Author: Pam McKenna
Rating: ✩ ✩ ✩ ½
Review Copy Provided by Author via RABT
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A chance encounter on a moonlit beach draws sensible, cautious Kay Denehy into a night of anonymous passion and surrender with a ruthlessly dominant stranger. As John Randall introduces her to the exotic thrills of bondage and discipline, she discovers who she really is under the prim schoolteacher exterior—a sexual submissive who needs the strict and ardent guidance of a take-no-prisoners Dom like him. John carries more than his share of emotional baggage, the result of a tragedy for which he feels responsible. Though he cares for Kay, he refuses to pursue a relationship, certain he could only bring her pain. He pushes her away even as his unconscious dream self turns her into a sex slave to be punished and enjoyed ménage-style by two other zealous and demanding Doms. For the first time in her life, Kay knows what she needs, and who she needs, to be sexua lly and emotionally fulfilled. She knows, too, the path John must take to escape his dark places—if only he’ll trust her to lead the way.
This is a hard review for me to write, not because I didn’t enjoy the book, but because my opinion of it is split into two distinct trains of thought. Even now, 5 days after reading it, I’m confused on how I wanted to rate it or what to say. So I guess, i’m just going to go with the flow.
It has been a while since I’ve read a book like Binding Agreement – a few years ago, I was reading similar books frequently, but felt myself getting burnt out, so I took some time off. But when the call for reviews of Binding Agreement popped in my email, I was sufficiently intrigued to put my virtual hand up in the air to participate. I will admit that like usual, I did little to no research on the author or the book before hand (mostly because I don’t like others opinions affect my own). But the gorgeous cover caught my eye – I’m a sucker for these types of covers – but I will say after reading, that I don’t think this cover in general (as much as I love it) is a good representation of the story. So after I was done I went back and took a look and after finding out this was a re-release, and seeing the other cover (while cheesy), it fit the theme of the story much better to me.
This isn’t your mothers romance, that is for sure. I won’t argue that the author can write and write well. I was sucked into the story. Unfortunately, I felt that the length (only 111 pgs) was detrimental – there was so much detail packed in, that for me it seemed kind of choppy in places. I think this would have been a great story with another 10k or so words. Just a way to develop the storyline a bit more. It was too sparse in places, which led to some of the other issues that I had with the idea of consent (which seemed almost non-existant – there was no real “discussion” for lack of a better word) and how Kay/John’s relationship progressed. While the writing was hot, it also left me feeling a bit cold (not sure if that actually makes sense or not).
There were also some parts of the storyline that just seemed to be left hanging – I know why they were introducted – to help develop John more as a person and not just a Dom, but to me, there was just no resolution, which I kind of needed. I also wanted to see more of Eric after we were introduced to him, unfortunately, from the authors website, it doesn’t look like he has a story (as of yet).
But when all was said and done, I gave Binding Agreement 3.5 stars – because as I mentioned above, it was well written. I just needed more.