This is the first debut novel from Author Harper Miller and boy does she make her presence known. First let me say that when writing bdsm rarely do authors get it right. Harper sets herself apart from the rest not only does she get it right she weaves an unconventional tale of love, romance, with a bit of kink. This story first starts off with the couple micah and Rick telling their love story for an interview which then transcends into the story you read. Before I get into my review the author does offer an explanation as to why certain names are capitalized and not. This is a part of the D/s relationship and while I will admit it took some getting used to the lower case i and the heroines name it made sense for the overall theme of the book. This is a very unconventional love tale and please don't let the theme of bdsm detour you for reading this novella. This is a very mutual beneficial relationship and very different from any other bdsm tale you may have read.
Enter Master Rick,
Rick notices her before she ever notices him. Visiting a popular bdsm club in the city to let off so stem Rick can't seem to keep his attention off of micah. Which is a good thing because she literally falls at his feet. Being the Dom that he is Rick saves micah's life that night and can't seem to stay away. Although micah is physically attracted to Rick she has her guard up and afraid to let herself love and trust again after the duds she has had in the past. As to not give much a way micah and Rick's courtship is not your usual. These two are very much into the lifestyle and while a usual first date may be dinner and drinks mich and Rick enjoy a playroom instead.
One of the things the author does well is that the characters inner dialogue gives readers a glimpse into the world of bdsm. micah is no one's doormat she is a strong Independent woman who has her own ideas and life. While she does love to serve her man it's by choice not because she is forced into anything. Rick is a true Alpha-male assertive without being domineering. Because a good D/s relationship is about trust Rick tries to grow his relationship with micah and because of that their shared level of intimacy is a bit stilted. Don't get me wrong this book is anything but vanilla let's just say that Rick although the Master of Kink his is still very traditional and respectful of micah and their relationship. One of my favorite scenes in the book besides the epilogue was a cute shared moment between the two when micah wasn't all dolled up as Rick is used to seeing her. When speaking about IR relationships authors rarely explore all that comes with dating a black woman. For example our headscarf. I love that Harper made this a part of this book and in such a funny way.
As I mentioned previously trust is essential to their relationship while Rick enjoys pushing micah's soft limits and testing the waters to help her grow He still has his own issues to deal with. I thought at times Rick was a bit hypocritical He wanted her to give but something was holding him back. Because micah is who she is Rick's behavior doesn't go unnoticed and it takes a good talking to from his mother and micah's attitude to bring him so clarity. I do like how we as readers got to see how both families reacted to the couple being an IR couple and coming from two vastly different backgrounds. I felt their interactions with each other just being a couple should have come earlier in the book because at times the relationship felt a bit mechanical. For instance things happen with very little background information given. I understand these two had to grow into their relationship but so much was given to the characters inner dialogue that I felt more should have been communicated between the two. Don't get me wrong that when these two do come together I mean really come together its wonderful you can feel the love and respect these two have for each other. I just wish it came a bit sooner in the story. For instance when these two reach a deeper bond and connection than ever before Rick levels the playing field by allowing them to be themselves (just a man and a woman) her name is even capitalized which in my mind makes her his equal. It's hard to be venerable but it seems before it was just her now that they are equals and he can be vulnerable as well. This poses an interesting juxtaposition between D/s on one hand it's great that the couple can just be who they are without the add on's on the other it makes it seem as though she was never really his equal after all the couple had been through.
I would say this book defines the sensual side of bdsm and the author does offer a different perspective. But more in depth interaction between the characters is needed because it leaves you to wonder if this strong connection is sexual or deeper because as a reader I felt it should have been explored more. Scenes are described like they talked on the phone or about this and that but as a reader we aren't privy too what's being discussed. But then you think it's more than sexual because they haven't had penetration. Harper Miller's unconventional love story is one I would recommend. This story is not what you will expect and that's what makes it so brilliant. I know all the hard work this author put into her work and it shows. This book was well edited, the characters were very well developed and complex. I can't wait to see what the future holds for this author. If I may ask can we get Kisa's story next?
Your's in Kink,