Samhain Publishing, September 2009
Genre & Keywords: Erotica, Bdsm
Heat level: ¹¹
The Back Blurb:
Taking bonding and exothermic reactions outside the laboratory… A Binding Ties story.
Organic chemist Lara Brunner is at loose ends. Since childhood, her life has been focused on work and achieving success in her field. Only now, weeks away from her tenure review, she realizes she’s pushed herself too far. Casting about for a way to release her stress-crazed body from career tension, she visits a BDSM retreat, hoping a weekend of sexual submission will do the trick. Inducting her into the lifestyle is her at-work nemesis—Jaxon Greene. But the sinful intent she encounters in Jaxon’s sexy eyes makes her heart race with desire…and fear. Gorgeous men like him don’t go for zaftig academics like her. Once the fantasy weekend is over and real life returns, he’ll forget all about her. Jaxon is blindsided by his intense attraction to Lara. The more time he spends with her, the stronger their invisible bonds become. Bonds that are stronger and more permanent than any knot he can tie. He’s not normally into converting vanilla women to his lifestyle, but something makes him want to cast his inhibitions aside and claim her for his own. First, though, he has to free her from preconceived notions of proper sex…and love.
Warning: This story contains bondage and whips and sexy professors—oh my!
Maison Domine is one of the three Binding Ties stories of which I’ve read earlier The Initiation of Isabel by Jenna Ives. I rated that one with five stars and three flames because it was a totally hot, surprising story that blew me away. Maison Domine however is much less surprising and certainly not as hot. I finished it the first week of December and already I have a hard time remembering the story and the love scenes! What I do remember though is some questions I had about the logic of the protags actions.
But let me start by saying that overall this was a pleasant read. The hero, Jaxon, is a sexy Dom who aches to show his reluctant colleague Lara the ropes of the lifestyle. Lara is a strong, confident woman who’s always in control and Jaxon knows she’d make a beautiful submissive. When the two meet at this BDSM retreat the heat is tangible. Jax sure knows how to put it, he had my pulse fluttering with his dominant ways:
“He pressed her up against the wall, and tilted her face to meet his gaze head on. “This is how it starts. I can see the signs…the flutter of your pulse right here.” His finger trailed from her chin down to her neck, and Lara released a barely suppressed shiver. “Your eyes dilating in anticipation, excitement, and a slight hint of fear. You are, after all, putting your body and mind completely in my hands. Giving up your tightlyheld control.” He wrapped his hand ever so gently around her neck, putting enough pressure for her to walk the edge between certain safety and the gray space of what if most submissives thrived on.”
Jax gently guides Lara into the scenes they experience together while he himself gets more and more emotionally entangled. They cuddle and have their tender moments after the sex. So far the story develops well.
But that’s before the irregularities occur. One of them is at the end when Jax tells Lara he fell for her during the faculty luncheon earlier that year, which was months before they met at the BDSM retreat. But when he saw Lara at the retreat for the first time nothing of this was mentioned. In fact he was surprised that mouse-type Lara looked so stunning in her red dress. This meeting in the beginning of the book is described from his point of view as well, so I would have expected to hear about his crush on Lara right there and then.
Another thing that appeared to be strained was Lara overhearing a part of Jax’s telephone conversation with his best friend and drawing the conclusion that she did (I don’t want to give away too much). This scene seemed rather affected, as if the story needed more tension and this was the only solution the author could come up with.
And as in most short stories or novella’s the end felt rushed. Jax seems awfully sure of himself and their relationship after spending only a few days with her that didn’t end well at all. His gesture is sweet, but imo farfetched at this time in their relationship. Doesn’t mean though that he isn't very easy to love - he’s the best thing that could happen to Lara. He convinced me of that in the short span of time I ‘lived’ with these characters!
In short, there were a few little issues I had with the flow of this story, but overall it was a enjoyable read with some sexy scenes involving a hot and considerate Dom and his confident but naturally submissive woman.