Grand Central Publishing, $6.99, ISBN 978-0-446-54192-3
Contemporary Erotica, 2009
I’m well aware that Lilli Feisty had written a few erotic romances with Ellora’s Cave prior to her debut with Grand Central Publishing, Bound to Please, but I confess that in the past I couldn’t take her seriously because of that last name. Reading this book, however, I think she can give Sasha White a run for her money.
This one has some mild bondage, domination games, and mild pain infliction – nothing too extreme, really – but even for me who aren’t into BDSM in my erotic fiction, I find this one too hot to trot. The plot is simple: Ruby Scott, our event planner heroine, has a thing for bad boys, especially musician types, and when she encounters younger man Mark St Crow during a party she threw for her best friend’s husband, sparks fly. Ruby has flirted with the lifestyle before but she has never really tried it, so lucky for her, Mark is a willing Dom who is willing to show her the ropes. Their relationship is actually quite casual when it comes to the domination part, with none of the rough discipline or extreme acts one can find in less mainstream BDSM works, so if you are worried about feeling squeamish from encountering graphic scenes of pain, don’t worry, you won’t find such scenes here.
For a while, I wonder how the author is going to stretch the plot to fill up the book, because we have two pretty well-adjusted individuals with realistic attitudes about love, life, and sex in an affair. Well, Ms Feisty has the right idea here – she fills up the story with long, explicit, and sensuously described scenes that have me wishing that I have some cute guys to fan me while I’m turning the pages. We aren’t just talking about “Wham, bam, Slot A, Slot B, bye bye!” stuff here, but sex acts, playful banters, unexpectedly romantic aftermath, and effective graphic descriptions of sensations and emotions all shaken and stirred in one heady literary concoction.
The author does try to include some subplots here and there, but I wish she hadn’t done so because these subplots tend to be resolved in a too-convenient manner, making me feel as if these subplots are nothing more than transparent fillers to pad the story between the sex scenes.
Still, Ruby and Mark have a very nice sensual affair here to make up for the lack of substantial plot here. They are pretty realistic and likable contemporary people and I can certainly believe that these two will last despite the fact that they jump into bed pretty quickly. This is because Ms Feisty manages to include enough tender moments where the characters demonstrate that they enjoy each other’s company outside the bedroom.
Bound to Please is a very nice example of what I’d consider a great erotic romance. It’s erotic and romantic without being bogged down by unnecessary overwrought angst, its love scenes are scorching hot, and most importantly, it’s fun to read, making me smile when the characters finally realize that they’re in love.