Book Review

Asking For It by Lilah Pace

So… trigger warnings for sexual assault and talk of non-consent.  We’re not kidding about that.

Asking For It is about Vivienne, who has a very specific kink- she can only orgasm when she is pretending that she’s being raped.  This has caused problems in relationships and her general well-being, and when an ex-boyfriend drunkenly and loudly apologizes for not being able to give her what she wanted at a party in front of people, Jonah overhears and tells Vivienne that he might be able to give her what she wants, because he has the complementary desire- to force a woman without actually raping her.  They embark on a long and twisty path about figuring out boundaries, methods, and scenarios, and what makes them work and not work.

This is a book that’s been getting a lot of buzz- people have been talking about it for months at this point, and there were many conversations being had at RT about it.  Amanda and I both read it, and had a lot to say.

NB: What follows is a conversation that doesn’t spoil the major plot points but does talk in detail about scenes that happen once the hero and heroine get together. Our goal here is to help you decide whether you want to read a book that a lot of people are talking about. So consider what follows this point a medium-level spoiler. We want you as a reader to be knowledgeable about what you read and we don’t want you to be surprised or upset, so there’s a bit more detail in this conversation than we might otherwise include in a review in this format. 

RHG: Well that was a ride.

….oh, bad pun.

Amanda: I’ll allow it.

RHG: So where should we start?

Amanda: That’s the million dollar question because all I want to do is just furiously bang my fingers against the keys to form a string of nonsensical words. But I think our preconceptions going into it would be a good start and how the book either met or destroyed those notions. Because admittedly, I was very nervous about reading this book.

RHG: I was intrigued because I have read a lot of non-con fantasy books that work in varying ways, but they’re explicitly fantasy, and not structured around “is there some way to realize this fantasy in the real world that is safe, sane, and consensual?”  And the fact that Pace was attempting to do just that, it’s a high level of difficulty.

Amanda: So…I’m a victim of sexual assault. That is a thing that happened. I’m not particularly triggered by non-consensual scenes, but I try to avoid them when I can, which is why I’m usually so critical of books that use non-con as a plot device or backstory. My main fear was that the non-con aspects of the book, both in a consensual sense with Jonah and a non consensual sense with Anthony, would be…porny in a way. Like in movies, with a non-con scene, it often lacks the brutality of the act and is done from a male gaze point of view.

But the scenes with Jonah, I never once got the sense that the heroine, Vivienne, wasn’t a willing participant. Pace definitely nailed the psychological aspect of both spectrums.

RHG: Right.  I mean, Vivienne was outed as someone with this kink against her will, which sucks, but it worked out.  And Jonah definitely had put thought into how he could realize his distaff version of the same kink, if he could find someone who was into it.  How much thought he put into it is why this set up works- Viv’s ex (Geordie) couldn’t put that much thought into it because the whole idea squicked him so much, and she was so wrapped up in a shame spiral over it that figuring out logistics was not on her radar.

Amanda: I thought there was a very interesting scene with Viv and her therapist, Doreen, and Doreen brings up the fact that this kink could have happened regardless of her experiences. And Viv kind of loses it a little bit because she thinks, what well-adjusted, normal person would find rape fantasies appealing? No clue why I brought that up, but that scene is one that’s sticking with me.

RHG: I finished the book about a month and a half ago, and that scene still sticks with me.  That was the point at which I went “Okay, Pace knows what she’s doing.”  I was concerned (in a Tim Gunn kind of way) that we were going down route of “rape will cause you to want to be raped” and that’s not how that works.  And the fact that she explicitly said, in the words of a psychological professional, that it’s not the case made me SO relieved and so impressed that Pace knew what she was doing.

I have no issues with how Vivienne and her desires are handled, not one.

“Anthony raped you,” she says. “The fantasy comes from that, and from a culture that eroticizes violence against women, and leftover puritanical guilty about sex that tells us we’re not allowed to choose it and want it for ourselves, and from God only knows where else.”


Amanda: Same. My issues with the book, however infrequent they may be, lie more with Jonah’s characterization than Viv’s. Because I still don’t know if I can take his “big reveal” seriously. I just have mixed feelings about the “fucked up rich family” trope.

