A note of warning, this story contains BDSM elements, graphic sex and a scene recounting a rape.
Mac Wallis agrees to join the wind quintet, Dominant Cord, for the Christmas concert season as a favour to an old friend. It’s her first step towards recovery after a vicious attack more than a decade before. However, sparks fly when Dominant Cord’s unofficial leader, flutist, Finn Taylor takes issue with Mac’s reliance on medication in order to perform.
Mac can’t understand why the jerk who so completely humiliated her at their first rehearsal keeps showing up in her late-night fantasies as the Dom of her dreams. It’s not even like he’s the good kind of bad boy.
After his marriage ended in disaster, Finn tries to steer clear of damaged women, but as a Dom, he feels compelled to put aside his hang-up to help Mac reclaim her independence and her former life.
For more than a decade, Mac Willis has lived in virtual isolation. She is a master oboist yet refuses to play professionally thanks to a disastrous attack that has left her with not only trust issues but also a fear of playing to an audience. Her only real contact with the outside world is her best friend, Sully, a man she would do damn-near anything for. Except play in public . . . .
Sully the man-whore has broken a few ribs in an effort to impress a girl and needs Mac to take his place in the Dominant Cords quintet. With the Christmas season rapidly approaching a full schedule, either Mac is in or the group loses all of their performances. Though she is terrified to take the leap, Mac agrees to medicate herself and help her friend but man is Sully going to owe her big for this!! After meeting the leader of the Dominant Cords, Sully owes Mac even bigger.
After losing his wife to an overdose, Finn Taylor has no tolerance for drugs and even less for those who use them. When Mac Willis shows up on his doorstep as Sully’s replacement in the Dominant Cord and drops the bomb that she has to be medicated to play in public, well, things don’t start off so well. Finn makes it perfectly clear to everyone present that he doesn’t approve of Mac’s choice to use drugs and if he weren’t absolutely desperate to have her, he would kick her to the curb without a second thought. Unfortunately for Finn, he does desperately need Mac, she happens to be a phenomenal musician (just ask the rest of the group!) and, he is fiercely attracted to her. What is a boy to do? If you’re Finn, you call Sully and chew his ass and then ask questions 🙂
Sully’s injury is a blessing in disguise for both Mac and Finn. Sully wants to see Mac regain some control over her life and wants to see Finn move beyond the terrible loss of his wife. From the moment Sully gets in between Mac and Finn he requires full disclosure from both. Once all the cards are on the table, Finn feels like a complete ass (and he should!) and Mac better understands Finn’s almost militant feelings. What also happens and is most unexpected is Mac and Finn coming together as more than just musicians in a quintet.
The Bottom Line: Ooooh!! I am in love with the Dominant Cord series and this is just the first book!! This read has all kinds of things I love in a read: there is a feisty female, a dominant yet caring male, a good plot, good dialogue, some naughty bits, and an HEA that is well-deserved for both characters. My only real complaint about this read is the somewhat repetitive nature of Finn’s questions once he and Mac begin to take their relationship to new levels. I totally understand his concern and the need to ask but it does become repetitive. Beyond this small complaint, I have nothing but love for the Dominant Cord series and am certainly ready for more.