3 star book review for Break Me Down by Roni Loren, book #8.5 in the Loving on the Edge series, now available in bookstores and retailers.
[Some Spoilers; Mature Situations]
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
“It’d only be for a week, Gib. I know you want me. This. Every part of you is screaming that right now. And in case you have any doubts, seeing you like this is doing it for me, too.”
Break Me Down is #8.5 of the Loving on the Edge series by Roni Loren. I’ve never read any of the previous books, so I was going in blind on what to expect beyond the summary. The author does a great job of filling in the history for you in quick ways, so the reader is aware of Sam and Gibson’s past together, but it’s not an information dump, which I truly appreciate.
This novella is told in alternating point-of-views, and first up, we meet Samantha Dunbar. She’s a dominant. She knows what she likes, and she won’t accept less than that. What she really wants is Gibson Andrews. There’s one problem, though. He’s a dominant, too. He’s bottomed for her a few times to teach her different things, but one night things went a little wild. Gibson ended up running and Samantha was crushed.
Now, she’s trying to put some distance between them, but when she sees him, she can’t help but try and figure out what’s going on in that head of his, and if he’s willing to bend to her rules—even for a night.
Gibson Andrews is a super savvy businessman and lives his every day life in a position of power. Naturally, that would transfer over into his sexual life as well, right? He’s been living as a dominant for a while, but he secretly seeks out paid dominants when he feels the need to hurt. Gibson is a masochist and gets off on pain, but he doesn’t want to admit to himself that there may be something lurking below the surface—something that calls to a submissive side that he’s trying to ignore.
Both of them want another taste, so they make a deal. For one week, Gibson will be everything Sam wants and give into his darkest desires. But is a week really enough? I don’t think either one of them think so.
“I need your trust, Gibson. We’ll have safe words. And at the end of the week or at whatever point you don’t want this anymore, you can walk away and I’ll never speak of it again. But don’t you think it’s time we both scratch this itch?”
This is a novella, so it’s a quick read, and I was engaged throughout. The beginning of it is really interesting because you are introduced to the supporting characters as well as Samantha and Gibson. The leads have great chemistry and the UST is off the charts. Their banter is funny, but they’re also adults that are able to handle delicate situations.
There’s no overly aggressive pursuing in this book. Sam knows what she wants, Gibson knows what he’s willing to give and neither one of them pushes those limits. The main focus of this book is the sexual situations and how they tie into who Sam and Gibson are and also their pasts and why they might desire this kind of relationship or fight their desire for it. They have a very deep respect for each other, and I liked that a lot.
I also really liked their club, The Ranch, where they play and have scenes. I love the rules that are enforced, and how seriously everyone takes being safe in that environment. This book takes the BDSM lifestyle and actually portrays it in a very regimented, rule-oriented way. That was a pleasant surprise to me.
Sam and Gibson have plenty of non-sexual intimate moments, too, where they bared their pasts to each other and shared their traumas. I thought those scenes were very well done. The note that Sam gets toward the end was really lovely and tied things together for me.
At its heart, it’s a book about accepting who you are and being confident in that. The novella focuses on two people who are learning all about their sexual desires, and what their limits are, and how to work within the limits of the person they love. I can’t begin to say enough how much I appreciate the respect shown between the two main characters, but also the way their pasts were written.
What pulled me out of things was the type of kink involved, mostly pain play and humiliation. Ms. Loren handles all of this with a gentle hand (pun intended), though. I definitely commend her for that. This is definitely not your typical vanilla love story, but it’s worth a read. It might not have been the right book for me, but I know it’s the right book for lots of other readers. Just know your limits going in 😉
Go HERE to read the full first chapter of Break Me Down, and grab your copy today!
Many thanks to the author and publisher for providing an advanced review copy.