If you follow my blog then you must know that my favorite book of all time is Broken by Megan Hart. Since reading Broken, I realized I needed something more in my erotica. It couldn’t all be sex, it had to have heart, pain, love… And that’s exactly what Megan Hart’s stories have. They will rip you apart and while they might sew you back together, the pain remains… Sometimes a sweet pain, but mostly bitter sweet.
Which brings me to Vanilla. Another Megan Hart masterpiece. It introduces us to Elise, a domme. Elise has never hidden her predilections. She discovered very early on that she preferred to be on top… that she loved to be worshipped and most of all, she loved men on their knees. Elise is in an arrangement with Esteban, a sub. She sees him often enough but theirs is a sexual arrangement, nothing more nothing less.
“Our agreement wasn’t anything that would stand up in court, but it was one we’d worked on carefully to be sure it suited us both. Realistic, maybe to a fault. This was not a love affair.
Elise is also still in love with a man, George. George is no longer in her life but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t think about him every minute of her day. Which is why she can’t let anything with Esteban be more than just the physical. She can’t let go of George.
“I was stupid with this love. Not so stupid that I didn’t understand that he’d become something else to me. A symbol maybe. An ideal. Something to yearn for but never have, in some twisted self-denial kind of thing I’d need years of therapy to untangle my reasons for craving it.
Then she meets Niall. Niall is not who she wants. He’s charming and handsome, yes, but he’s not and never will be a submissive. But he makes her feel. She hasn’t really felt in a long time.
“Without a word, needing none, he got up. He pulled me onto the dance floor. And we moved together as though we’d been born for it, as though our parents had met and fallen in love or lust and come together for the sole purpose of making each of us so that we could find one another, right there, right now, on the dance floor where he put his hands on me like he owned me… and I let him, because right then, just then, I wanted to be owned.
Can she leave who she is to be with a man who makes her happy in every other way?
Ah, I loved this! Everything about the book is what I needed. The writing = flawless. The banter = witty. The characters = so flawed, so beautifully flawed. The thing with Megan Hart’s books is that she pays attention to the little details. You feel like you know her characters, or people like them. I love the way they’re well rounded… their flaws, their beauty… it’s all highlighted for the reader and you can’t help but fall in love.
I was like that with Elise. I felt as if I knew her. Her interactions with her mother, brother and older sister, her love affair with Esteban. Her longing for George and her falling and falling for Niall.
Then there’s the flawless, lyrical writing. No one does it like Megan Hart when it comes to describing feelings. I find myself nodding and pausing to reflect… I just love everything about it.
But back to the story. Elise is now torn. Can she be Vanilla? Can she let go of the kink that has for so long been a huge part of who she is? Can she finally let go of George?
I loved her journey. I loved laughing with her, crying with her and rooting for her. I haven’t even really talked about Niall. He’s every girl’s hero. Handsome, charming, attentive. He slowly drew Elise in… but he had his flaws and I for one wasn’t sure what would happen to this love affair. Mostly because Megan Hart is known to leave you wanting… and I wasn’t sure I was ready for a bitter sweet ending….
“Sometimes love takes you by the hand and leads you to run through fields of flowers while butterflies weave you a dress out of rainbows. Other times, love takes you by the throat and chokes you until all you see is the bright, sharp trail of shooting stars right before everything turns to black./ The problem is, you can never tell in advance which way the story ends, not until you’re too far into it, and you have no choice but to keep turning the pages.
Amazon Buy Link -> Vanilla by Megan Hart
I’d like to thank the publisher MIRA for providing this ARC for my review.