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Playing Knotty

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  181 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Bondage meets bookworm in this sizzling erotic romance about a shy bookshop owner who discovers an exciting new side to herself when an old friend opens a bondage workshop in the back of her store!

Emma Green has never been very confident. When Ian Cooper, an old friend, asks to rent out the back room of her bookstore for a bondage workshop, she agrees because she needs the
Kindle Edition
Published March 16th 2015 by Pocket Star
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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~ Becs ~

Well, this was a sweet contemporary romance but not quite the edgy affair I was hoping for.  It’s the story of Ian and Emma.  Emma owns a bookstore and is struggling to make ends meet.  Ian, an old High School friend, pops in occasionally to buy books and notices she has a spare storage room and asks to rent it for one of his ‘workshops’.  Turns out he is a rope bondage instructor and his model cancels at short notice and Emma steps in and I think you can guess where we go from there.

While I did

Mar 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
ARC provided by publisher in exchange of honest review

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When shy bookstore owner Emma Green was asked by her friend, Ian Cooper to be a model for his seminar, a whole new side of Emma's sexuality is explored in bondage. Who would of thought, Ian, an accountant has a kink for ropes and bondage. Well Emma's tame and boring life, is full of new eye-opening experiences for her when Ian allows her to explore this new found love of bondage.

Ian and Emma's chemistry was HOT when it involved
Nov 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
I first read this a couple of years back and I have been devouring Winters stuff since, but I don't like reviewing books that I haven't read recently so I reread it yesterday.

Emma owns and runs a book store with a large back room space. When Ian, an old high school friend, notices it and finds out that the normal location for his rope bondage classes has doubled its charges he proposes renting it for his classes. Emma is intrigued, and when Ian's bondage model gets the flu, she steps in to the r
Feb 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Shy and insecure, Emma Green is about to get an eye opening experience when her former classmate, Ian makes a request to use the unused space attached to her book store. In need of the cash, Emma accepts his request and does a little research into a side of Ian she never expected.

When Ian informs Emma that he gives instructional classes in bondage, it becomes clear that the idea turns her on. When his model has to cancel, Emma surprises herself when she volunteers and after one night of knot tyi
Mar 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Playing Knotty by Elia Winters is a different take on the current deluge of bondage erotica that is in the market. There is no dom and submissive relationship here and no BDSM, only the B.

"..His phone beeped, the reminder he'd set earlier to check in online for his flight. As he printed out his boarding passes and conference paperwork, he imagined Emma's reaction to the real reason for his trip to Ohio. Sweet, straitlaced Emma would probably fall over if he told her he was leading rope bondage w
Feb 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
While overall good, excellent writing and PP was front and centre in this book...Talk to each other dammit!

Review is up on the blog:


2. Learning is fun!

3. Teaching is rewarding!

4. Accountants can be kinky!

5. Book girls…now they can be super kinky!

This book was very well written and edited, but I was still screaming at the book. My biggest, prickliest, most irritating pet peeve (PP) is when couples do not talk in a book. One would think that with t
Christi Snow
Feb 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My Review:
Okay, the publisher sent me a request to review this book and I was sold when I read the story description...a shy bookstore owner who discovers her inner kink? I'm there. But this was so much better than even I expected.

Emma is like just about every girl out there. She has a few pounds to lose, but her self esteem is worse than most because she grew up with her mother, who constantly criticized and lectured on how a "big" girl should act, dress, and eat. She's learned to hide her fig
Talk Books To Me
Feb 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Karia’s Thoughts:


2. Learning is fun!

3. Teaching is rewarding!

4. Accountants can be kinky!

5. Book girls…now they can be super kinky!

This book was very well written and edited, but I was still screaming at the book. My biggest, prickliest, most irritating pet peeve (PP) is when couples do not talk in a book. One would think that with the actually talking they did do regarding the ropes, the tightness, the positions, that they would talk about how it felt to feel the
Sandy S
Mar 23, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date March 16, 2015

Bondage meets bookworm in this sizzling erotic romance about a shy bookshop owner who discovers an exciting new side to herself when an old friend opens a bondage workshop in the back of her store!

Emma Green has never been very confident. When Ian Cooper, an old friend, asks to rent out the back room of her bookstore for a bondage workshop, she agrees because she needs the money. She isn’t expecting to participate, and she definitely isn’t expe
Mar 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.5 STARS!