RHG: I get how difficult it was to come up with a hero who is willing to give Vivenne what she’s asking for (see what I did there) because he has the distaff kink, but not make it “he wants to rape a woman” (because he is the hero, after all).  That’s a REALLY high level of difficulty.  But to have it tied back to that level of childhood trauma just… didn’t work for me?  I don’t think it landed as well as the author needed it to.  Again, I get that she needed something there that didn’t make him a character who thinks, “I want to rape a woman and not go to jail” but still.

Amanda: Agreed, his justification didn’t quite fully explain his desire for this particular kink, and maybe that was intentional. There’s still more books to come. And horrible things happen to children. Unspeakable things. But Jonah’s trauma is one of the only things that took me out of the story for a few minutes. Maybe if it wasn’t so..severe, it would have worked a little better. I mean, I honestly don’t have any real suggestions because I sure as hell couldn’t do what Pace did.

RHG: I don’t, either.

I really like how she was super specific about their triggers- when they met and discussed the logistics, Viv gave Jonah a few specific things she did not want him to do, and he did the same.  And when he did something that triggered her that she hadn’t realized would do it, and she called the safe word, he stopped and immedietly recognized that it wasn’t something he’d done purposefully, but that it was in her head and he needed to be there in the way she needed him.  That scene was both upsetting (out of empathy for her) and sweet (because it underlined how concerned he was for her, and I’m not sure she realized fully that he was until that happened).

Amanda: The level of communication (aside from the silly little misunderstandings not tied to their sexual relationship) was really what impressed me. I’ve read quite a bit of BDSM erotica and books often get an automatic chuck across the room if there’s no after care. Consenting adults talking about boundaries and respecting those boundaries really warms the cockles of my heart.

RHG: Especially when those boundaries show up out of no where.

What did you think of the other characters?

Amanda:  Viv’s family are nothing but horrible garbage people. And then Geordie—the scene toward the end where Viv confronted him about his drinking problem seemed a little out of the blue because we only see him get carried away with alcohol once throughout the book.

But Viv’s close circle of friends, I actually liked. I have this preconceived notion of Texas that I definitely stereotyped and found it difficult to imagine such a diverse group. But then I realized I was being stupid. It’s a university setting. And a large one at that. International students aren’t uncommon. And it’s in Austin, which as they described in the book is the “bluest city in the biggest red state.”

RHG: Her friends where all so vividly drawn, even as minor characters, and her family- oh my god, so terrible.  Honestly people, when one of your grown children wants to deal with you as little as possible, ask yourself why.

Amanda:  The South has a different set of cultural mores. Shitty traumatic things can often be ignored because of a pride thing (e.g. the mental illness in my mother’s side of the family). You don’t talk about certain things; you don’t deal with certain things. And a lot of that culture is projecting and protecting this “everything is perfect” image. Obviously, we’re sane, (somewhat) normal ladies, so it’s natural for us to understand something is amiss when someone is choosing not to have contact.

But seriously. Fuck that family.

RHG: Anything else you want to talk about?

Amanda: Nope. I think it’s grading time!

RHG: I want to give a qualified A- given that this isn’t going to be for everyone, and that misstep with Jonah’s background.  For the people this is for, it’s great.  If this ain’t your thing, it’s really not going to be your thing.

Amanda:  I’d agree with the A- minus assessment as well. It’s okay if readers know this isn’t for them. But if someone’s slightly curious, I’d definitely recommend giving the first fifty or so pages a try. And I definitely regret not starting the book sooner. Why did I wait so long?!


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Asking for It by Lilah Pace

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  1. 1
    Faellie says:

    Good discussion, although the reference to southern “cultural morays” did made me wonder quite what fish I might have been eating when I visited New Orleans.

  2. 2
    Amanda says:

    Fixed! 😛

  3. 3
    Jamie says:

    Ok, so I bought this yesterday but haven’t had a chance to read it yet. But holy shit.

    So, first off: I practice non-consensual kink. Rape play is my catnip for real life sex. I have also never been raped.

    Non consensual fantasies are REALLY, REALLY common. They’re one of THE most common erotic fantasies among women. They should not be shameful.

    That being said, I’m really, really hoping that Viviennes “rape that leads to her kink” does not turn out to be a trope. It doesn’t sound like it does, but I’m really leery about this. It can not only ruin a book but it’s also its own way of shaming non con kink and that’s not cool.

    I’m also hoping they deal with the actual non consent scenes in a responsible way. Again, sounds like they do.

