Monday, July 13, 2015

review || MY OBSESSION { blog tour } by Cassie Ryan

Loveswept | July 21, 2015 | Erotica/Romantic Suspense
Club Desire, book 1


In this story of temptation and total surrender for readers of Sylvia Day and J. Kenner, a powerful master gives his dream girl a new beginning in the dungeons of decadent ecstasy.

Running from a troubled past, Sandra Barry spent years hiding out in New York City’s BDSM scene, finding satisfaction and even a sense of community as a sub at a large dungeon. But when a stalker joins the dungeon posing as a Dom, he crosses her personal boundaries, giving her no choice but to return home to Arizona. Seeking refuge once again in the kink lifestyle, Sandra meets a sexy new Dom whose tutelage drives her wild—although there’s something familiar about him she just can’t place.

As a teenager, Brent Weston was a nerd. Now he owns the hottest dungeon in Phoenix, enjoying the power and success he’s always craved. All that’s missing is the right woman to share it with. Then one day Sandra, his secret high school crush, walks into his club. She’s just as beautiful as he remembers. She’s also scared as hell. Brent has been waiting for this moment, and now that Sandra’s in his sights, he’ll do anything to protect her, pleasure her—and prove that he’s the only master worthy of her devotion.
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{ about cassie ryan } .

Cassie Ryan (aka Tina Gerow) started her career writing steamy paranormal romance under another pen name. However, when one of her critique partners suggested she try her hand at contemporary romance, she gave it a shot—and Cassie Ryan was officially born. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and besides being a write-a-holic, is a frequent speaker on several writing and motivational topics.

{ excerpt } .

Sandra’s blood raced through her veins as she approached the large double doors of the very elite Club Desire, set high on Camelback Mountain in Paradise Valley, Arizona.

Her old dungeon in New York had looked like an office building compared to this semi-gothic castle that had seemingly erupted out of the desert mountainside. The explosions of stars scattered across the dark sky behind it only added to the effect.

Even the energy surrounding this place exuded sex and kink like musky perfume lacing through the tang of creosote and desert night. If she hadn’t come here willingly, she might feel like a fairy princess being lured to her doom. If she were very lucky, it would be an erotic doom.

She smiled at the thought and forced her attention to the man standing just to the side of the large double doors. As she approached, he gave her the same head-to-toe perusal that most men did.

She mentally shrugged. After all, this was a sex club, not a YMCA. Here it wasn’t rude to peruse a stranger like that.

The man was attractive and well muscled, but from the way he carried himself she could tell he wasn’t a Dom. Maybe an employee who was a kink enthusiast?

“Good evening. How may I help you?” His voice confirmed her opinion. Not that he wasn’t masculine; he definitely was. But Doms had a certain air about them, a certain underlying arrogance and presence that laced their every word and action, in or out of the dungeon. A description that most Doms would balk at. And something that this man lacked.

Sandra rolled her eyes at her inner monologue and gripped the envelope in her hand a little tighter until the sound of the crumpling paper made her stop. She hesitated for a long moment, trying to find something coherent to say. She finally settled on, “I’m here to petition for membership?” She held up the crumpled envelope, locking her knees against the urge to leave.

She’d just run from New York to the familiar city where she’d grown up. She’d risked dredging up old, painful memories to come here, so she refused to run again.

She would rebuild her life here, and wouldn’t let anyone tell her otherwise. Now she had to figure out how to make that happen, and how to keep her resolve strong while she did.

The man held out his hand and she placed the envelope on his open palm. She’d never even broken the seal, so she wasn’t sure what her old Dungeon Master had written. He’d only told her that if she ever wished to join this particular dungeon he knew the owner, and he had given her a written recommendation.

Now that she’d handed it over, curiosity burned inside her to know what he’d said about her. But it was too late to ask for it back now.

“Please, come inside.” The man opened one of the large doors, and a welcome wall of cold air hit them. “We’re a few months from when the summer nights are nearly as hot as the days, but it’s still a bit warm out here.”

He motioned her inside and down a hallway to a comfortable waiting area surrounded by large windows that looked out over the main floor of the dungeon. Or at least she assumed this was the main floor. There were few basement levels in Phoenix.

Sandra took a chair that gave her the best view of the floor and the play currently in progress. She was alone in the waiting area, so she shamelessly leaned closer to the glass to soak up all the erotic details of the scenes before her.

Wet heat flooded her core. She definitely missed this.

Sandra had discovered she liked to watch—especially the things she was too much of a coward to try for herself, which seemed to encompass a lot so far. She hadn’t really explored too many of the different kinks. At the New York club, she had made friends with the other subs and gotten comfortable with the idea of the overall lifestyle. From there it had been easy to meet a Dom she liked and begin to explore the lifestyle that way.

The play session directly in front of her involved a short, curvy woman wearing only a red thong with a matching red rope wrapped around her torso so that it lifted and plumped her full breasts—a push-up bra, bondage-style. Her arms were stretched high over her head, her wrists bound in the same red rope and attached to large rings, strategically placed for a myriad of kinks and purposes. She stood barefoot, balanced on the balls of her feet since her arms were stretched so high, but the way she moved conveyed arousal and sensuality⎯anything but discomfort.

The skin of her shapely ass was already striped with red marks from the leather straps of the flogger her Dom currently wielded.

The man stood with the confident stance of a Dom, dressed in black leather pants and a sleeveless vest. He held the flogger loosely, his hungry gaze devouring the sub before him, his hard cock easily visible against the front of his tight pants.

His face held an intensity as the next blow fell, and Sandra clenched her jaw, waiting to hear the sound of leather hitting flesh. Too many years of surviving abuse from her mother had left her with a phobia of those types of sounds. But when the sound never came, she relaxed and enjoyed the flash of arousal spiced with adrenaline that spiked through her veins.

{ review } .

I love Arizona. I love Camelback. And I love the houses that are built into the sides of all the Arizona mountains.

So that said?

I could totally see this book. I could picture Club Desire built into the side of the red rock. I could imagine the four basements and the amount of time the deep excavation needed. The scene was set, and it worked for me.

As for the rest... It took me a bit. The erotica aspect and the club scene, heck, even the suspenseful aspect that makes it's way into MY OBSESSION -- written extremely well. I just had a bit of a problem getting into the main characters.

Sandra ran from New York after a disastrous relationship. Interested in the lifestyle, she'd started the sub lifestyle and found a Dom in Diego. But as time went by, Diego turned out to be more abuser than Dom. He didn't listen and wasn't concerned with her well-being. After time, she managed to leave and returned home to Arizona.

When she left, she wasn't sure she'd return to the lifestyle, but decided to give it a shot. Her old Master, Mason, referred her to Club Desire and that is where we begin, with Sandra holding the sealed letter, waiting to see if she'd be granted membership.

Immediately upon meeting the owner, Master Brent, she imagines him as her Dom. Problem is, Brent has some secrets from his past, and they very much include Sandra.

While waiting for Brent to come out with his secrets wasn't my most favorite part of the story, I did enjoy watching Brent help Sandra and her walls. And then there's the big bang moment that helps both of them realize what the other means to them... So while it took me a moment to click with the characters, I did enjoy this club and it's set-up, and am curious as to where the series will continue to grow.

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