Reader’s Edyn

I always felt like I could do something more than just read. Finally, I have found both a creative outlet and a chance to do something meaningful with my reading. This blog was created in appreciation of and tribute to all of the authors who have brought me joy through their books. These reviews are my way of giving back to authors and providing recognition for the hard work that each one completes every day!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Review: Breathless Surrender by Tory Richards

Title: Breathless Surrender
           Ellora’s Cave QUICKIES Series
Author: Tory Richards
Release Date: October 14, 2010
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Category: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Type: Kindle

Book Blurb:

Months of running into her sexy new neighbor have taken a toll on Alexis’ libido. There’s interest in his smoky gaze every time they meet, but he seems reluctant to ask her out. They never share more than a slight nod and a polite hello. She’s about to take matters into her own hands when she finds herself thrown into a situation that could end her life.With nothing but erotic fantasies of Alexis to warm his bed at night, Reid knows he has to stay away from her until his undercover assignment is over. But when a cold-blooded initiation to prove he’s trustworthy forces him to involve her, nothing can keep him from claiming her.

Reader Advisory: This book contains a brief scene involving forced seduction.

Book Excerpt:

Special Agent Reid Masters, temporarily going by the name Mike Dunstin, came to a halt in front of Alexis, standing for a moment and just staring at her. She gave no sign that she knew anyone was there. But instinct told him that she did. Reid gave her credit. She had to be terrified, yet she remained quiet. No screaming out or pleading for release, no twisting at the rope binding her wrists in an effort to break the restraint. The only signs of her turmoil were the tear tracks lining her cheeks.
Resisting the urge to look at the two-way mirror again, his gaze dropped down her body slowly, feeding the need uncurling and growing in his belly. He’d never had to perform with an audience before. Could he do it? He reached forward, needing to see more of Alexis. He answered his own question when he pushed her hair back to expose her luscious breasts, swelling over the top of her push-up bra. The shape of her full, sensuous body was hot enough to bring him to full arousal.
She let out a whimper when he touched her face, her body stiffening. It didn’t stop Reid from removing the tape over her mouth, exposing pouty lips that were meant to bring a man to his knees. She parted them immediately and sucked in air. Then her tongue came out to wet them. His gaze roamed slowly over her features, drinking in her flushed beauty. Fuck! The bastards had hurt her. A bruise discolored her cheek. He was careful not to let his expression give him away.
Tony, the brown-nose rat, had to be the reason Alexis was here. They’d gone barhopping a couple nights before. Tony had a big mouth. Reid should have remembered that. While making idle conversation with the man to gain his confidence, the topic had turned to women and Reid had casually mentioned there was a hot babe living next to him that he’d like to get his hands on.
Alexis opened her mouth and Reid knew she was going to speak. He moved his mouth to her ear and made a sound for her to be quiet. “Alexis.” He’d made it his mission to learn who all his neighbors were when he moved into the building, but he’d have wanted to learn the beauty’s name regardless. “Don’t say anything.”
She caught her breath in obvious surprise. Reid sensed it was because she recognized his voice, not because he’d spoken her name. “Mike?” The voice that passed through her trembling lips was soft and frightened. “Why are you doing this?”
“That’s not important right now.” Reid said against her ear. “Do you want to live?” Ever aware they had an audience, he ran his hand along her collarbone and around the back of her neck, burying his fingers into the fall of her hair. Damn! Just like I imagined, thick and silky. He rained kisses along her soft cheek to her mouth. But he only toyed with her lips, teasing them with the barest touch of his. Letting their breaths mingle.
“Yes,” she whispered against his mouth. “I—”
“No talking.” His hand was still buried in the luxurious mane of her hair. He pulled her head back, exposing her throat to his hungry mouth. The light scent of her flesh was intoxicating and he had to fight the urge to devour her.
“Please…” she pleaded softly, trembling wildly. “Let me go. I won’t say anything.”
She didn’t listen very well, but then he couldn’t blame her. And Reid didn’t have time to explain what was going on. He had his orders, and his gut told him to get on with it and get her out of there as soon as possible. He had to wonder whether once he removed the blindfold, she would fight him tooth and nail. Or would survival instincts kick in, allowing her to succumb unwillingly to a situation out of her control? And mine.
He felt her slight resistance when his mouth covered hers but he steeled himself to ignore it. Her lips were soft and the taste of mint caught Reid off guard. His moved his hands over her, from her hair down to her waist, taking hold of her hips and bringing her close to him. He kissed his way to her bellybutton, wrapped his arms around her knees and lifted her to give her arms some relief.

Dialogue Highlight:

The room was bright. Something pulled her gaze toward a huge window. Judging
by the scene outside, she must be somewhere in the mountains. Her next thought was
she had to get out of there. She turned, coming up against a rock-solid body.

”Going somewhere?”

Alexis glanced up into Mike’s eyes, which were dancing with amusement. Anger,
confusion and fear over her situation got the best of her. She started to back away from
him. “Yes, home.”

He advanced on her. “I’m sorry but I can’t let you do that.”

“Why not? Aren’t you done with me? I don’t know what’s going on around here
but—” Alexis bumped into the corner of a table and she skirted around it, not taking
her eyes off Mike. “Why are you doing this?”

