Friday, December 20, 2013


Sexy Saturdays with Andrea and Autumn is a weekly meme created to spread the word about spicy reads. 

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UnrestrainedGenre: Erotic Romance
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Publication Date: 12/3/13
Format: Paperback
Pages: 416
Source: Received from publisher for review
Rating: 4 stars

From Joey W. Hill—author of the Knights of the Boardroom series—comes a novel of erotic games and power plays, in which an adventurous woman attempts to break down her own barriers 
Athena is an accomplished businesswoman in control of every aspect of her life. But since the death of her husband, she’s had the desire to explore submissive cravings she’s had for some time. Unfortunately, Athena is known as a Mistress, because that’s the role she’s always played.

Her type A personality was strong enough to serve her husband as a Domme because that’s what he needed. It’s not until she meets Dale, a retired Navy SEAL, that she attempts to discover what her own submissive desires are. But letting go of her control is not so easy.

Fortunately, Dale is an accomplished Master who can help Athena live out her fantasies. And as she slowly surrenders to his touch, both of them will learn more about the nature of love between Dominant and submissive, and how it defies all expectations.

First Impression ....That cover is so gorgeous. I've heard great things about Hill's books.

The Story... Two years after the death of her husband, Athena is searching. Serving as a Domme to her husband, now the role doesn't seem to fit. As she slowly wades back in to the BDSM lifestyle she and her husband enjoyed, Athena is changed when she sees a dynamic Dom, Dale, in a scene.  Athena is drawn to him, as a submissive. A highly respected Domme, this change within Athena is a struggle. How can she reconcile her past with her needs for the future?  With Dale's care, she is willing to explore the life of a submissive, move forward from her past role, and find a new way with her Master. 

The Characters ... Honestly, the characters made Unrestrained. I've often mentioned that I find the world of BDSM and all the different roles and dynamics within that life to be fascinating. What drew me to this story was Athena's shift from Domme to submissive, and how thoroughly the author examined the desires and emotions and thoughts that result from the switch. I have to admit, I will  not be able to give Athena's journey it's due. It would require a very lengthy review with more knowledge than I have. Hers was a complicated, thoughtful and ultimately freeing change. It was truly fascinating.

  "You were trained, so to speak, to run things, to handle things. An ultimate service sub, if you want to think of it that way, trained by your husband to be his Mistress. As such, you equate your worth with service. It's a fine, noble thing in ninety-nine percent of that incredible, amazing life of yours that gives so much to others. But that's not what I want from you. That's not what you came to me for. We both know it. I'm your Master, Athena. With me, you let go of all of it."
  "But...what does that give you?"
  "I've told you." He chuckled, but it was a grim sound. "It gives me everything, sweetheart. That's the way I'm made. When you surrender, when you look at me with that dazzling, mindless trust in your expression, when I feel how you hand over every part of yourself to me, and you accept pleasure and pain at my hand...That's like a  drug to me."

Dale, her Master, friend, and lover, was a complex and fascinating character as well. A retired SEAL, he hasn't let the partial amputation that changed his world, change him. He was a self-assured and powerful character. His pleasure is hers, and his complete control and care for Athena was inspiring. Though Dale was commanding, he wasn't an unlikable character like many Doms I've found in books. It was always apparent that his ultimate goal was Athena's happiness, which in turn brings his own.

The Writing .... The writing in Unrestrained fully immersed me into Athena's life, thoughts and desires. Though I own a few, this is the first of Hill's books I've read. I'm no expert on the subject of BDSM, but I feel as if Hill is, or at least an expert of depicting the life. I appreciate how thoroughly the characters are examined, how multi-faceted they were, and that the story was thoughtful, and not just out to shock and awe. and only complaint: Dale's use of the word "girl" when talking to or directing Athena. I could be complete off base, but every time Dale called Athena "girl",  I thought about the "Hey Girl" meme, and I giggle. Or I think of Justin Bieber. And I frown.

