Author: Beth Kery
Publisher: Headline Eternal
Release Date: 5.3.13
Synopsis: It's at a cocktail party in her honour that she first meets him - and the attraction is immediate for graduate student Francesca Arno. It's also bewildering.
For Ian, Francesca is the kind of woman he can't resist - one that comes all too rarely: a true innocent. But he can sense in her a desire to open up, to experiment, to give herself to the fantasies of a man in control. The first kiss, the first caress, the first challenge for a woman who craves what she's never had - a man who gets what he wants...
They meet at a cocktail party that he's throwing in her honour. She's the artist he's chosen to paint a painting for the lobby of his brand new skyscraper. He's arrogant, in charged and unyielding and she's a little bit awkward and almost arrogant in her own way, at least when it comes to her art. Ian Noble is forceful and demanding. He says he's going to teacher her things, lessons to be more precise.
"The Surrounding high-rises seemed to gaze down at him with a detached aloofness, as immune to human pain as he appeared to be to his own suffering. His open overcoat streamed out behind him. His shoulders hunched against the wind, and his hands were jammed deep in his jean pockets. Every line of his body exuded power, grace, and the resigned sort of loneliness that hardens into strength and resolve."
It's words like those that make this book so incredible. The fact that they are describing a painting makes the character portrayal even deeper somehow. It's a painting yes. But it's Ian Noble more so. He considers Francesca innocent whilst calling himself a "reluctant dom, perhaps, but a full-blown sexual dominant nonetheless." He's far from perfect. Divorced. Demanding. He refuses to give in to his desire for Francesca and watching him fight himself is entertaining in the extreme. Although his masturbation scene in chapter two felt a little too invasive. I felt like a voyeur watching him. Don't get me wrong, I know why the scene is there in the book. It tells the reader so much about Ian; about who he is, his desires, his sexual deviances, and most of all how much he wants her. It's just I felt like watching it, reading it made it seem seedier. Perhaps it was just seedy. I don't know.
I still wanted him though. His words are hot: "Never leave yourself undefended, Francesca. Never. Next time you do, I will punish you." When the punishment arrives I can't decide if I'm turned on or angry. I'm cross that she's allowing him so much room when quite frankly he has no right. She's done nothing wrong and he's an arse but I still want him. I struggle with the idea of submission. It's not that she isn't defiant because she is; quietly so, it's because I would be more vocal in my defiance.
Ian Noble makes men like Gideon Cross and Christian Grey seem approachable. So if you are in to that then this series is definitely for you.
As far as books go though it's not too shabby. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.