Ni_kii's Reviews > Yours to Take

Yours to Take by Joely Sue Burkhart
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May 09, 12

bookshelves: bdsm, conflicted-me, previous-abuse, menage
Read in May, 2012

** spoiler alert ** Really 4.5 Stars

Vicki Connagher gave up life as she knew it the day one of the scumbags she got off criminal charges shot a well respected police officer. A lawyer because of the prestige, she made a very lucrative career keeping drug-dealers and murderers out of jail. When the police officer died, a man who was also the partner of the man she had fallen in love with, she realised that the life choices that she was making had led her down an undesirable path. Isolated, she runs into the park and cries in the arms of the homeless street artist who had captured her affections.

Weeks later, she takes that same homeless man into her home, feeding and clothing him even though she barely knows him. She has started a new life, a life without a man and without the stability of the career that paid for her lavish lifestyle. It seems that she is making all kinds of impulsive decisions, but the safety conscious side of her steps in and makes her contact her ex-lover to run a background check on her new lodger.

Elias drops everything to try to talk some sense into Vicki. Able to see past his grief, he accepts that blaming the woman he loves for his friend’s death is bringing him even more misery. Upon arrival at her house, it becomes clear to Elias that Jesse wants to be more than just a new lodger. The man worships the ground Vicki walks on, willing to do anything she asks for a bit of attention. His obvious submissive side seems to bring out a side to Vicki that no one prepared for; a Dominant side that she was unaware existed. Vicki and Elias together are explosive, wresting for Dominance and unable to give an inch in their mutual demands for pleasure. Vicki and Jesse together are something entirely different, a relationship based purely on Dominance and submission.

Both relationships hold equal desire in Vicki’s mind. Can she ask find a way to let the alpha dog share her with her willing slave?
I was hooked by this book, but I will warn you that it does not make for comfortable reading. For great chunks of this book, I was uncomfortable with my interpretation of the relationship in this book. It seemed that the whole scenario was based upon the men’s mutual love for this woman, that neither of them was happy. This mean’t I couldn’t quite be happy, because it seemed the two men were unhappy because they shared her. You know me, I want a HEA for everyone, and I couldn’t help but feel that these two men had settled. This doesn’t change the fact that this is an incredibly well written and emotionally engaging book. I was very excited when I was asked to review this one and I was not disappointed at all.

I’m not sure I can classify Vicki into a BDSM role, but if I was pushed, I think I’d class her as a switch. I have never been quite able to grasp the interpretation of a switch as someone who can slip quite happily into either a Dominant or submissive role. This feels much more comfortable to me, as she is Dominant in both relationships; Elias is just more Dominant. He is a big alpha man who has a dangerous job with crappy hours and unreliable shift patterns. He could never be anyone’s Master, as he could never give anyone that kind of attention, but hot damn he manages to master Vicki in the bedroom. The scenes between them are awesome but they sometimes border on violent as Vicki makes him fight for the right to Dominate her. I liked him and understood his attitude towards “the cabana boy”, but it did make the whole story that slightly more uncomfortable.

On the flip side, Jesse is the most submissive man that I’ve ever read in a MF story. At frequent points in the story the characters express surprise that he has managed to stay alive so long and I admit to joining them in this; he is just so needy. It made it hard to like him as an individual character, but I did like him in a relationship with Vicki. He is willing to do anything for her, willing to be a model for her new career venture or stand in front of her mother for her, but he can’t imagine living without her. It was an interesting situation. Again, the scenes between the two of them were massively hot. It is probably wise to mention that Vicki is a very inexperienced Domme; she wouldn’t be a convincing Domme to anyone other than a sub like Jesse.

The overall product is a sexy book which is though provoking, emotive and compelling. It wasn’t wholly comfortable, it did show all parties in a bad light at points, but it was more interesting for it. I enjoyed watching them try to wangle three very individual and strong personalities into one relationship. A recommended read.
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