Raine Kendall has been in love with her boss, Macen Hammerman, for years. Determined to make the man notice that she’s a grown woman with desires and needs, she pours out her heart and offers her body to him—only to be crushingly rejected. But when his friend, very single, very sexy Liam O’Neill watches the other Dom refuse to act on his obvious feelings for Raine, he resolves to step in and do whatever it takes to help Hammer find happiness again, even rousing his friend’s possessive instincts by making the girl a proposition too tempting to refuse. But he never imagines that he’ll end up falling for her himself. Hammer has buried his lust for Raine for years. After rescuing the budding runaway from an alley behind his exclusive BDSM Dungeon, he has come to covet the pretty submissive. But tragedy has taught him that he can never be what she needs. So he watches over her while struggling to keep his distance. Liam’s crafty plan blindsides Hammer, especially when he sees how determined his friend is to possess Raine for his own. Hammer isn’t ready to give the lovely submissive over to any other Dom, but can he heal from his past and fight for her? Or will he lose Raine if she truly gives herself—heart, body, and soul—to Liam?
One Dom to Love is my first reading experience with any of the three authors responsible for this novel. The synopsis is sound, interesting and, something I felt certain I was going to like but by the end of the read I found myself far less excited about this novel.
What I liked:
The premise. To be sure, a love triangle is always a solid play and with the added bonus of some light BDSM, the foundation for this read is certainly sound. Macen and Liam are two strong men who are both incredibly interested in Raine, Macen’s ward and employee. As the plot unfolds, Raine is faced with an impossible decision, which man does she want in her life? Love triangle at its finest, right there.
Liam: Liam is by far the finest of the three main characters and I instantly liked him. Liam is a Dom who has been Macen’s best friend for many, many years. The two are bonded through both friendship and tragedy and each year, Liam visits Macen and the two sort of re-forge their bonds. Liam is by far the more level-headed of the two and has only ever had his best friend’s best interest at heart. Liam is in an impossible situation and to make matters about ten leagues beyond worse, he falls for the one woman he shouldn’t even be looking at let alone thinking of, talking to and/or touching.
Beck: Believe it or not, Beck is a like for me. Yes, he is a complete and total dick with a sadistic side but once you get further into the story, he becomes far more understandable and dare I say, likeable. Beck may be totally rough around the edges but he has his head on straight and he is willing – though Lord knows why – to help Macen achieve his goals.
What I didn’t like:
Macen: Otherwise known as the asshole of the year, Hammer. Hammer is the owner of the Dungeon, a BDSM club that also serves as a home to a select few members. For the past tenish years, Hammer has used the Dungeon as both his income and his armor. Since the death of his wife, Hammer has made it a point to ignore his feelings and focus on satisfying his needs. He runs a good club and is strict about member behavior but when Raine becomes involved, he totally and completely loses his head. When Hammer goes off the rails – and he does in a really big ugly way – he crosses the line in a huge way and becomes one seriously unlikable character.
Raine: WOW!! This girl is all kinds of messed up and she is taking everyone along for the ride. She is grateful to Macen/Hammer for saving her from a life on the streets and since that moment she has fallen further and further in love with him. Raine wants nothing more than to be Macen’s sub and she is willing to completely debase herself in order to prove to him that she is worthy. At every turn Raine makes bad decisions and before she knows it, she is fleeing the only home she has ever known with Macen’s best friend whom she finds herself falling in love with. For a smart girl, Raine is one of the dumbest characters out there and rather than separating herself from the situation to get her head on straight, she continues to hurt the two men she claims to love.
The Bottom Line: I am really on the fence about this read. While I like the premise and a few of the characters, I found myself very much disliking two of the three primaries in this novel. I have disliked characters in the past but Macen and Raine have reached a whole new level for me. To be fair to the authors, my level of dislike may be just be an example of excellent writing on their part. Again, to be completely fair to the authors, my dislike of Raine and Macen are my greatest complaints about this read. The love triangle is kind of cool, Liam is a decent man, I want to know more about Beck and, it is a credit to the authors that I can’t see any real flaws in the combining of their respective writing and styles. I will totally give book two a chance but at the end of the day, if two doesn’t come through, I will no longer be looking for One Dom to Love.
Shayla Black: You know what they say about curiosity and the cat…but if you still want to know, read below. Shayla Black (aka Shelley Bradley) is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 40 sizzling contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and historical romances produced via traditional, small press, independent, and audio publishing. She lives in Texas with her husband, munchkin, and one very spoiled cat. In her “free” time, she enjoys reality TV, reading and listening to an eclectic blend of music. Shayla’s books have been translated in about a dozen languages. She has also received or been nominated for The Passionate Plume, The Holt Medallion, Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence, and the National Reader’s Choice Awards. RT Bookclub has twice nominated her for Best Erotic Romance of the year, as well as awarded her several Top Picks, and a KISS Hero Award. A writing risk-taker, Shayla enjoys tackling writing challenges with every new book.
Jenna Jacob: Bestselling Author Jenna Jacob’s erotic romance comes from the heart of submission. With over twenty years experience in the dynamics of the BDSM lifestyle, Jenna strives to portray Dominance and submission with a passionate and comprehensive voice. Her stories will make you laugh, cry, and may leave you with a better understanding of the fulfillment found in the BDSM power exchange. A married mom of four grown children, Jenna and her husband lives in Kansas. Her passions include her family, reading, camping, cooking, music, and riding Harleys. She loves to make people laugh with her outgoing and warped sense of humor. If you’re looking for hot romance with a kinky twist, pick up one of Jenna’s books
Isabella LaPearl: My name is Isabella and I am a new Author of Erotic Fiction. I have recently published two short stories, one a stand-alone “Connexions” and the other is the first book in a series called The Quickening and is entitled “Scandalous.” The next two in the series, will be coming out in 2013 and are called “Momentum” and “Geminus” respectively. December 4th 2012 was a WOW day of biblical proportions for me personally. My first novel was published, entitled “One Dom to Love” co-written by Best Selling New York Times Author, Shayla Black and by Author Jenna Jacob. I can’t even begin to express how privileged and thrilled I was to work with both these wonderful, incredible women, and how proud I am to call them friends. “One Dom to Love” is the first book in The Doms of her Life series and for those chomping at the bit already after finishing this book, you’ll be delighted to know that Book 2 is currently being written.