I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
by Joey W. Hill
Released: May 31st 2016
Series: Nature of Desire #9
Published by Self Published
“Worth the Wait, lives up to its name.”
~ Under the Covers
I need to start off by saying that Joey Hill was my introduction to the world of BDSM erotica many years ago. Her Vampire Queen series blew me away and when I found myself needing to delve into this world in more depth, the Nature of Desire series was where I turned. I couldn’t have asked for a more talented author to lead the way. Joey set my standard incredibly high from the get-go. This series has moved me to tears of sadness, relief, and joy on many an occasion. It’s opened my eyes to pairings I might not have had a natural interest in reading beforehand. It is unique, soul-wrenching and authentic. The ninth installment, Worth the Wait, lives up to its name.
Julie is approaching 40 and has all but given up on finding her soulmate. All she’s experienced is disappointment and she decides she’s putting any thought of a love life on the back burner when she agrees to help her best friend get an erotic theater production off its feet in North Carolina. She runs a small community theater in New York City and welcomes the change in scenery. Julie has a budding interest in BDSM, feels she has submissive tendencies. Here she can feel free to explore. Enter Desmond Hayes, a roofer hired to make repairs to the theater’s structure. In the BDSM world, he’s well known as a rigger, a rope suspension artist and a very charismatic Dom that never gets close to the subs he scenes with. Des has his personal reasons for keeping his distance. Despite this, he’s known as a consummate professional, a caring and focused Dom, who always keeps his subs’ best interests and safety at the forefront. Sparks fly when he and Julie meet, and it seems that neither can resist the pull of a force stronger than their fears.
Watching Julie and Des’ relationship evolve was pure joy. The chemistry at their first meeting was mesmerizing. Joey writes characters with such authentic emotion that you can’t help but be sucked into the story. I find it hard sometimes to characterize why I love her writing style so much, but simply put, she moves me in ways few authors are able to do. It’s in the way she sets a scene, with care and attention to detail, the way she captures each nuance of internal struggle and emotion, the way she resolves that tension in the least cliché way possible, that keep me coming back for more. Rope suspension isn’t a particular draw for me, but my eyes were opened to its beauty as an art form and way to enhance intimacy between a Dom and his/ her submissive. The D/s dynamics here are good for beginners to the BDSM world. There is focus on the psychology of BDSM, the joy of submission, of giving up control, but not heavy on the masochistic end. The cast of the production was one of a kind and unforgettable and the recurring characters from previous books enhanced the fun. Such great dialog that flows naturally across the page. Joey is known for old, well-loved characters popping up in her books and even cross-series appearances on occasion. I’m always on the lookout. That being said, this is absolutely a great standalone. If you’re new to the Nature of Desire series, Worth the Wait will be the perfect intro to Joey Hill’s captivating voice. If you’re already a fan, you’ll not be disappointed. This series is as good as it’s ever been, now 12 years in!
Several ropes were hanging from the support beams above the stage, with hooks attached to the ends of the lines. Maybe she should have brought Madison. What did she really know about Desmond? What was he going to do with those hooks?
He stopped, perhaps feeling her hesitation. “Anything you want to talk about, we can,” he said. “If you change your mind about having someone here, we can do it another night when you can give Madison some advance warning. We can go get a pizza or something.”
Julie swallowed. “No. I think I made the right decision. What I need… I need your help feeling right about it.”
At his quizzical expression, she colored. “It’s going to sound stupid, but when we were looking at the orchids at the Conservancy, you had this way of tapping into what I am… I mean, what I felt. It made it okay. I think I would have let you do anything to me right then.”
His jaw muscles flexed, suggesting her bald admission had elicited a primal response, barely held back. She felt it in the strength of his grip on her hand, but he only said, “Okay.”
Pressing his shirt in her hands, he tilted his head down so they both looked at the cloth bunched in her grip. “At the end of our session tonight, I’m going to put my shirt on you.”
The worn cloth was soft, and she resisted the female urge to lift it to her nose to smell. Hard and strong he was. Broad chested, not so much. She glanced down at her D-cup breasts. “I don’t think this is going to fit.”
“We’ll button what we can. I think the effect will be interesting.”
He took the shirt from her, walked it over to the table and left it draped over the pack. Moving to the side stage, he drew back the curtains. As they retracted, he revealed the darkened theater, the empty chairs.
He returned to her, a masculine figure moving through alternating shadows and shafts of light. Any words she’d planned to say dried up. He didn’t tell her to be quiet; his expression and body language did.
Turning her to face the front of the stage, he put his hands on her shoulders. “Close your eyes. Feel the theater breathing like you talked about. Imagine there are a few hundred people out there, all silent and waiting, watching. Each of them imagining themselves in either your shoes or mine, or both, bringing their own personal stories to life in a million different ways. We inspire their imaginations, but we’re also oblivious to them, because that’s the point.”
His lips brushed her ear, making her shiver. “There’s being a story and telling one, and this is being a story. If the crowd stirs, even just a little, I’ll silence them with a look, a raised hand. I won’t permit anything to distract you or intrude on your experience. That’s part of my job, part of what you can trust me to do.”
It had been years since she’d performed on a stage, so it was peculiar to feel a bit of stage fright as he created an imaginary audience watching them.
“Everyone is quiet. Now it’s just us.”
His captivating voice, too deep for his frame, too compelling for an individual who looked like a roadie, held her in place. Through the touch of his hand, the stroke of his voice, he evolved into the Dominant she’d felt on their first meeting and in that unforgettable moment at the orchid garden.
She told herself it was just performance. He possessed that incredible charisma that incited crushes from so many actresses for their leading man, even when he was a total dick outside the role he played onstage. She didn’t have that risk of being crushed by reality. They’d set the boundaries. She could be swept up in her own character, enjoy it without losing perspective.
But he’d said he couldn’t let her hold herself apart. This wasn’t a performance with a review write-up tomorrow. This was intended to be an experience.
He swept his hands down her arms and back up to her shoulders, his fingers caressing her throat. She swayed and he closed the gap between them.
“When I do a scene, my submissive is the center. She’s everything.”
He removed the barrette from her hair so it spilled over his hands. He combed through the thick locks, tugging harder with each pass, scraping it all together as if he was going to create a ponytail. Only instead he loosened his grip, spread her hair back on her shoulders, then did it all over again, digging into her nape, her scalp, mixing force with the tug. Her eyes had closed again and she was swaying with his motions, a spiral of reaction inside and out.
“I’m going to undress you, Julie,” he whispered. “I want you to feel my hands on you, get you used to me touching you, taking control. All right?”
As she’d said, there was little modesty in theater. She didn’t see her body as a glowing treasure that had to be hidden until some presto moment where she’d reveal it to an awestruck lover. It was just a body. They were all sizes and shapes, and fit society’s definition of beauty at different levels, but in the end, a body was a body. Everyone had one.
On the other hand, her body had never been unwrapped as if it was a treasure. A far different experience from matter-of-factly stripping off outer garb while cast and crew members passed by like orbiting planets.
“When I tell you I’m undressing you, I’m demanding a paradigm shift in your head. Answer me, love.”
She moistened her lips. “Yes. Okay.”
His fingers curved around her waist, slid around and plucked open the tunic’s sash. “Lift your arms.”
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