Charming, courageous, and lovely <3

This is one of those books that might change the way you see rope bondage, or any other act you may think of as taboo. Why? Because our lead character doesn’t just learn about a new lifestyle (like the rest of us), she also embraces her bold and adventurous side that she’s kept hidden for so long. You might think, “yea, yea, yea, this is just another BDSM book about two people falling in love. Whatevs!” Err..I don’t think so. At least for me it wasn’
Jessica Alcazar
I received this ARC from Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books VIA NETGALLEY for an honest review!

This book turned out to be SO much more than what I expected. I can't even begin to explain all the emotions that ran through me as I read not only Emma's journey of self discovery but also her inner growth in accepting herself as she was and allowing others to really see her! OH, and Ian .... my GOODNESS, that man was absolute perfection on the inside and out. A little slow on the take (lol) but just wo
Literati Literature Lovers
Feb 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bdsm-erotica
Considering the fact that Playing Knotty by Elia Winters is billed as BDSM, some readers may find the word I’m going to use to characterize it a bit strange. The word is one my father used frequently to describe things that gave him pleasure and just made him feel good. That word is. . .delightful. Yes, book lovers, I found Playing Knotty to be one of the most delightful books I’ve read in a long time. Filled with an entertaining and plentiful amount of information about rope play, it tells the ...more
Mar 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was my first book by this author and after inhaling it, I can honestly say it won’t be my last. From the first page to the last I was captivated by this book. There really is no other word to describe it.

The author has written a book about an often taboo subject in rope play and made it into a love story that was surprising, tender and hot. Not an easy thing to do with what this reader thinks is a fascinating subject.

What happens in this beautifully written and descriptive story really is a
Jeannie Zelos
Mar 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Playing Knotty, Elia Winters
Genre: Romance
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Well, this isn’t a very long read, around 3500 kindle locations, but its packed with heat, and a fun story.
Emma- I loved her, she’d worked hard to get past her mothers constant comments about her weight, and yet its easy to see how it still affects her, how she tries to dress to disguise her curves, even though as Ian says, she’s gorgeous. Its affected her confidence to in that she doesn’t stand up for what she
Anne Dirty Girls' Good Books
This is the first book by Elia Winters that I've read, but I'll certainly be reading more! I loved practically everything about it!

Emma is a pretty shy bookstore owner who doesn't really know anything about bondage or rope play when Ian asks if he can use her back room as meeting space for a bondage class he teaches. She knows Ian from high school and he often shops at her bookstore. She's not sure about the bondage, but she needs the money, so she agrees. Then she uses the power of Google to le
Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews
Kitty's review posted on Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

Playing Knotty’s blurb looked like this would be a fun little book to read. Not totally BDSM, not totally a love story. What’s a little bondage, between friends?

Emma and Ian were perfect for each other. Both a little shy and backwards and both with feelings for each other that are finally brought to the forefront with a little rope around her wrists. Once Emma experiences the feel of the rope, the sensation of being bound, there’s no going ba
Feb 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My review cross-posted from Wit and Sin:

Playing Knotty is sexy, kinky, fast-paced, and a pure joy to read. In Ian, author Elia Winters gives readers a hot, geeky hero who’s seriously talented with rope. Ian’s an accountant who’s also incredibly knowledgeable about rope play. And while he’s sexy as hell, it’s the fact that he’s been head-over-heels for Emma since high school that made me melt. It isn’t easy for Ian to gain Emma’s trust, but he’s patien
Mar 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: erotic
Now I'm not adverse to a bit of bondage play, but I'm by no means an expert so I wasn't quite sure what I'd think about this book before I started. Turns out, I like it. A lot! The thing is though, I wasn't reading this purely as erotica - I wasn't imagining myself in Emma's position, wishing my partner would tie me up in ropes. It was more that Winters' writing brought it to life so much for me that I got totally ensconced in Emma's character, and so when she was turned on... well, let's just s ...more
Jan 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: net-galley
Ms. Winters' romance explores a bondage relationship from multiple perspectives. In addition to the experienced, Ian and newbie, Emma, the commentary from friends and family on the relationship makes for an interesting story. Ms. Winters' specific detail on the knots and tying procedure demonstrates a well researched story. ...more
May 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: library, 2019
So I've developed this terrible habit of jumping around and reading sections so like ...
I barely read it from cover to cover, but effectively I read this book at least 3 times ...
more like 5 ...

