Edited to add: For what it's worth, I'm very likely to give the expanded edition a try and see if I don't feel differently (than the following review) now that I do know more about BDSM and have a better perspective on things.
Brita, if you read this, I'll do my best not to be mean, but brace yourself because this won't be pretty.
I'm so terribly glad that I read the first two books of the Romeo Club series before this, because if I hadn't, I'm not certain I would have ever picked up another story of hers. I enjoyed the other two quite a lot, so I was stunned to hate this one so much.
The first thing I didn't like was the voice of this story. I don't know that I can put my finger on what about it didn't appeal (I think it felt too much like telling, not showing), but that alone wasn't the big issue. The characters, their words, and their interactions are what killed it for me.
ETA: I feel compelled to add this: I'm not in the BDSM lifestyle, so my perception of what makes a Dom "good" may not be the same as others'. It's a story set on a week-long cruise, so I was not looking for anything long or drawn out in their discussions. But to not even touch on some of these things with a newbie? Seems irresponsible to me. Take the following with that grain of salt.(view spoiler)[We have a guy going on a gay BDSM cruise for the first time. He's known for a while that he has some submissive tendencies --has even visited a BDSM club before-- but hasn't actually begun exploring with his body yet, just watched. He meets a Dom at lunch on the first day. The Dom senses the undercurrent within the sub. When he brings up the subject of sexual submission, the sub says sure. They go back to the Dom's cabin on the ship. The Dom asks if the sub knows what he can do for him. (I thought this was leading to checking for understanding, knowledge, limits. But...) The sub says, "Can't you just surprise me?" And the Dom proceeds to strap him with the sub's belt. Seriously??! No discussion of safeword --the sub says "enough" after a few hits and the Dom stops-- or of any limits or the possibilities or ANYTHING? You have already totally lost me on this story.
But there was more. Dom finally gave sub a safeword during the third scene (if you wish to call them that), in the dungeon/lounge on the ship. After flogging him over a bench and finger-fucking him in a sling (and letting a random stranger suck on his dick), he then sends the sub (who should be in subspace after all that), naked and ALONE, back to his cabin before fucking him. That is NOT a good Dom taking care of his sub, in my opinion. There's also Cabernet on the Dom's breath when he gets to the cabin? Let's hope the Dom knows his own limits better than he knows the sub's after these few days.
They're both in love in 3 days time. And the Dom's actions are not consistent. "I'm the one giving the orders" and then letting the newbie sub top from the bottom is just wrong. The whole thing just hit me wrong on numerous levels. (hide spoiler)]
I cannot recommend this story to anyone.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>