Love is the hardest limit.
“I’m an Aries. We don’t submit.”
“I’m a Leo. Wanna bet?”
Destiny Blake senses that her boredom with blond pretty boys is about to come to a flesh-tingling end. Since her first love left her for a more experienced Domme, she’s honed her topping skills to a fine edge. Yet the idea of bottoming for the hard-bodied owner of her favorite BDSM club is an erotic challenge she can’t resist.
Destiny isn’t Johnny Delcorral’s type. Tangling with her, even for one night, is a dangerous proposition for a man with good reason for needing his women submissive. But he suspects she’s hiding a submissive streak under her dreadlocks and leather, and he hungers to make her obey—and curb her reckless spirit.
Bottoms Up by Miranda Baker is not your average BDSM novel and I have to say that I loved the unique feistiness of it! In fact, it had a little bit of everything: a well developed story, wonderful characters that I really enjoyed, great romance and lots of hot sex. And did I mention that it was a marvelously written?
In fact, it was this high level of writing that instantly drew me in. Baker creates a world that is marvelously urban and gritty yet highly accessible. The characters are edgy and likable and the overall atmosphere is perfectly captured. The wonderful descriptive quality of the writing truly brings it to life adding a marvelously insightful quality to the characters. This really helps to add to the emotional appeal of the novel illustrating Destiny's struggle to find her true self. In so doing the lessons she learns about defining ones self becomes clear, most people are not simply one thing or another, but have many facets to their personalities. While you may prefer the strength of domination there can still be room to submit. Neither quality is a strength nor a weakness, simple a portion of the whole. In truth, I really loved this aspect showing that you don't have to alter who you are to fit into a stereotype, but instead can willingly put yourself under the control of someone you love and/or trust even if you aren't wholly submissive.
These dilemmas add a wonderful human quality to both Destiny and Johnny and I couldn't have fallen more in love with them both. They are utterly human and flawed with painful pasts looking for a structure that can help give them the illusion of control in their daily lives. Destiny is a strong, spunky woman with a penchant for speaking her mind and I really loved when this feisty woman clashes against the unmovable and unquestionable dominance of Johnny Delcorral. In fact, his alpha male persona mixed with his arrogance and wicked personality made him utterly drool worthy. His wicked sense of humor and sarcasm really drew me in as did his tragic past and how it brought him into the BDSM lifestyle. In a way, it was perfectly understandable and fitting to his caring and protective nature. Of course his painful past is a part of what initially draws him to Destiny, but when he finds her wild nature to be too close to that of his dead love, his world slowly begins to spiral out of control. Naturally the connection between them is wonderfully developed and the sparking romance is always simmering despite the hesitancy they experience. The dominance of each adds a bit of spice to the relationship as Destiny finds it hard to become a perfect submissive and Johnny finds himself incapable of being the domineering Dom feels he should be. And yet, it was the ending of this novel that truly illustrated the depths of their bond and I couldn't help but swoon a bit at the lengths to which Johnny would go claim Destiny's heart and trust.
Overall, I found this novel to be quite touching and I really enjoyed the time spent with the characters watching them develop and evolve through out the story. This is my first time reading this author, but with her highly developed writing style and highly enticing characters, I will definitely be back for more!
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Scars
Advisory: Graphic sexual content
Contains explicit BDSM themes, m/f/m, and sexual power struggles