Published on June 17th, 2013 by Scarlet Publishing
About the book
A stranger in the wings, a traitorous pair of toe shoes, and a traumatic turn dancing with The Great Rubio… For ballerina Ashleigh Keaton, it’s been one hell of a night.
But it’s not over yet. When Rubio drags her to a private BDSM party at his friend’s house in the ritzy part of London, she meets Liam Wilder, a lifestyle dominant and frighteningly seductive man. Liam pursues Ashleigh, attracted by her strength and talent, but she has secrets—an abusive past and a crippling fear of intimacy that prevents her from connecting to anyone, especially a kinky playboy reputed to be legendary in bed.
Eventually he wins her trust and sets out to heal the troubled dancer, awakening her to a world of erotic obedience and sensual abandon in a series of “sessions” at his home. But how pure are his motives? Is he helping her or endangering her fragile soul? Liam hides his own destructive secrets, and so does Fernando Rubio, their temperamental friend. Over time the three become embroiled in a tangle of artifice, fears, and lies that threaten to undo everything they’ve worked for.
Will Ashleigh and Liam find the strength to defeat their demons? Or are they cursed to sleepwalk through life forever, afraid to experience the passion and intimacy of love?
"She shrugged "A devil hasn't gotten me yet"
Ha. You're siting across from one."
This book was not at all what I expected it to be. It was a lot darker and honestly the pasts of these two characters tore my heart out! I'm still struggling with a few things from this book, but man I can't deny that it totally caught my attention and never let go.
Ashleigh is a background ballet dancer. She stays in the chorus and doesn't want to be anywhere else. She is content to hang out in the back and just dance because she enjoys it. When the lead dancer takes a tumble and her dance company needs a replacement in 30 seconds they grab Ashleigh since she looks the most like the lead. This would all be fine and dandy if she didn't have to dance with the great Mr. Rubio. This man is not only her idol but someone who has a contract that states he will not ever dance with someone like her who has no lead experience. Ashleigh panics and her worst nightmare comes true. She manages to fight her way through the performance, but the great Rubio makes it known that he is not pleased with her. Ashleigh knows her short lived career is over, but when Rubio asks her to a party she thinks maybe things aren't as bad as they seem. Unfortunately they go from bad to worse and they only thing that saves Ashleigh from completely losing it is Liam, the mysterious man who broke open a lock to help her when she needed to get a new pair of toe shoes that night.
This story is all kinds of messed up, but I can't get it out of my head! In the beginning I just felt sorry for Ashleigh. She is so completely broken and to have someone like Rubio treat her the way he did was just wrong on so many levels. The party that he invites her to is not your normal everyday party, nope it is full of all kinds of debauchery and kink. If she had known what she was walking into things wouldn't have been so bad, but she had no clue and to make matters worse he assaults her! At this point I hated everything about this man and I was so proud that Liam stepped up to help her. She didn't deserve what happened and I was furious! Then I read a little more and well *slaps head* I fell for the Brazilian moron! I don't know how it happened and honestly I can't even look at myself in the mirror but there it is I like this man. He is still crude and obnoxious as all get out, but for some strange reason I really enjoyed his character...well that is AFTER the party and his behavior.
Liam is my main man though. He made the book for me and I loved every single second of his POV. The author did an amazing job at capturing his voice. It was real and Liam was a total guy. His thoughts were exactly what I would have expected, nothing flowery no big emotional nonsense just straight up guy. All he wanted to do was her and he doesn't hide it. Loved it!
"Too normal, I'd worry about. Too weird is perfectly fine."
The story took a very real turn when Ashleigh confesses that she has sexual issues from her past and asks Liam to help her get past them. In their sessions we find out a lot about Ashleigh and about Liam that really floored me. These two had so many problems that I wasn't sure if anything would work between them. Their relationship or standing agreement I should say was clearly not going to work from the beginning but I have to give them both credit. When one would walk out the other would go after them eventually and make things right. There was a lot of back and forth but for this I understood why. Liam didn't want to hurt her and Ashleigh wanted to be fixed to fast so things tended to get complicated, but like I said they both wanted the same thing in the end so they tried to bring it back to the core reason they were together, to help Ashleigh.
This story wasn't perfect by any means and I did have a few issues with a few of the scenes that were in it especially one, but man can this author write. I mean if an author can take a vile character and make you love them by the end she has to be good right??! The scenes that bothered me are pretty huge though I won't lie. I am not happy with certain developments and I also wished the ending wouldn't have been so sudden. I felt like we watched Liam and Ashleigh self destruct and we deserved to see more from the conclusion. This story really has stayed with me even with the few icky scenes and that right there tells me I need to keep a look out for future books.