Sunday, 8 September 2013


Pages: 140
Date: 07/09/2013
Grade: 5
Details: no. 4 Bondage & Breakfast
            Received from Carina Press
            Through NetGalley
Own / Kindle

The blurb:

“Bondage & Breakfast was a safe place for couples to explore BDSM—until an arsonist almost destroyed it. While the inn is closed for repairs, owner Gabe McConnell allows injured firefighter Olivia Watterson to stay and recover as a favor to a mutual friend. His attraction to her is unexpected and intense—but there's no way she's strong enough for the type of play he demands from a sub.

When she arrives at the inn, Liv is shocked—and intrigued. Her unanticipated obsession with the sexy, skilled Dom makes her all the more impatient with her slow recuperation. Even more frustrating is the way Gabe handles her like fragile glass, and she's determined to prove she's anything but by pushing her body to the limit.
Holding back should be easy for Gabe, but the more Liv challenges his limits, the more he craves her, body, mind and heart…”


“That’s not a flagpole, princess. It’s a whipping post.”

In the last paragraph of my review for “Forbidden Fires I wrote that I hoped Jodie Griffin would give Gabriel McConnell his own story and his own happy ending.  And what do you know? Sometimes you do indeed get exactly what you’ve asked for. “Forbidden Desires” is Gabe’s story, and boy is it a good one!

In this book we’re introduced to two strong and independent characters both struggling with issues that have turned their image of themselves upside down. Olivia is recuperating after the work related accident that nearly left her paralysed. She’s weak, but she’s getting stronger. She’s not sure if she’ll ever be able to face a fire hose again but she’s working on it. She has her own life to fix and is not ready for anything complicating it for her. And yet, there is this attraction to Gabe and everything he represents. There’s the way he makes her feel every time he calls her princess; the way her body just wants to do what he tells her to do, even while her mind is questioning the wisdom of it.

Gabe on the other hand may appear in control of his life, but he has his own set of insecurities to struggle with. He isn’t entirely sure if he wants to continue with his Bondage and Breakfast after everything that has happened. His confidence has gotten a knock and he’s not convinced that he still has what it takes or is what he needs to be to deliver the BDSM training like he did in the past. Even more confusing though is his reaction to Olivia. He knows that he could never have a relationship with anybody who was incapable of submitting to him. He knows that Olivia isn’t physically strong enough to fully submit to everything he might want to subject her to right now, and he isn’t sure that she will ever be. And yet he is attracted to her in a way he hasn’t been to anyone else, ever. 

Jodie Griffin gives these two characters a much tougher ride than she has given the couples in the previous books, but boy are they up to the challenge.

It was so much fun to see the experienced Dom, well used to keeping his urges in check, struggling with his desire to introduce Olivia to his life-style. With every single day she stays with him his need to dominate her grows stronger and harder to ignore. Yet, fragile as she is, Gabe knows Olivia isn’t physically up to what he would like to introduce her to. Or is she?

Taken from the TLD's FB page
Olivia is completely new to the idea of Domination and submission. She’s heard about BDSM but knows little to nothing about it and has never really given it a second thought. From the moment she meets Gabe though, her submissive side rises to the surface. 

“Every fucking time he said anything that could be taken in a sexual way, either intentionally or accidentally, her reaction was classic submissive.”

Olivia is also getting ever more frustrated with Gabe’s protective – in her eyes overly protective – attitude towards her. She may be recuperating, she’s not weak. And Gabe’s refusal to take their play further confirms to her that not only does he see her as weak now, he sees her as not strong enough to submit to him full stop. 

Gabe will have to trust Olivia to use her safe-words when necessary and trust himself to be the experienced Dom that he is, while Olivia will have to learn to trust that Gabe knows what he is doing and does see her as a strong and beautiful woman if these two characters, who are so clearly made for each other, are going to build a future together.

This was a wonderful book. I adored Gabe and Olivia and their love story. There was nothing contrived about the issues they were dealing with. We may not read about it often but in real life there are of course lots of people with (health) issues which mean that they can’t just accommodate whatever form of intimacy they or their partner may desire. It was refreshing to have this book deal with this issue and come up with solutions that were both realistic and uplifting.

This book provides us with two characters struggling with issues that resonate with the reader and deals with them in a way that makes sense. The reader doesn’t have to pick sides in this story, there is no right versus wrong here. In fact I could understand and sympathise with both Gabe and Olivia. 

And, just in case you're worried that the fact that Olivia isn't able to engage in a a fully-fleshed BDSM scene means that this book is any less hot than its prequels, let me reassure you. If anything, the fact that Gabe and Olivia are forced to hold back while so obviously burning with need for each other adds an extra dimension of hotness to this story.

As always, Jodie Griffin’s writing is smooth and her conversations sparkle:

“I take it you’re used to getting your way.”

I loved the way the relationship between these two people slowly developed from being strangers to being two people who need to be together. It felt natural and unrushed and led to a wonderful climax in which only complete honesty could keep them together.

But most of all, Jodie Griffin writes a wonderful and very sexy love story. This is pure reading enjoyment! And I can only hope that the author won't abandon the B & B completely now that Gabe has gotten his story.

“All she knew was that every single thing he told her he’d do to her had made her hotter and wetter than she’d ever been with, and for, any man.”

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