    I’m super on edge about this book. This kind of thing is “controversial”, and I want to see it handled with care and experience (or good research). I don’t want this to turn into 50 Shades garbage.

    I trust the Bitchery, so after I read it, I’ll come back and tell you what I thought. Thanks for the thought provoking review!

  4. 4
    Angela Urrea says:

    Thank you for the honest, thoughtful review.

  5. 5
    Leah says:

    This might be a bit much for me personally to read. I’ve never experienced any trauma, but reading about rape or anything beyond dub con tends to make me feel uncomfortable. I do, however, want to applaud the author for her openness and willingness to deal with such tricky subject matter so honestly, because even if I’m not comfortable with it, I don’t condemn it, and I think it’s pretty easy for women to get blasted (often by other women) for voicing desires or thoughts or feelings others find distasteful, shameful, or frightening, which I think just leads to making a lot of women feel miserable and “wrong” because they learn to keep these things to themselves for fear of attack instead of discussing or reading about them in a safe and healthy fashion.

    Also, love the cover. That’s Bernini’s “The Rape of Prosperina”! Can you believe that’s solid marble? The subject matter I’m not personally wild about, but the way the fingers sink in like it’s flesh and not stone is amaaaaaaaaaazing.

  6. 6
    CG says:

    I noticed there’s another book with the same couple out in September, which leads me to ask if this one ends in a cliffhanger? I’m on the fence and if it does I think I’ll pass.

  7. 7
    Amanda says:

    @CG: I wouldn’t say necessarily it ends on a cliffhanger, but the couple definitely has some things needing to be resolved. Realistically, you could just treat the first as a standalone, but it won’t give you the normal warm & fuzzy HEA feelings that you typically get at the end of most romances.

  8. 8
    Hannah says:

    I didn’t think I’d be triggered by this book at all but after reading the prologue only…nope, nope, nope, not the book for me.

  9. 9
    Alina says:

    I finished it, then immediately yelled at Redheadedgirl in Twitter DMs about it. Thank goodness for friends who understand that sometimes a book/TV/movie made you feel things you need to express very loudly.

    I agree with the A- and with almost everything RG and Amanda said. I only really disagree with Amanda about Geordie’s sub-plot, I think it was clearly set up throughout the book, but maybe I’m just more suspicious of anything a writer casually mentions about a character.

    One thing that made me immediately and most happy about this book is aftercare. Even at his most emotionally withdrawn, Jonah never leaves Vivienne without a glass of water, a fluffy bathrobe, and a kiss. Everyone should get a glass of water, a fluffy bathrobe, and a kiss after sex, kinky or not! And the level of aftercare is maintained throughout the book. I also really liked that Jonah is always mindful of the logistics of the set-up and their respective safety. Again, it’s nice that it’s a thing throughout and not just paid lip-service to once and forgotten.

    I kind of like that Vivienne was… oblivious about Jonah’s potential limits and needs. That she needed to be reminded, “Your partners get to have limits too”. It doesn’t make her a bad person, but it does mean the book specifically spells out that Jonah is not some cardboard cut-out, mustache-twirling villain for rent.

    The minus to my A comes partly from the same reasons as RG and Amanda had – it’s not that I didn’t “buy” Jonah’s back story, is that it was all so abrupt. We finally get insight into Jonah… the end (I mean, not right there, but within pages). The lack of an actual HEA for the two is what had me yelling at RG on Twitter. I have to wait until September? Grrr! Argh!

    The other part of the minus is for non-plot-related writing reasons. I’m a very big not-a-fan of the YA heroine humble-brag. “My hazel eyes, my wavy hair, oh woe is me, why am I so ugly.” Also, why are we using “gentle” as a verb? Is that a thing we’re doing? Do we have to keep doing it?

  10. 10
    Anne says:

    I really adored this book, right up until Jonah’s big reveal at the end. I’ve thought about it a lot, and I really wanted him just to have a wierd kink, not to have his own baggage that affected the kink or was the reason for the kink. When he revealed his history I felt kind of betrayed.

    As I said, I’ve thought about it a lot, and my betrayed feeling mirror’s Jonah’s feelings toward Vivienne. When Jonah discovers Vivienne’s secret, he feels betrayed and doesn’t want to do the kink any more. I felt bad for Vivienne at that point! Why should he hold her past against her? Shouldn’t she determine what she was and wasn’t ready to do?