The Heat ... Was plentiful and delicious. Dale and Athena were uninhibited and honest in the wants, needs, and reactions to one another. With their having the type of relationship they did, the physical picked up almost immediately, but only enhanced the relationship and help progress it, rather than take it over. Unfortunately, I "had" to read much of Unrestrained in a semi-public setting. It was wicked hot and I had a few Awwwwkward moments. Fortunately, I love awkward.

Could I Put Unrestrained Down? .... The opening was intriguing, very much so, and quick to pull me on board. Though I never struggled with the story, it did have a bit of a slower pace and I found that my mind would wander at points. I do think the pace was necessary, but it did allow me to drift. The fascinating characters and subject always managed pulled me back.

In the End... At this point, it is a bit redundant for me to say that I found Unrestrained to be extremely fascinating. But it's honestly an absolute fact. Unrestrained appealed to me on a cerebral level, but also emotionally and physically. It was an excellent experience and I am so glad I gave Athena and Dale's book a chance.

Favorite Quotes:

  She knew what was happening to her, because she'd seen it happen to other subs. The might come in nervous, jittery, overly chatty. Then their Master or Mistress would start to bind them, and with every cuff wrapped or rope cinched, that negative tension would start to leave their bodies, their expressions getting both more vacant and focused...vacant of anything but their total focus on their Dom. When the physical chains were put upon them, the mental chains they wore outside the club dropped away.  

Purchase Unrestrained

About the author:
I’ve been given more blessings in my life than any one person has a right to have. Despite that, I’m a Type A, borderline obsessive-compulsive paranoiac who worries I will never live up to expectations. I’ve got more phobias than anyone (including myself) has patience to read about. I can’t stand talking on the phone, I dread social commitments, and the idea of living in monastic solitude with my husband and animals, books and writing is as close an idea to paradise as I can imagine. I love chocolate, but with that deeply ingrained, irrational female belief that weight equals worth, I manage to keep it down to a minor addiction. I adore good movies. I’m told I work too much. Every day is spent trying to get through the never ending “to do” list to snatch a few minutes to write.

Despite all these mediocre and typical qualities, for some miraculous reason, these wonderful characters well up out of my soul with stories to tell. When I manage to find enough time to write, sufficient enough that the precious “stillness” required rises up and calms all the competing voices in my head, I can step into their lives, hear what they are saying, what they’re feeling, and put it down on paper. It’s a magic beyond description, akin to truly believing my husband loves me, winning the trust of an animal who has known only fear or apathy, making a true connection with someone, or knowing for certain I’ve given a reader a moment of magic through those written words. It’s a magic that reassures me there is Someone, far wiser than myself, who knows the permanent path to that garden of stillness, where there is only love, acceptance and a pen waiting for hours and hours of uninterrupted, blissful use.

If only I could finish that darned “to do” list. (from GoodReads)

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  1. This sounds really intriguing. I have to say I know pretty much nothing about BDSM. It's good to know that the author does a good job at helping understand things. The characters sound really great too. I like that it's more of a journey and not just an erotic book with no substance. Great review!!

  2. Great review! Sounds like a country song lol

  3. This sounds like a delicious read.

    Happy holidays.

  4. I was curious about this one when you spotlighted it, Andrea. So I'm glad to hear it's a good read. I like a good story to go with good sex! ;) Enjoy your weekend!

  5. This sounds pretty hot and I am glad you liked it despite, the pacing. Great review.

  6. oh my sounds delicious. I am not sure how I would feel about the pace myself. I think i'd have to be in the mood. I find myself skipping over slow paced books these days, which I think is a shame because there are a few good ones I am passing up on...for the moment.

  7. This sounds intriguing. I guess this sounds anti-feminist if I say that I don't like reading books where the female is the Dom, but that's my personal preference, so I like that Athena surrenders herself to Dale as a Sub. Lovely review, Andrea. I'll have to keep this in mind next time I want to read a BDSM sort of story. :)

  8. I love awkward too! LOL And the "girl" thing would bother me too. It makes me think of Dr. Wonderful. *gag* I think I'd probably like this one. I'll have to add it to my TBR.

  9. I've read a few books by Joey Hill, and really loved them. The BDSM concept is pretty interesting. Especially, how she changed roles from Dom to submissive. Ro has this book for review. Excellent Review Andrea!!!


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