A good 90% of the NA I've read has had it's central conflict derived from sexual abuse. While this is no different, I did find the abuse in the hero's...moreA good 90% of the NA I've read has had it's central conflict derived from sexual abuse. While this is no different, I did find the abuse in the hero's past rather than heroine's a refreshing (if that's a word that can be applied here...) twist.
However, the writing was overly simplistic and could have done with some heavy editing. Neither characters were given much depth aside from angsty feelings toward their parents.
DNF at 50%. The prologue and the first few chapters sucked me right into what I thought was a YA style FARGO, but ultimately the narrator was so...odd...moreDNF at 50%. The prologue and the first few chapters sucked me right into what I thought was a YA style FARGO, but ultimately the narrator was so...odd that it ruined the story for me. I couldn't connect with her, and spent most of the story wondering if she had some mental disability or plot twist that would soon be revealed to explain why she was so bizarre.
I think this is one I'll remain curious about, and can see myself picking it up again in the future, but for now it's become frustrating to find the plot amid all the oddness. (less)
I've been looking for this book for a long time--that is, a D/s erotica with characters I actually like, and a relationship dynamic that doesn't make...moreI've been looking for this book for a long time--that is, a D/s erotica with characters I actually like, and a relationship dynamic that doesn't make me want to scream at the heroine to run very far away.
(I don't usually put gifs in my reviews, but I've probably yelled this at no less than five BDSM heroines in the last couple years.)
The Boss is like if The Devil Wears Prada and... I was going to say The Secretary, but neither character is as fucked up as those two. But suffice it to say, Sophie is an assistant to the dragon lady who heads Portreras (think Vogue), until the company is taken over. Her new boss is none other than billionaire Neil Elwood, who also happens to be the guy Sophie had a one night stand with six years ago.
They rekindle their relationship, and Sophie's submissive tendencies. And though they plan to keep it a casual, no-strings sexual arrangement, they aren't quite successful.
What I loved about The Boss was the normalcy of the characters, and the way it stood the D/s romance tropes on its head.
Billionaire Hero - okay, yes. Neil is a billionaire. He has a gorgeous penthouse and a driver and a cook, blah blah blah. But he doesn't insist on buying Sophie a car, or a house, or anything really. He doesn't exert control over her by throwing his money around.
Weak, Submissibe Heroine - submissive sexual tendencies do not always translate into a submissive personality outside of the bedroom. Sophie is strong, dynamic, and looks out for herself, even to the possible detriment of her relationship.
Surprise!Sub - in most (actually, all) D/s eroticas I've read, the hero exerts his Super!Dominance on the heroine, awakening her heretofore unexplored submissive tendencies. It's like he can smell the sub on her. But he doesn't even ask if she's okay with it, or something she wants, he just forges ahead with his sexual preference, and then in an ~emotional scene, tells her she's a submissive. OH MY GOLLY. In The Boss, Sophie knows what she wants, what she likes, and isn't afraid to ask it of Neil. Though he's had some previous experience, he goes slow, and asks only what she's willing to give.
Absolute Power - Neil doesn't tell Sophie what to wear, where to go, who to talk to. He doesn't stalk her around the city, watch her when she's unaware, or intimidate her with his unstable possessiveness because he just loves her SO MUCH. Neil is a normal person with wants, needs, goals outside of his love for Sophie, and vice versa. Neither needs to be everything to the other. And that was refreshing.
Though it ended a little... dramatically, I appreciated that the level of angst between Neil and Sophie was minimal, and the tension in the plot came from outside sources.
This was one of the smartest eroticas I've read to date, and I can't wait to read more from Barnette. In fact, I just loaded the sequel onto my Kindle. *swan dives in*
(This review brought to you by cough medicine and chamomile.)(less)