This is my first ever Liz Crowe book and I was wowed! I’ve never read a book that actually goes full circle… you know, teen to adult and learning about life and love in between… otherwise known as ‘coming of age’ books… this is definitely my first go at it and I was lucky enough to not only find this sub-genre, but also to find the amazing Liz Crowe.
The story is about two people; Evan and Julie. Both of them coming from such horrific pasts…. Evan is unhappy with his home-life His father is distant, his mother is neglectful and even more so with his twin sister Olivia. Things get worse when his parents adopt Damien. Damien is about the same age as Evan, and though Evan immediately distrusts him, Damien is actually the one who introduces him into the BDSM lifestyle. While the lifestyle gives Evan the control he needs, he realizes that Damien uses it to abuse women. And hard as he may try to let this fact known to his family, they don’t listen to him. Damien has ingrained himself so far into his family, that Evan feels as the outsider. And all this leads to something so so tragic I cried 😦
I want to say so many things about Evan’s part of the story. It’s so incredibly heartbreaking . But I feel like one of the most incredible things about the book is that it slowly guides the reader into the BDSM lifestyle. As one who enjoys BDSM erotica, it was interesting to understand the psyche behind it… at least behind Evan’s choice, his need for control (to counter the lack of it at home), his shame for needing the lifestyle, his attempts at vanilla… it was really an eye-opener for me.
The book has managed to create a really good juxtaposition between an incredibly heartbreaking story and incredibly steamy steamy scenes! Evan as a Dom was hot but Evan as a switch was even hotter! There were places I thought, okay that’s not typical Dom behavior (yes me of the no knowledge of the actual lifestyle) but then he switches into a sub… then back… and I think… holy hotness!
But back to the story. We then get Julie’s story… another heartbreaking one, which of course shapes the Julie Evan meets. Tough, no nonsense, wants nothing to do with men. Evan however recognizes the submissive in her. Recognizes the fact that she has been hurt and that there’s nothing he wants more than to take care of her, soothe her, maybe even ‘heal’ her… and possibly heal himself in the process. I absolutely loved this man, the things he went through could break any person, yet he grows up to be so strong… with a strong need to protect others… and let’s not forget his absolute yumminess!
“So the things you need to know about me relative to this are,” he held up fingers as he counted, “one. I like it rough. Two. I’m in control in the bedroom. I set the stage, I call the shots. You will have an orgasm – several of them, but only when I tell you to. Three. I don’t share. You’re mine. And four. You have to trust me. Completely.
“Yes sir!” Is what I would say, but with Julie’s past Evan knows this will be difficult.
…Someone’s submissive. She stopped, put her hands on her hips, and tried to let the word not sound foreign, so weak and victim-like. That was her issue, she knew.
I LOVED this book. The entire story from childhood to adulthood was an incredible journey. One that had me restraining myself from reaching into my psychology books and going into that Freudian theory again!
The tragedy of it all broke my heart, the steamy scenes were exactly what they should be… HOT! But something else that amazed me is the realness of the story. Especially Evan and Julie together. I loved their journey, hurt for them and cheered for them.
I realized later that its part of a series but I read it as a standalone and didn’t feel like I missed a thing. Highly recommended, especially to those of us who love BDSM erotica.
Amazon: Mutual Release by Liz Crowe
Finally I’d like to thank the author and Goddess Fish for providing this copy for my review.