    When I discovered Jonah’s secret I didn’t want to read the kink any more, and it made me feel bad about the scenes I’d enjoyed. It occurs to me that this is probably how Jonah felt about Vivienne’s reveal. I wonder if that was intentional on the author’s part or just my own interpretation?

    I was prepared for the not-quite-HEA ending, but it still left me frustrated. Even worse is not knowing how many more books there will be. I want to know how things turn out for J&V, but his secret turned out to be very intense. I know myself. I could probably handle one more book, but I can’t read this level of angst for an entire series of books before getting some resolution.

  11. 11
    Cordy (not stuck in spam filter sub-type) says:

    Question for those who have read this: the blurb describes the heroine as a “graduate student” – is this New Adult?

  12. 12
    marion says:

    Is this story sort of like the novella “Willing Victim” by Cara McKenna? I liked that one. And seconding the question whether this is New Adult as I don’t read NA.

  13. 13
    Leah says:

    The heroine is 25. I don’t know if that automatically makes it New Adult or not. 🙂

  14. 14
    Alina says:

    I wouldn’t classify this as New Adult – NA, in my opinion, is about characters finding themselves in post-high-school life, most often by being firmly ensconced in the undergraduate experience. This book is set around a university campus because its characters work there, but it’s not remotely about finding/setting your professional or even life path.

  15. 15
    Anne says:

    It’s like Willing Victim in that it has the same type of kink. However, in Willing Victim you have two people who have that kink without a history related to that kink, so the kink is pretty straight forward and uncomplicated. Asking For It is more complicated. It’s told from Vivienne’s POV and it’s clear that her own history is linked to her kink. I hope that helps!

  16. 16
    marion says:

    Thank you guys for the info!

  17. 17
    Lindsay says:

    I don’t think I say it enough, but thank you for the content notices/warnings — this book was advertised in a way that really badly caught me off-guard, and I’m afraid to look at it because just the title sets off so many bad reactions. I haven’t even READ the book yet, and I don’t know if I will, and the ridiculous thing is that I’d probably like it for a lot of the reasons above. I also have PTSD and it says NOPE when it comes to being blindsided when I am feeling safe and comfortable.

    I go into my history over on DA (where the same thing’s being discussed) but I’ve been raped and had rape fantasies (and flashbacks) and the two are nothing like each other. There is nothing wrong with rape fantasies and you don’t have to be somehow damaged to have them, but folks reclaiming power via them is totally a thing too — I just get tired of it being used as shorthand for a character needing to have a reason beyond “this thing is constantly on my radar and steeped in power and sexual and gendered dynamics and I would like to poke it with a stick in a safe situation”. I know it’s just my experience, but I’d never tell someone “oh noes you should be ashamed for liking a thing” because the fantasy did not happen to me, the reality did, and the two are so far apart there’s no similarity whatsoever, y’know?

    Just geez, advertisers, please be VAGUELY aware that someone may not want to open an email of “Something you’ll enjoy from trusted source!” and have it excitedly describe rape fantasy unless that person has previously said “yes I would very much like a cup of tea/rape fantasy!”. You couldn’t have set up triggering someone better if you TRIED, and I’m positive it was done out of ignorance and misguided I don’t even know what. Don’t… don’t do this, okay?

  18. 18
    Diana says:

    Can someone tell me what ‘distaff’ means, in this article? I googled it but google only told me it’s a tool used for spindling.

    I’m not a native English-speaker, please be patient with me 🙂

  19. 19
    Christy says:

    So, this is, to me, the realest romance book I have ever read. For once the hero/heroine’s feelings about one another don’t turn on a dime. The progression of their relationship is utterly believable. Vivienne’s friends are people you actually care about. The therapist even takes a cognitive therapy approach which is pretty cool — she seemed like a really useful, effective therapist, which happens so rarely in fiction/media/reality.

    Honestly this one hit so close to home. As someone who was sexually abused by a relative and who was blamed and marginalized by my family for it, and who had to face that relative for years because nobody believed me — holy shit was the author spot on. Those passages were particularly grueling to me. As you learn more about Vivienne’s past the fantasy rape scenes start to feel really disturbing which is I think the point. I did think Jonah’s past reveal was unnecessarily OTT but I’m sure more horrible things have happened to children. I too don’t really see the connection to his kink, like Anne I sort of wish at least one of them could have kink for its own sake without it having to be about trauma. I don’t think it’s intentional but it veers toward giving the impression that having sexual trauma is the only justification for having these kinks. I don’t see my kink in any way connected to my personal experience so there was a disconnect for me there.