He advanced on her slowly. “Believe it or not, I’m keeping you alive.”

“Ha! By kidnapping me? By removing my clothes and…and—” Alexis couldn’t find
the words to describe their hot and heavy sex scene. She couldn’t cry rape when she’d
welcomed and enjoyed every second of it. She averted her eyes when his gaze dropped
down her body, bringing a wet response to her nether regions. “Just who are you?” she

“Special Agent Reid Masters, at your service, ma’am. I’m with the FBI.”

Alexis hesitated. Reid?

“Mike Dunstin is my undercover name. I’m sorry you’ve been caught in the middle
of this.”

She wanted to believe him but she didn’t. Not after his obvious involvement in her
abduction. An idea for a chance to escape took shape and she wasn’t going to let it pass.
In spite of her intense attraction to him, self-preservation was stronger. “Prove it.”

When he turned, Alexis didn’t waste any time making her move. She’d already
noticed a door at the end of a short hallway, the glass window in the top half revealing
it led outside and to freedom. Realizing she needed to be quick, she sprinted to the door
and pulled it open. She didn’t let the pouring rain stop her from running outside. And
she was drenched within seconds. Her mistake was in halting to decide which way to
go. There were no other houses around and the road, if you could call it that, was
nothing but mud. They were surrounded by trees.

“Oh no you don’t.” She felt a hand in her hair and she was jerked back against
Mike…Reid…whoever…and inside before she could let out a scream. He slammed the
door and locked it, easily holding her.


I am in a quandary as to how to write this review. I have yet to encounter a story that had subject matter that would not allow me to enjoy the book … until now. I do not want to bash this story or this author because it all boils down to personal taste. Unfortunately for me, the circumstances surrounding the initial interactions within the story were impossible for me to get past. However, I did finish the book as it was a novella and took little time to read. I wanted to give it a fair chance and see how it ended. So I suppose the best thing for me to do is to explain the story as best I can and then explain why I disliked it.

Reid has been working undercover for some time, posing as Mike who is Alexis’s neighbor. The two have been attracted to each other since the beginning, but Reid has a strict hands-off policy while on the job. Which is not to say that he doesn’t have plans for Alexis after his assignment is over. But Reid is in with a nasty gang and makes a potentially fatal error when he lets slip his desire for his sexy neighbor. Consequently, Alexis is kidnapped.

Here is where my problem enters. Alexis is stripped down to her bra and panties and tied up, left for Reid (Mike) to ravage … with an audience. The rest of the gang is behind the two-way glass, but he knows they are there because this is exactly the type of thing the evil crime lord enjoys. In short, Reid is to “rape” Alexis with an audience and then kill her.

Now I will say that Ms. Richards writes this “forced seduction” as tastefully as possible considering the circumstances. But for me it was impossible to move beyond what was essentially rape … but not rape. Does that make sense?

The story goes on with Alexis stowed away to Reid’s secret home in an effort to save her life. They talk, she stays, he leaves to finish his assignment with the crime lord and his gang, and then he returns to lay it all on the line so-to-speak. In the middle of it all, they engage in a lot of hot sex.

I appreciated that Alexis was in a bit of a dilemma because she wants Reid, but knows she shouldn’t, and is a bit lost as to where to go next based on how their relationship began. That said, she forgives Reid for his part in her forced seduction almost immediately. That seemed a bit off. But so did her being kidnapped and succumbing to her desire for this man. I guess the problem for me is that even when indulging in the fantasy of these novels, I also pay attention to reality and realistically, Alexis would most likely not have reacted in any of the ways that she did. Reid as a character was likeable but also somewhat contradictory. He has always been in lust with Alexis, goes the extra mile to save her, but then is annoyed when she balks at his initial explanations and command to stay put. Um … HELLO! Woman being told what to do after being kidnapped and then whisked away by hot neighbor who is not who he said he was? Do I need to explain further?

However, if forced seduction does not bother you, and like I said, it all boils down to personal preference, then you will probably find this novella enjoyable. In all fairness, please do not judge the author by this review alone. I debated not writing this review because I do not want to dissuade anyone from experiencing a new author or this story if it is of interest. But I have always prided myself on writing honest reviews so I went ahead and wrote it. I will let you all in on a little secret though. I have since read two other novellas from this author and rated them higher. If anything, this review would be a lesson to myself ~ and hopefully to everyone who listens ~ do not judge an author by one story alone. If I had, I would have missed out on the next two stories I reviewed and liked very much.

Thanks for listening to me everyone ~ if you would like, let’s make this review a discussion. How would you handle a review like this one? Would you give the author another chance? Would you have even finished the book? Tell me what you think!

(EBook copy provided by author for review.)

1 comment:

  1. Well, you warned me! LOL I know forced seduction can be a problem for some readers but for this particular story line it was necessary. I appreciate your honest review of BS. As a multi-published, best selling author I know not everyone will like my books and that, as you said, it's a personal preference. No two people will have the same opinion about a story they read. Thanks again:)



I lurve comments! Say whatever is on your mind; just keep it respectful. I am always game for a conversation. :)