This book contains two novellas
Exiled by Maya Banks and Sway by Lauren Dane
Series-Sway is #1 of the Delicious series, a spin off of the Brown Siblings books
Reviewed by Anne
Exiled by Maya Banks made me feel dirty, and not in a good way. I didn’t like the way the heroine was coerced into spending what she thought would be 6 months with the hero and his 3 closest friends. I might have been more accepting of this in a fantasy setting, especially if the heroine was less innocent and more aware of what she was getting into. I didn’t like the way it made me feel. At Dear Author they’ve discussed reader consent as an important part of what makes coercion in a sexual setting seem ok or not. I think that reader consent is what was missing for me. I didn’t finish reading the book. I don’t think it was bad, it just wasn’t a story for me.
On the other hand, Sway by Lauren Dane pushed all the right buttons for me. Daisy is a 24 year old artist, devoted friend and all around good person. (She is one of Gillian’s circle of friends we met in the book Never Enough.) Levi is a 40 year old lawyer. He meets her in a dance class his brother’s fiance badgers him into attending. They are instantly attracted to each other. Here’s one of the first passages that caught me. Daisy has noticed Levi likes to be in charge as they dance and talk and she is commenting on it.
“Do you like telling people what to do? Just to see how they react?” …
“I prefer it when their reaction is obedience.” A flush roared through her, hot and wild.
They enjoy a few dances and then go their separate ways, but after bumping into each other around town a few more times they get together for supper. They realize the chemistry between them is off the scales. Daisy also realizes that playing submissive (though they never really discuss it in those terms) to Levi really turns her crank. So as their relationship develops, they have D/s roles while having sex. Outside of sex, Levi appreciates Daisy’s maturity and independence.
This is a low conflict/no villian romance, which I really love. The conflict comes from them figuring out how they can be together, and Levi working through some issues with his family. That was very believable to me. I can’t wait for more of this series and look forward to reading the next story, Tart, soon! Unfortunately this series is in trade paperback, which puts it out of my price range. I borrowed this book from the library and have a hold on Tart. If I get some book money for Christmas, I just might splurge and buy it, though.