Samhain Publishing, $5.50, ISBN 78-1-61923-367-6
Contemporary Erotica, 2016
Corrine Barton is 42, divorced and unhappy when the story opens. She’s not that worked up over her divorce, mind you, it’s just that things aren’t coming up roses after that. The men she dated so far were bland and boring, there was that hefty mortgage, she is overworked and stuck in a job that may not exist any longer in the near future (she is the CFO of a company owned by folks who couldn’t adapt to the times quickly enough, and hence the ship is sinking fast)… oh, and her ex is now disgustingly happy with his new wife. Her social life is complicated by the fact that she likes to dominate, but the men she met even through speciality websites tended to be of the unsuitable sorts when it comes to fanning her desires. Perhaps it is natural that she thinks nostalgically, longingly about that first bloke, Reese Ebersole, that ever caught her heart.
When the current owners of the company finally decide to sell, guess which wealthy dude is the prospective new owner that she, the CFO, has to wheel and deal with. Bet you can never guess, snort. Reese was once an idealistic bloke who liked to be on his knees, but time and experience have turned him into something more clich… er, moody. You see, he makes so much money that he stop bothering to track his finances anymore – I hate him already – but all that money can’t fill the void in his heart. No, only Corrine can, and a part of him wants her back in his life. That is, if he can overcome his own demons to get her to agree to come back. He believes that she had hurt him bad, you see, and he can’t decide whether he wants to hurt her as payback or just drool and worship her like he used to.
Beg for It goes back and forth, from happier days in the past to the current timeframe, and there is a beautiful kind of contrast between the two arcs. But one thing is constant: the narrative is lush, beautiful, and resonating. You know, I think the author can write the worst kind of tripe and still make me hang on to every word, because she writes like that. And I have to say, there is just something so sexy about a Harlequin Presents mule-type fellow who likes to take it up the rear end from his favorite Domme. Now that is the kind of alpha mule story I can certainly enjoy.
Now, if you are looking for a happy Domme story, do take note that the present day Reese deliberately antagonizes the heroine all the time, so in a way, this is another story that may have a Domme, but it also has a sub that behaves more often than not like an alpha mule that barks orders at the heroine all over the place. The story seems to be on the right track when Reese’s antics – he even admits that he has been deliberately acting like an asshole to Corrine – culminate in him getting whacked by Corrine in the bedroom, but he then ruins everything by acting like a barking boring Greek tycoon again later. I feel that I would have preferred this book to be about another Dom-sub thing. as perhaps I’d be less disappointed then. Domme stories aren’t common still, so with this having a Domme heroine only to then pair her up with Mr Boring Boo-Boo feels like a colossal waste of potential.
And it’s hard for me to stay patient with Reese because he comes off as petty rather than damaged way too often. Then again, it may be difficult to empathize with a man who owns every freaking other thing on the planet and can buy everything else with a snap of his fingers, but he’d never stop acting like an ass on fire because his daddy didn’t love him enough. That man was long dead anyway, he could always go defecate on that grave if he has so many issues in his heart, after all. To go all hot and cold on Corrine only makes him look like a silly boy with too much time on his hands and too much power to show his rear end to the world without repercussions.
Anyway, the author’s narrative style makes this one hard to put down despite the hero’s silly boy antics, but in the end, I really wish the heroine, who is actually a great character in her own right, has been paired with someone who isn’t this much of a crybaby boo boo.