    That said, the handling of the trauma, and the clear delineation between consensual roleplaying and actual rape, was refreshingly accurate. And when you get down to it, it’s just a beautiful love story. I read this one nonstop and am pretty annoyed I have to wait until September for the next one.

  20. 20
    Faellie says:

    @Diana: “distaff” has the literal meaning that you googled but is usually used as a metaphor for “female” – as in “the distaff [ie female] side of the family” – based on spinning thread historically being predominately a female occupation.

    I think RHG might have made her meaning clearer if she had used an expression something like “the corresponding kink” or “the complementary kink”

  21. 21
    Faellie says:

    And I’d better apologise for excessive pedantry in this thread.

  22. 22
    Diana says:

    @Faellie – Thanks for the clarification!

  23. 23
    Jamie says:

    Ok, I read it. I loved about 95% of it. The play scenes were spot on, the boundary setting was super clear and on both sides, the empathy I felt for Vivienne after her rape…these were fabulous.

    I wanted to use my very sharp skinning knife on her rapist, but I went and carved up some beef ribs to deal with it. We’ve all got issues.

    Jonah’s revelation at the end…ugh holy jesus fuck. I feel SO bad for the guy. Like other readers, I felt it was a little hasty and tacked on (and I have to wait until September to read the sequel), but it explained his aloofness a lot.

    What I found MOST interesting was Vivienne’s realization that she might be into rape play despite her rape, not because of it. I have to admit, the shame she felt really rubbed me the wrong way, because I DID feel like there was a heavy implication of “you can’t be into this kink unless you’re fucked up”, which is not the point the author was trying to make, but there it is.

    I’d really like to see Vivienne enjoy her kink without shame, and to make no apologies for liking it either.

    Overall, I loved the book, but Jonah’s issue and the shame bugged me. I’d give it 4 out of 5.

  24. 24
    Julia In Austin says:

    I didn’t realize it’s set in Austin. Now I have to read it.

    To #12, UT is a huge employer for Austin (I’ve worked for UT for almost 10 years), so there may be more adults on campus than students, at least during the day.

    And Amanda’s description of Austin and UT is right. Super blue, lots of international students, serious research university.

    (I bought it before I could finish typing this.)

  25. 25
    T.S. says:

    I actually just reviewed this book myself and went for a 3.5/5 or a B. I actually had little trouble with Jonah’s backstory other than it being abrupt. We see horrible things like that on the news all the time so while it squicked me out…I understood the crafting of that story. It sets up a very specific concept of him finding the actual act of rape abhorrent (rightly so) and feeling as though he has been cast as the villain unknowingly (even when he hasn’t).

    I also mentioned in my review my dislike for the phrase “rape fantasy”. I preferred the term “consensual forced sex” because I find “rape fantasy” to be an improper term. Vivienne doesn’t fantasize about being raped. She fantasizes about being forced in a consensual relationship. She would not walk down the street and really want a stranger to force her. She mentions her locking doors and checking things constantly. She wants the illusion of nonconsent while in a consenting relationship. So I just sort of split hairs all over the place when it came to that label.

    I really enjoyed the book and am itching for book two. I really want to see how they move forward. My favorite part about Vivienne was when she admits out loud to Jonah about how this relationship has helped her so much and turned something she found shameful (her fantasy) into something that was not. It just made me perk up after the abrupt Jonah reveal.

  26. 26
    Kimberly R says:

    I’m torn. On the one hand, I would really like to read a book with this subject matter because I never really have. (I did try the 50 Shades of Crap but that obviously doesn’t count.) But on the other hand, I really would rather have one or both of them not have been raped/sexually abused. I want it to be ok that non-abused people can have these fantasies and explore them with mutual caring and boundaries and figure out a balance. (I’ve never been sexually abused so there’s no trigger possibility there-I just don’t want it to feel like their pasts have to dictate their current fantasies.) Maybe I’ll download a sample and see how it feels.

  27. 27
    Laura says:

    Austin also has a large, very active and very diverse BDSM community. I’m looking forward to reading this, although I am not a fan of linking kink with “damage” or psychological issues.

