and Adam and I must say, it is quite a delicious ending.
One final note: Sapphire is the first novella in the Facets of Passion series though they can be read out of order as I did. Honestly, novella two, Platinum is a far more satisfying read if you are a reader like me who enjoys only the smallest bit (or a different kind) of kink in your reads. 🙂
Althea Grant’s Charleston gallery might be suffering from the bad economy, and her artistic aspirations have gone nowhere, but she’s doing just fine, thank you. When bad-boy sculptor Steel rides up on his motorcycle looking to rent studio space, his infusion of cash is more than welcome. But his art is raw, visceral, sexual—and completely inappropriate for her pastel world of watercolor landscapes. Steel, fascinated by Althea’s rare albino coloring, sees in her the key to his next piece: a metal satyr designed for bondage games. Moving into her gallery basement is the first step; seducing the cool Southern belle into modeling for him is the second. As Steel peels away her careful manners and tasteful outfits, Althea begins to realize her life isn’t just fine at all—it’s as pale and washed-out as the watercolor paintings she’s failing to sell. Can she transform her life and accept her most secret desires?
**This title is classified as erotica and for 18+ readers only**
Althea Grant is a prim and proper southern lady. She wears prim and proper clothing, her hair in a flawless chignon, she has a proper southern boyfriend her parents can be proud of and, she owns an art gallery that sells nothing which could possibly be deemed anything other than proper. Until the day Steel walks into her gallery, Althea Grant is certain she is living the life she is meant to live.
Steel is not prim and proper. Steel is big, built and beautiful; he rides a motorcycle and wears his leathers like a second skin; he is a bit brutish but totally honest about his desires and; he is an up-and-coming sculptor whose work is superb and exudes sex and sensuality just as he does. Steel needs a place to work and Althea’s gallery has a basement she is willing to rent out so long as Steel doesn’t interfere with her business or her life. HA!
From the moment Steel and Althea meet there is an undeniable chemistry Steel is more than willing to investigate and Althea is more than willing to ignore. The problem is, Steel is a very, very hard man to ignore and he brings Althea’s prim and proper (read: boring) life into sharp focus. Once the clarity sets in, Althea begins to make some major changes in her life. All manner of naughty happens in the basement of the gallery as Althea comes to understand a little rough and tumble can indeed fit quite nicely into a prim and proper southern lady’s life.
The Bottom Line: Kennedy does a fantastic job of managing her time and space and though this is a novella, both the plot and the characters are fully developed. I very much enjoyed “watching” Althea open up and begin to explore her desires with Steel. Steel, though ravenous for Althea knows he must push her only so far with each of their encounters. Kennedy writes a mean sex scene and varies each encounter enough to avoid redundancy and keep the reader fired up and flipping pages furiously. Seriously, the sexy, naughty bits are freakin’ awesome in this one. While the sex is all kinds of great, the true growth and development of each character is my favorite part. At the risk of being spoilery, I like both Steel and Althea and am quite pleased with how their story turned out.
One final note: this is the second installment in the Facets of Passion series though it can be read as a stand-alone.