Sapphire is a short read, but what it lacks in length it more than makes up for in content.
I found myself pushed to my emotional limits while reading Sapphire. Taylor guards herself so carefully, always staying in complete control of everything in her life. When Adam comes along and challenges her, everything she has built up starts to crack. He forces her to acknowledge that she wants to let go, she wants to lose control, and more than that, she wants to be controlled.
Adam sees the submissive in Taylor, or as he likes to call her, M. He recognizes that underneath the hard exterior is a woman who is ready and willing to bend, as long as the right pressure is applied. The first encounter that M had with Adam was hot enough. It touched on a bit of bondage and exhibitionism, as well as a bit of dominance. But when M takes Adam up on his offer to join him for an evening, things really start to heat up.
It was hard for me to like M at first. She was so closed up to the rest of the world that the author couldn't help but close her up to the reader as well. Adam was a little tricky. I liked him, especially his sex appeal. But as the story progressed, I found myself flip-flopping on whether or not I liked him. After I finished the book and sat back to think about it, I realized that I really did like Adam. He was never cruel, never demeaning and always in complete control of both M and himself. He pushed M (and me) to her limits, forcing her to face her fears of losing control. As an experienced dominant, Adam was sure to remind M that all she had to do was say her safe word to bring everything to an end. Throughout the evening, Adam gave M time to process each of the different experiences before moving on to the next. His patience was endearing and made me really like him.
While I have read some BDSM stories before, it wasn't until reading this that I realized what BDSM is all about. Most people think that it's all about spanking and bondage because it's thrilling and sexy. I'm sure it is for most people. But I think that while it is thrilling and sexy on the surface, there's so much more to it than that. When I sit back and think about this story, it's amazing to me how much M's experience with Adam allowed her to grow. Adam was able to strip her down (figuratively speaking), expose her, force her to face her fears and then build her back up again. And I think that is what the root of BDSM is. Finding someone you trust enough to be completely exposed, without fear of ridicule or judgement....more
First, let me start out by saying that (*gasp!*) this is the first novel I have ever read by Gena Showalter. Go ahead. I'll wait while you pick your jaw up off the floor...
Better now? Okay.
This started out a little confusing for me. I was worried by a few pages in if I was even going to finish this book. But as I kept reading, the plot drew me in and there was no turning back. Let me explain.
Right off the bat, we're thrown into this story centering around Jane. She has a past that we don't know about but is hinted at. The very fist scene seems to interrupt her day and I kind of felt like a neighbor who happened to be walking by, saw Jane in the window and decided to keep watching. It felt clipped and I didn't understand what was going on or the point.
As I pushed through the first chapter, it started reading like a novel within a novel. Eventually I became so engrossed in what she was reading that I had to keep going. Then, of course, Nicolai enters the plot and I was done for!
Jane was a very "vanilla" character in the beginning. She could have been any one of us. She wasn't the drop dead gorgeous heroine, she was a real woman with real problems and no extraordinary attributes. By the end of the book, we come to see the real Jane that lies beneath the vanilla surface. She's strong, stubborn, defiant, passionate, loyal and she fights for her man. She's not easily won over, even by Nicolai, but once she give her heart, she's in it for good. I really came to admire her as a woman by the end of this book.
Nicolai was an interesting character. While I was sold on him as soon as he entered the story, he took some getting used to. His memory loss made it difficult to get to know his character, but it starts to come back in bits and pieces. The time-traveling threw me for a loop the first few times and I had a hard time trying to follow along. Once I figured out what was going on, it made more sense, but it also added a bit of frustration to the plot (which is probably a good thing).
I liked the relationship that builds between Jane and Nicolai. I'm always a fan of the alpha male and their possessive instincts when it comes to their women, and Nicolai is no exception. As soon as he lays eyes on Jane, he stakes his claim on her. "Mine" seemed to be his favorite word. Cavemanesque? Probably, but I don't care. Especially when he's willing to anyone kill for her. Even Vicodin, the killer of pain, who held her prisoner (When you read the book you will understand. It's a sweet moment, trust me. LOL!).
The storyline, as I said, was a bit hard to follow in some points. And sometimes it seemed like it was moving slow. Not in the "boring" sense (there was enough going on the keep my nose in the book and my ass on the edge of my seat), but in that there didn't seem like there were enough pages left to tie up all the loose ends. But alas, that's the benefit of a series. You can end a book and give a couple their HEA (or not!) but not be done with the story. So, where this all leads, we shall see in the next book, Lord of Rage. ...more