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The Dark Garden

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3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  3,714 Ratings  ·  285 Reviews
If you loved Fifty Shades of Grey . . . get ready to enter The Dark Garden.

A deliciously potent tale of one woman’s quest for self-discovery.

Rowan Cassidy likes to be in charge—especially in her personal life. As a mistress at Club Privé, the most exclusive bondage/S & M club on the West Coast, Rowan can live out her dominant fantasies safely, and with complete contr
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Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 29th 2007 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jen
Aug 03, 2008 Jen rated it liked it
Shelves: other-romance
So I think I might be more into the BD part than the SM part of “BDSM”. This book is all about the SM part. The Dark Garden is about Rowan, who likes to be in control at all times. She is like this because of a past hurt when she tried to be a submissive person. Christian is also a Dom and feels that Rowan really is a sub and needs to show her the truth about herself. Christian asks for 30 days to convince Rowan that she really is a sub. The rest of the story is about Christian breaking down Row ...more
Taryn

This review was posted at My Secret Romance

One thing I really enjoy about Eden's writing is that she makes a smooth entrance for you into the lifestyle of BDSM. There's a huge percentage of readers who like to read it, but don't know the depth of that kind of relationship. Eden does an exceptional job with it. She makes it understandable and pleasurable, while at the same time telling a story. It's why I like her books so much. She doesn't have the readers dive head first into a shallow end. She
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Kate
DNF at 50%. Well, there went 3 hours I'm never getting back. On the plus side it was written better than FSOG (Ana Steele wasn't a character, so of course it was)...that is, if you have a strong aversion to plot and characters with even the slightest bit of substance.

Mini rant: I can't stand in books when characters are drawn to each other because they suspect there's "something more" to the other, WITHOUT HAVING A FREAKING CONVERSATION WITH EACH OTHER. There's absolutely no way you can tell the
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Michele
May 04, 2012 Michele rated it it was amazing
iked this book alot...lots of sex with some story added...I need a cigarette (I dont smoke lol)
☼♎ Carmen the Bootyshaker Temptress ☼♎
I really enjoyed the two sides of this story. You get to see what happened before and what is happening now. An enjoyable and hot read.
Nia
Sep 07, 2012 Nia rated it it was amazing
I love Eden Bradley because she knows how to write BDSM erotica in a very classy, delicate, smart and romantic way. In The Dark Garden, we are introduced to two couples. Each character is strong and successful and has their own set of limits and expectations when it comes to love, sex and BDSM.

Rowan has issues that she has dealt with by becoming a Domme. Christian instantly recognizes her naturally submissive nature and the chemical attraction between them and he sets out to discover the real R
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Mrs. Missive
Jun 17, 2010 Mrs. Missive rated it it was amazing
This was one of those books that totally killed any ability to do housework. I could not put this book down. It grabbed me from the first chapter and I was hooked.

I saw myself in Rowan's shoes more than I saw her. I was drawn that deeply into the story, and I think I identified with the character on such a multitude of levels.

I usually stay far away from any story dealing with a recovering rape victem, and I wasn't aware that was an aspect in this story until I was insanely vested in the book.
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Wanderlust
Cover & Title - 4 out of 5
Favorite Line - "I'm going to make love to you, my Rowan."
She smiled. "Yes..."
"And then I'm going to tie you up, work you over with my hands."
"Yes!"
"And then I'm going to make love to you again, for the next eighty years."
"Yes, Christian. I am yours."
He kissed her again; her lips, her chin, her cheeks, then whispered, "And I am yours."
Favorite Character - April

This book was totally mesmerizing. It was a really beautiful discovery of BDSM, love & fulfillment.
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Spoiler Whore says calm your tits people, it's just a book
4.5 stars

Of all the "dominant" males I've read, Christian Thorne can be my dom anytime. I absolutely love love love the way he took care of Rowan. He just didn't fuck her right away. He took the time to get thru to her and the sensuality he gave her made my heart aflutter.

Side story with April and Decker I also really enjoyed. I just wish we had Decker's POV and why he didn't want to fall in love with April. I also kinda wished April would have gone to Club Prive and have submitted to another Do
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Dee
Jan 26, 2015 Dee marked it as fifty-shades-of-no-thanks  ·  review of another edition
First line of the Synopsis....
If you loved Fifty Shades of Grey. . . get ready to enter The Dark Garden.

Ah, no thanks.

