It's kind of scary to me that Ms. Bailey improves with each book she publishes. Somehow, some way, something always evolves with her writing. To be honest, I'm not a huge BDSM fan but I know that if Ms. Bailey wrote it, I won't not hate it. ;) I think that's one of the marks of a truly talented writer, they can take a subject you may not be bouncing off the walls about and push you out of your own zone and enjoy the book.
This one is full of intensity as (many? all?) of Ms. Bailey's books are, but Jonah possesses an edge that I found to be slightly different than the others. That's something I truly appreciate, Bailey's characters do not run together for me.
"Why don't we start with your name?"
He dragged his tongue across his teeth.
"The one I was given at birth or the one I'd prefer you to call me?"
Carolina swallowed hard, already regretting her answer. "Both."
"Jonah." He pressed his hips forward.
Um yeah. Hot flashes galore with this one. On the other hand, Ms. Bailey explores Caroline's viewpoint so well. Caroline could not understand the lure of this kind of club, much less the lifestyle. Little did she know that Jonah was exactly what she needed in more ways than one. Caroline admits to herself that "she expected to be disgusted" and yet she was far from it. These feelings are quite a source of confusion for her and a source of contention between her and Jonah because he recognizes that she may (or not) be more trouble than she is worth.
But what fun would it be if Jonah walked away from that kind of challenge? None. Zip. Nada. Jonah possesses the requisite "Bailey Badass" intensity and a vulnerability that I will not the reveal the details of. But I will tell you that it adds another layer of depth to this story. Jonah is a dominating sexual ninja AND a tender lover/partner and it's freaking fantastic.
At one point there was shift in the plot, a moment where a decision is made by Caroline (again, not going to divulge) and I swear, I just sat there and thought "Tessa Bailey, you just moved up another notch as a writer." When I finished I felt like this book represented a shift in Ms. Bailey's writing evolution. Personally, I think she needs a bigger field to run around in (like a horse needs a large field...like a really pretty, funny and smart horse). I'm talking larger word count, longer books...more room to run. Either way, I'll keep reading.
GUESS WHAT? In October Ms. Bailey is releasing another book in the SERVE series, Exposed by Fate
The book features Caroline's brother (Oliver) and her BFF, Eliza. Good things to come, I suspect.
Preorder Exposed by Fate: Amazon This review was originally posted on Straight Shootin' Book Reviews