So these characters are great - and I love that they're so normal!
No secret or uber billionaire or anything.
No super genius.

Just ... a small business owner, and an accountant.

And I loved that they were kinky but it wasn't a D/s thing - "just" bondage.
Of course it was super sexy.

Then the whole misunders
Regina Modesta
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I very much enjoyed this book. The chemistry between Emma and Ian is so fun and sexy, as is the kink. I love that it focuses on the art and sensuality of relatively simple bondage. I feel it's dealt with in a way and creates an effect I haven't seen with bondage in other books. Like it's less dark and gritty and concentrates more on the seduction of bondage in and of itself. I like dark and gritty too, but I enjoyed the change in tone here. The only thing I found a little frustrating, but this i ...more
Cori R.
Not too short, pretty sweet

Very technical rope language lengthened the book in both a good way and a meh way. It lacked depth for me, but it was a sweet little rope romance.
Feb 15, 2021 rated it liked it
Apr 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
Set in Boston (local to me) with just enough attention to detail to feel authentic. Bookstore owner Emma is barely making ends meet, and when an acquaintance -- Ian -- asks if he can rent her back room for a ropes course, her feelings are mixed but she ultimately says yes. The scheduled rope model catches the flu, Emma stands in, and her simmering attraction to Ian bursts into flame at being consensually bound up by her crush. A misunderstanding over how much each likes the other nearly derails ...more
Apr 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: xoxperts, erotica, bdsm
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:::3.5 Stars:::

This book was not at all what I expected it to be. The core of this story is bondage, plain and simple. That being said, I was expecting contemporary, but with the subject matter, I also assumed things were perhaps going to get a bit raunchy.
It turned out to be entirely sweet and sexy. Which I didn’t mind at all.

Emma Green owns her own bookstore and mainly keeps to herself with the exception of some outings here and there with a couple of her girlfriends. She’s insecure in man
Victoria Colotta
Mar 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Okay. Let’s put this out there and get it over with. This book is about bondage or at least that is a major player in the story line. If you couldn’t get that from the title, then maybe the cover might tip you off. I am going to be honest with you all. When I was asked to review the book, I was nervous. However, as I started the book, I realized that this wasn’t what I thought at all.

When we first meet Emma, she is the girl that just wants to be liked. She goes with the flow and rarely stands up
Mar 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Callie by: NetGalley
Shelves: 2015
*I was given a free copy of this book in return for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. I was not paid by the publisher or the author for my review.*

I’ve read my fair share of BDSM books…spanning a wide variety of kinks. There have been some that I’ve liked more than others. This one was one that I hadn’t ever read before. I don’t just mean the book, but the kink.

Most of these BDSM books have elements of all of the BDSM in it. For those that don’t read erotica, or just don’t know what it
Jan 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-reviews
3 out of 5
Having really enjoyed “Purely Professional” by Elia Winters, I was looking forward to Playing Knotty. It has a cute set up. A shy bookstore owner and an old friend from high school, who happens to be into bondage, further their “acquaintance” when he asks her to be his model for his workshops. It is a cute story. There was an underlying message of ‘loving yourself no matter your size or what your friends (or mother) think’ and our characters were likeable enough. Unfortunately, I was n
Feb 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was a wonderful blend of a few of my favorite things, well written by an author I'd happily read again. I enjoyed Ian, accountant by day who is into rope play after hours, and happens to also be a hottie gamer to along with his college buddy Brent who is owns a game store & is hilarious in the book! I loved their banter. Emma is a bookstore owner (a dream of hers), with self esteem issues thanks to a crazy mother, who is stuggling to keep her syore a float. Emma and Ian went to school ...more
Mar 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really liked this little book. Erotic but not dark or dirty.

Our heroine, is a "school marmish" college graduate who is trying to make a go of owning a book store in this day of Amazon. The store makes enough for her to pay her employees, but barely allows her enough to live on. In walks Ian, a high school friend that she had a slight crush on. Ian is an accountant by day but at night he does rope bondage workshops for those wanting to learn, as he says, the B part of BDSM. He needs a place to
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Elia Winters is a fat, tattooed, polyamorous bisexual who loves petting cats and fighting the patriarchy. She holds a Master’s degree in English Literature and teaches at a small rural high school, where she also runs the drama club. In her spare time, she is equally likely to be found playing tabletop games, kneading bread, cross-stitching, or binge-watching Marie Kondo. A sex educator and kink-p ...more

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