Sunday, February 9, 2014

ARC Mini-Review: Bared

Bared (Club Sin #2)

by Stacey Kennedy 


At Las Vegas’s exclusive Club Sin, Aidan Knight is the Master, unleashing the erotic yearnings of his submissive lovers. But his dominant façade conceals a devastating loss—something he instantly recognizes in his personally trained submissive Cora Adams. Sworn to unearth her secrets, Aidan uses his seductive skills to ignite her wildest desires until Cora yields to the pleasure she can find only with him.
Cora came to the BDSM club to act out her sub-and-dom fantasies without ever revealing the heartbreak that haunts her. But Aidan’s masterful touch is bringing her closer to the edge . . . and deeper into a world of control and surrender. He refuses to allow her to submit to any other man—nor does she want to. It’s a dangerous game they’re playing. For as they give in to passion, they must lay bare their souls for a love that could heal—and free—them both.
Themes: BDSM, Erotica
Rating: 3 stars
Heat Rating:
Well now that was certainly a very steamy short novel to be sure.  I honestly didn’t expect that the heat level could go up any higher after book one, but I was happily mistaken. Bared  takes us into a different understanding of the BDSM club and its members, showing the more emotional side of a long standing D/s relationship, one that has been in practice several years, but that has reached the time when nothing can stay the same.  Club Sin is definitely unlike any club I have ever read about or experienced, one that has unique rules and regulations.
Club Master Aidan has been playing exclusively with submissive Cora for over two years and feels that everything in the world is right with them.  But his eyes are about to be quite rudely opened to the truth of their relationship and the deeper feelings that have been lurking under the surface since the beginning. Cora has been hiding her true feelings from Aidan for years, determined to allow him the time he needs to overcome his grief and see her standing in front of him offering him her love.  When they are both forced to deal with the fact that their D/s relationship is no longer enough for them things begin to get rocky.  Though Cora tries again and again to protect Aidan from the truth, he keeps pushing her until finally she can no longer hide from him.  Telling him her true feelings unleashes within her the strong woman she has been suppressing and reminds her that though she may be submissive in her sexual relationships, she is by no means willing to be that way in all parts of her life.  Aidan, faced with dealing with his issues or losing the first woman to touch him since his late fiancé’s death, works to understand and overcome so that he might have a chance at a future.  With determination on their sides and a love that has been unleashed after two long years of repression, Aidan and Cora must decide if their love is worth fighting for or is it time to move on?
While I found this book to be very sexy and steamy, I just don’t seem to be able to develop an emotional connection to the characters or their emotions.  I understood where everyone was coming from, and I can’t really explain why, but I just seem to remain unattached to the story.  Though I did like Cora very much and perfectly understood her willingness to suppress her emotional needs to help Aidan, at some point I just needed her to give him the kick in the ass he needed.  Some men just let themselves fall into a laziness that keeps them from dealing with their issues, and I guess I have always felt a need to be a bit more proactive when dealing with the opposite sex.  So while I did like Cora, and grew to respect her in the end, once she finally stood up for herself and shared her feelings, I still wasn’t able to develop a connection with her.  Aidan is certainly sex on a stick, alpha to the extreme and obviously a very expressive man in his sexual desires, but his emotions are tightly bottled and his refusal to see the emotions that Cora is unable to hide from anyone else, makes me want to kick him his ass.  While I finally came to at least like himwhen he opened his eyes and allowed himself to release his pain and embrace his futureI still have to say that he was not my favorite of characters. 
Sadly I didn’t fall madly in love with this book, like I have several other similar novels. There was a disconnect between the “play” and the emotions, one that took their interactions into a shallow direction I didn’t find myself appreciating.  I just couldn’t believe that a Dom as dedicated and determined as Aidan could completely overlook the emotions of his sub for over two years and never see what was right in front of him, especially when EVERYONE else around them could see it.  I know he was dealing with his own issues, but the disconnect just seems hard to believe with someone of his extremely dominant nature.  I will say that once the emotions were shared and they began to work through their problems, I began to develop more of a connection, but I felt that the end came too quickly after the hurt, with Cora forgiving too quickly.  Maybe if they had some time to develop as a couple more, more time to share their love before the end, I could have loved the story.  I did like the story and Aidan and Cora were interesting characters, so I will continue the series, but I think if any of the future stories are about Kyler I will LOVE that one, because he is fast becoming my favorite Master in Club Sin.

*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided. 

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