  28. 28
    Michelle says:

    Let me start out by saying that I am not a victim of sexual trauma of any kind, but I HATE books where the “hero” rapes or is even super dominating of a heroine as in, not taking her opinions into account or even taking her on a trip that she doesn’t know about without asking. If a guy told me what I was doing without giving me any input, nope. We’re done. This is not even remotely like that. You as a reader know from the very first chapter that Viv is in complete control of her life and knows what she wants, though she is conflicted. So, if you haven’t read this story yet, DO IT!!

    Also, I don’t think I’m spoilering anything, but if you haven’t read it yet, possible spoilers ahead? Lol

    I read this book yesterday because I kept hearing about it and was very interested. I know the bitchery is very discerning, so I wanted to give it a try. Though the book is dark, I absolutely loved it. Yes, Vivienne was raped and it was horrible, but I felt the author really shows how Viv is working through her feelings and doesn’t allow that experience to ruin her life. The worst thing for her is the shame she feels about her fantasy which I think a lot of women feel because society tells us we’re abnormal or freaks or whatever if we want any kink at all. And also, her family is HORRENDOUS!! As a woman in a family full of counselors, with my Master’s in counseling, I loved the authors portrayal of Doreen. She was a true representative of the profession and I really felt that Viv was able to focus on her feelings of shame and work through them with Doreen’s help. I also loved Jonah and I know RHG and Amanda weren’t comfortable with Jonah’s past trauma and how it affected his fantasy, but I think if your mother constantly told you, “This is how it is with men and women” even before you reached puberty, that would stay with you and affect your future relationships. I absolutely was gutted when I learned what he went through, but I totally understand how he got to the point that he did in terms of his fantasies. And though he had that trauma, he was a kind, gentle, caring, compassionate person. I really can’t wait for September and am hoping we don’t have to wait even longer than that for the conclusion of the story!! I’m really hoping Jonah and Viv can help each other and I think Jonah should join Viv in counseling with Doreen!! I want her to meet him!! Am I the only one who wanted that?

    P.S. I love this site. 🙂

  29. 29

    The website is my review of Asking for it on Goodreads. Amazon will not allow my review to post due to “objectionable content.” I don’t know how a person can review a book about a rape fantasy without mentioning the word,

    Considering Amazona nd Goodreads are married, I don’t understand why it can post on GR but not A.

  30. 30
    HollyS says:

    I’m reading the reviews and the comments about this book and I’m definitely considering buying it. I’m really amazed that rape fantasy is so common…..I thought I was the only one. The main thing stopping me from one clicking is the cliffhanger aspect. I HATE them!

  31. 31
    Gloriamarie Amalfitano says:

    I agree about the cliffhanger aspect although this cliffhanger seems more necessary than some. I am really miffed about the recent trend to drag a story out into volume aftert volume after volume after volume to pad sales. For example Lisa Renne Jones’ Inside Out Series. One volume came out that did nothing to advance the plot, develop character or do anything to help the story, It was a waste of my time and my money and I said so in my review. At that point she had her contract for HBO series and I think she was spinning it out for episodes.

    And don’t get me started on novellas sold in three volumes for the price of three novels when careful editing would produce a single novel.

    There are series I’ve read, enjoyed and happily shelled out for, such as Outlander and right now, I am happy to pay for the second volume in this series. I think Lilah Pace is telling too complicated a story to have been able to tell it in one volume.

    I did manage to get my review posted on Amazon. I had to re-write it and take the word “rape” out.

  32. 32
    marion says:

    I thought it was a decent read, I certainly was compelled enough to read it all the way through without pausing. It wasn’t special though and ground-breaking in the way I found “Willing Victim” when I first read that. One thing that annoyed me that it was another one of those books where the hero and the heroine are very glamorous and wealthy, especially the hero. Floating through life without real problems – besides the psycho-sexual ones the author gave them. They seem like fairy tale characters to me – I can’t quite identify with these superficial beautiful rich people without a financial care in the world who are never tired because they actually had to work a twelve hour shift. I guess it was only him who was filthy rich. Anyways, I guess I would have avoided the book if I had known he was another of these Christian Grey type millionaires. I am not sure if I am going to read the sequel, I felt kind of suckered at the ending.