Anas Attic  Book Blog
Oct 01, 2012 Anas Attic Book Blog rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: smut-romance
Read more of my reviews and ramblings at Ana's Attic Sexy Tales

The Dark Garden by Eden Bradley was an artistic, sensual BDSM-lite novel. It wasn’t so much about the club, or the toys, or the sex, but much more about discovering your true self. The novel was well written, and told in a very classy, sensual way.

Rowan is a Domme, at least at first. But she is feeling some dissatisfaction with this position. It just isn’t as fulfilling as it used to be. At one time she was submissive, but after a te
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Ashley Williams
Nov 04, 2012 Ashley Williams rated it really liked it
FINALLY.. a BDSM book that isn't about a millionaire swooning a virgin and trying to turn her to the dark side (lol). I think everyone now knows what BDSM is about (since reading Fifty) and doesn't need a whole tutorial in every book. That's the main reason why I like this book, it cuts out all of the pain-is-pleasure, give-yourself-to-me, do-you-trust-me.. yada-yada. Its just a simple, wonderfully written, luxuriously steamy, BDSM romance novel.

I liked that this book was a little more sadistic
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Krystal
Sep 07, 2012 Krystal rated it liked it
Shelves: kink
Saw this book at Target. It says right on the cover "If you loved Fifty Shades of Grey, then you'll love this." Instantly bought it.

Meet Rowan:



Mistress. Suppressing her past. Fighting eternal happiness. Pride the size of Mt. Rushmore. Secret author.

Meet Christian:



A Dom. Old member of Prive. Spent 5 years in Europe. Sculpts chicks out of marble. Fabio hair.



He seemed hot until they whip out the Fabio hair.

And we meet April and Decker :



That's when I fell in love with this book.

& then they go
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Tracee Gleichner
Jun 09, 2012 Tracee Gleichner rated it it was ok
Shelves: paperback
I wanted to like this book. I really did. And I have read quite a few erotica novels in my time. I don’t read too many of them anymore, not because I dislike them but there isn’t much of a story line most of the time. Unfortunately, that is exactly how I felt about this book. The book is based on Rowan, a dominatrix who works in a club for doms and subs. She loves her job but lately has found she doesn’t really want to “play.” She isn’t sure why this is happening, but her life is about to change ...more
Jessica
Feb 21, 2013 Jessica rated it did not like it
The Dark Garden has to be one of the worst books I've ever read. The description says that it's similar to 50 Shades which it's not. Unless you count that both books have Dom's named Christian. There was no plot in this book and it was wicked boring. I would skip pages and skim over paragraphs because I couldn't wait for this book to end. I found that I like the secondary storyline about April & Decker better. They're the only reason i gave this book 1 star. I couldn't stand Rowan and Christ ...more
Cecile
Jan 03, 2011 Cecile rated it it was amazing
Ms. Bradley holds the hand of a vanilla into the world of BDSM. This book is not set on the dark side of BDSM... no, actually this was a very powerful book luring you in with one woman's pleasure, one woman's pain of finding out who she really is through her life of BDSM. You know the soul searching kinda find we know we must do in order to find out who we truly are.

This book takes a woman who is so sure she knows what she stands for... Knows her position in the world and in her life... a Top. S
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Francesca the Fierce (Under the Covers Book Blog)
4.5 Stars

This review was posted at Under the Covers

This is probably my favorite Eden Bradley book that I've read so far. Highly erotic and sensual but this book is about so much more than just than. It is truly a story about self discovery, about a woman who might be just a bit confused because that's how she's coped with life and who now finds herself with the opportunity to experience what she really wants.

Rowan Cassidy has been playing as a Domme for a long time. After a bad situation in her
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Nonieღserenity2bliss
It's a problem when you find yourself more interested in the secondary couple than the main couple. I thought Rowan and Christian have way too many baggage, it's almost exhausting. April and Decker, on the other hand, their chemistry is off the chart. The latter have their own issues, of course, but they don't make me feel like cracking my head open, trying to figure out what their problem was.
Sibylla Matilde
Aug 12, 2012 Sibylla Matilde rated it really liked it
Mmmmm...pretty hot....pretty light on the BDSM, but there's enough to make it interesting. All in all, I approve!

Nipple count... 55... nice! Also orgasm = 17, cock = 51, and (I shit you not) sex (generally meaning girly parts) = 105! O.O
Marie
Apr 12, 2014 Marie rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book, loved the duel stories going on and the author kept my attention throughout the entire book.
Leisha
I should really read this again - absolutely loved it when I read it, I wonder if, after getting to know the lifestyle a lot better, I still would...

