I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
by Lilah Pace
Released: September 1st 2015
Series: Asking for It #2
Published by Berkley
“The complexity of these characters is beyond what we are given in most erotic romance.”
~ Under the Covers
Begging For It was a very highly anticipated release for me. It couldn’t come soon enough after the cliffhanger ending to Asking For It. I would definitely recommend not reading book two as a standalone to get the full impact. While there is a nice summary as a refresher, I don’t think a reader will fully understand the evolution of Jonah and Vivienne’s relationship without seeing it first-hand. It’s also one of the hottest books I’ve ever read, so it’s well worth your time.
By the end of the first installment, Jonah and Vivienne have come to an impasse in their relationship. Vivienne sexual enjoyment revolves around fantasies of rape. In Jonah, she’s met the perfect partner: a man who fantasizes from the opposite side of the arrangement. In Asking For It, Jonah learns that Vivienne’s rape fantasies began after her actual rape at age 14. He reveals his own dark upbringing as well. Jonah feels he has no choice but to walk away from a relationship that has slowly changed from a cold and clinical arrangement to one of deeper emotional connection. In Begging For It, we get to watch Jonah and Vivienne come together again as a couple trying to navigate through the treacherous waters of a relationship as volatile as theirs. While Vivienne seems to have come to terms more with her needs, she still questions them at times. Jonah, on the other hand, harbors a significant amount of discomfort with his need to role play rape to the extremes that they both desire. When a serial rapist begins terrorizing the Austin community, things get complicated. Jonah is named as a suspect by an ex-girlfriend and his monster of a stepfather looks to take advantage of the situation for his own benefit. Meanwhile, Vivienne’s family continues to create strain through the cruel denial of Vivienne’s past trauma.
Pace has created a very compelling couple in Jonah and Vivienne. The complexity of these characters is beyond what we are given in most erotic romance. I found that their struggles with the arrangement, the therapy sessions, the one on one confrontations all really put me inside of their twisted brains and I didn’t want to leave. There is a beauty in accepting who we are as sexual beings. I was rooting for Jonah and Vivienne with bated breath. Would they be able to recover from each encounter as things got closer and closer to the edge of their comfort zones? The play scenes are just as mind blowing here as in book one. Jonah has a deliciously dirty mouth and seeing the dichotomy of accomplished academic vs sexual animal is almost too good to read. A minor warning again as before: these are consensual scenarios that involve submission at their mildest and humiliation and mimicked rape at their most extreme. If watching a woman get slapped around, even consensually, is a trigger for you, you should probably stay away. If you can handle it, they’re some of the best erotic scenes I’ve had the pleasure of reading. I also really enjoyed the family dramas on both sides. Vivienne shows quite clearly that she is not one to take being stepped on, misconstrued, or manipulated. I wanted to scream into my kindle at Jonah a few times for thinking he knew what was best for Vivienne, but all’s well that ends well. If you missed an HEA conclusion to book one, you’ve been rewarded in Begging For It. I wasn’t 100% satisfied the consolations made but they are true to what the characters wanted for themselves in the end. I can see at least one spin off from this series and at least a novella for Jonah and Vivienne in the future and I would love to read about how they’ve settled into the loving relationship they both deserved.
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