  33. 33
    Lauren says:

    I just finished, and I really enjoyed the book. The cliffhanger end didn’t bother me. It was a complete novel that told a real and interesting story about two real and interesting people. If this had been packaged as a different genre, you would have thought it just ended there, and been sad that they couldn’t make their HEA work. Like Roman Holiday.

    That said, I’ll take a HEA if I can get it. I can’t wait for book 2!

  34. 34
    Karen says:

    I was lucky enough to acquire one of the giveaway copies. I found the book fascinating – wandering through these characters’ minds was really something. I can see where there are folks who would not want to be reading this, trigger-wise. I thought the author skillfully justified everything she wrote. i have reordered the sequel so I find out what is in store for these folks next.

    While I’m here, let me say that even though I came to the site/blog/podcast by way of a knitting pattern, I am really appreciating this chance to expand my reading horizons. Thank you one and all.

  35. 35
    Karen says:

    That would be “pre-ordered”, not reordered in my comment above. Between the small print and the over active autocorrect on this computer, I just don’t stand a chance.

  36. 36
    Gloriamarie Amalfitano says:

    Dear Karen, I understand completely about the small print. I don’t know if this will work for your computer but on mine I can push the “shift, command, plus” keys and it expands the typeface to a readable size. Obviously, I have given it away that I have a Mac. If you have a PC , I wonder if something similar could be achieved with the “shift, PC equivalent to the MAC command key, plus” keys?

  37. 37
    Karen says:

    I will give that a try. I have a Mac as well, and though I have managed to change a lot of settings to make things more readable, I just assumed that anything in a comment box was outside my sphere of influence.

    What would really help is some sort of flag that let the writer know that something in their message had been autocorrected – then I would know to proofread extra carefully!

  38. 38
    Gloriamarie Amalfitano says:

    Nope! That command will work for anything on your computer screen, even a comment box. As for auto-correct, I am 100% with you there. I preferred the older versions when we had to give the order for spell-check to take place, so to speak. That way we had to review the options rather than be at the mercy of the program.

    I use Grammarly Lite (1) because I am too cheap to pay for something when can I get a free version and (2) to avoid the strange errors of syntax when a program makes the choice of correction.

  39. 39
    Anne says:

    I have rape fantasies. I am also kinky. I’ve arranged consensual non-con play and participated in such play. I have neither been raped, nor abused in my past, and I deeply resent how this book – like so many, many others – presents BDSM to be something mainly broken, raped, abused people in need of therapy do, either in lieu of therapy or supporting therapy.

    Books and authors like this present BDSM and active kinksters in a misleading light, and they exploit both us and BDSM for money. In view of that I find even Fifty Shades, much as I loathed it, preferable, because it is the more obvious fantasy and easier to see through. The use of BDSM and rape/past abuse for artificial drama in erotica is disquieting and disgusting.

    Due such nonsense as this we have had rape/abuse victims in need of therapy consider BDSM an option equal to normal therapy, and vanillas ask us about the abuse we’ve overcome or hidden with BDSM as if that was a gold standard (hint: until such books and a few socalled sex-therapists advertised BDSM in this manner, the amount of rape and abuse victims among us was equal to the general public). That is the opposite of where either problem and consideration should be taken. It also is becoming a self-fulfilling fantasy, because of such a heightened influx of victims. Things didn’t start out there, at all.

  40. 40
    Gloriamarie says:

    Reading this got me thinking… Erika Wilde, I think it is, not sure, has a series about a couple who have been happily married for twenty something years, they are now empty nesters in their forties. Husband is security or something. He has had Dom desires his whole marriage but never acted on them because he loves his wife and didn’t think she like it. Then she decides she wants to spice up their love life and wants to do the BDSM thing and he is so pleased.

    I didn’t read the whole series because I caught on that someone, maybe the publisher had decided to take a novel, divide it into three parts, sell it as a series, but charge novel-sized prices for a short story. That marketing technique really annoys me.

    Anyway, the couple in these books have a happy relationship, no abuse in their past. So when I read what Anne wrote above, I got to wondering if there are any peer-reviewed studies which would support Anne’s POV or the more popular notion that people only engage in BDSM because of trauma in the past? Because such studies would inform authors of actual facts.

    As far as 50 Shades vs Asking For It, I can’t speak to the pleasures of BDSM or rape fantasies, but I do know good writing and Pace’s book is extremely well-written, which we can never say about 50 Shades.

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