(rating removed)
Tony
I was given this in a challenge, but based on the blurb it's a book I might have picked out for myself anyway. It's a book that I liked to have read, but had issue getting through it.
I had one major issue with the book and it's with the decision that Rowan makes in the beginning of the book and that's mentioned in the blurb. Rowan is a woman with issues and her issues is with the loss of control. Yet she accepts a challenge where she will submit - in essence surrender control to Christian, not f
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Tammy  Zautner
Dec 15, 2012 Tammy Zautner rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
I really loved the plot line and the synopses and was looking forward to the darker read. Rowan was a Domme who at one point had been submissive but suffered terrible abuse under her last boyfriend/Dom's hand. Thriving on the control she has over others, Rowan begins to feel restless. like she is missing something. Her body is craving the submissiveness that she won't allow it to have, Rowan has buried that part of her deep and refuses to take a backwards glance. That is until she meets Christia ...more
Kimberly
Sep 21, 2012 Kimberly rated it it was ok
"If you loved Fifty Shades of Grey, then you'll love this"... Eeehhh not really!!


I love dirty romance novels but I'm not into BDSM so I'm not sure what I expected. The ENTIRE book was nothing but sex and always the same way. Boring! At least twist things up a bit if that's all you got going. The author could have done a better job building up the characters. I never really connected with them so I couldn't have cared less about what happened in the end. Now this book is a good intro into BDSM if
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Wendy
Nov 07, 2012 Wendy rated it really liked it
The only reason I didn't give this 5 stars is because I wanted MORE... I wish the book was 400 pages longer, and that we got to know Rowan and Christian even better.

Absolutely amazing depth information into the BDSM world. The psychology, the training, the understanding.. the preparation for someone to be a sub (bottom)and "let go" and that it doesn't mean you're weak. The strength, control and responsibility of a Dom (top). The terminology's used, etc... I will tell you that subspace sounds lik
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Sarah
Sep 15, 2012 Sarah rated it it was amazing
I loved this it was well written very intense and some very hot steamy sex was there too.
I loved both characters Rowan and April they came across as very strong in there own minds from the start but as the story unfolded with both of their doms Christian and Decker you see them falling intensely in love as they both got to find their inner selves through the d/s play and in the end discovered letting go came with learning to trust again and that love was nothing to be feared.
I liked how Rowan co
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Nikki
Feb 11, 2013 Nikki rated it it was ok
Shelves: nfr
This writer has a nice writing style, but i just couldn't finish the book, stopped after reading 50%.
Here are my reasons:

1. This is not my 1st BDSM book, but it emphasizes the SM aspect, and I guess I'm more into the BD one.
2. The main and secondary characters were described superficially, just weren't interesting enough.
3. There wasn't sufficient build up of the relationships of the couples in this story. They all were instantly in love. After only 2 encounters with Rowan, Christian has been th
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Darcy
Jun 22, 2012 Darcy rated it it was ok
Shelves: e-book, 2012, erotica, bdsm
I think I would have liked this one better if I had liked Rowan more. Part of why I didn't like her was that she seemed to be lying to herself. She considered herself a Domme, even gave talks to those looking to get into the life, but she wasn't really embracing what the whole BDSM lifestyle was all about.

It was interesting seeing her and Christian, seeing him break her down little by little, often I was surprised by just what would cause Rowan to run, sometimes figuratively, sometimes literall
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Oriana
Dec 03, 2012 Oriana rated it it was amazing
WOW, what can I say about this book? First of, I love Rowan and April, two females who find themselves and accept who they are and what they want. It was an interesting book to say the least, it was about BDSM but not what you expect of course there was hot amazing kinky sex, but it was also about the part of BDSM people don't really care to look into, the emotional part of it. There's so much more than just whips and chains and pain. Its an intense book, I battled with my emotions reading it. D ...more
Aiashine
The Dark Garden has two couples. The main couple (Rowan&Christian) and the side couple (April&Decker)
This novel is focused to S&M than bondage. Rowan, is a dominant who have a ugly past about her old boyfriend from college,who dominate her and she suffered from him. So she decided to become a dominant. When Christian walked up in the club she felt attraction to him. Because of their attraction to each other, he offered her to dominate her in thirty days. Turn by Turn, she discover he
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New York Times & USA Today Bestselling and award-winning author Eden Bradley aka Eve Berlin has published a number of novels and novellas, both print and e-books, with Berkley Heat, Bantam/Delta, Harlequin Spice & HQN, Black Lace Books and Samhain Publishing, as well as venturing into self-publishing. Her books have been translated into German, French, Romanian, Portuguese, Spanish, Italia ...more
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