by Cassandra Carr

Vanessa Clark is a psychology major and she is finishing her last semester before graduation. One of her classes “The Psychology of Sex” leads her into research on a subject she doesn’t know anything about, BDSM. She calls a local BDSM club in hopes the owner will answer some questions, and let her observe the lifestyle. When her day to meet with the owner, Rod, arrives he is ill and unable to meet with Vanessa, so in his stead he asks one of his Dungeon Masters to assist. Will Aston is immediately attracted to Vanessa, and he even suspects she may be submissive. Vanessa has a lot to learn about herself and the BDSM lifestyle, and Will wants to be the one to show her his world.

Vanessa is a very smart young woman, and she is extremely studious. She is only 22 and not very experienced even when it comes to vanilla sex. Once she begins her research, she does begin to feel curious about different aspects of BDSM. I liked her character, although when faced with stress or the unknown she would overanalyze a lot, but in all of that seriousness, is a woman who is caring and a little cheeky and playful. Will helps Rod at the club as a DM, but his career is as a hostage negotiator. The 31 year old Will is very attracted to Vanessa, but is hesitant because of the differences in their ages and life experiences. Will is a hot one; he is a very good Dom, he is sexy, patient, and compassionate. I was also fascinated by the club owner Rod, and I would love for him to have his story told.

I really enjoyed Awakening. Carr did the characters justice, especially where Vanessa was concerned. She did an upstanding job of capturing Vanessa’s mixed emotions as she fought to understand what it was to be submissive, and trying to lay her fears aside and give Will her trust. Carr also showed the struggle of a Dom who was not accustomed to becoming too involved emotionally with his subs, and realizing he was falling in love. I believe that is what I liked about this particular book, although there were very steamy moments, Carr really went deeper into her character’s psyches, completely baring them to the reader. I am certain that erotica fans will enjoy and appreciate this stimulating read.

Vanessa Clark is doing a research paper for one of her last classes – Psychology of Sex – before receiving her Bachelors’ degree. Once she discovers the topic of BDSM, everything else pales in comparison. But where will she learn about it? The Internet has its limits, and Vanessa needs to talk to real-life practitioners of BDSM to really understand the lifestyle and write about it.

Will Astin, who serves as a dungeon master at a local BDSM club (probably like one of those escort girl club that I totally enjoy), doesn’t expect to find a gorgeous, irresistible young woman when he agrees to a meet and greet with a college student as a favor to the club’s owner. Even better, she’s interested in learning about BDSM for what he suspects are more than scholarly reasons, and Will decides he’s just the man to teach her about it, hopefully claiming her for his own.

Will and Vanessa begin a journey which teaches both of them there’s more to BDSM than meets the eye. In the process, they grow closer, but when Will’s job puts him in the line of fire – literally – their roles are reversed and Vanessa has to take charge. Can they handle the rapid shift in their burgeoning dynamic, or is their relationship doomed?

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