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If you loved Fifty Shades of Grey . . . get ready to enter The Dark Garden. A deliciously potent tale of one woman’s quest for self-discovery. Rowan Cassidy likes to be in charge—especially in her personal life. As a mistress at Club Privé, the most exclusive bondage/S & M club on the West Coast, Rowan can live out her dominant fantasies safely, and with complete control—until the night Christian Thorne walks in. Self-confident and sophisticated, he’s a natural dominant if Rowan’s ever seen one. Yet she can’t stop thinking about him and imagining his touch. Christian has returned home, hoping to break free from his dissatisfaction and malaise—and discovers the cure in Rowan. He’s dying to get his skilled hands on her and watch her surrender, to unlock the mystery of her that captivates him. Determined to be her master, he makes Rowan a daring proposition: give herself over to him for thirty days. Rowan finds Christian’s offer terrifying—and impossible to resist. But abandoning herself to Christian’s power might be more than she can handle. . . . Or it might be the realization of her true nature and the dark garden within her. There will be only one way to find out. And once the game has begun, there’s no turning back.read more
The Dark Garden by Eden Bradley a romance that tips the erotic scale. Rowan Cassidy likes to be in control. She is a dominatrix that frequents the local S & M club, Club Prive. There she meets Christian, who is another dom. He's confident, drop-dead gorgeous, and determined. From their first meeting, Christian becomes hypnotized by Rowan. He makes her an offer she can't refuse. Christian challenges Rowan to be his submissive for thirty days. She is hesitant, but soon agrees. However it is easier said than done. Rowan has issues of her own. Something happened in her past that haunts her and drives her need to always be in charge of any situation. Thus the conflict.The story line has positives and negatives. Rowan is strong yet vulnerable. She has issues that have shaped who she is. She feels safe when she's a dom; while being a submissive scares the hell out of her. Her deal with Christian is a way of confronting the past, and letting go. During their 'sessions' Rowan even has moments of shear terror that makes her want to run away. This seemed very plausible to me. I could even believe that for some unknown reason, Christian wanted to help her. They had great chemistry together, but their relationship seemed rushed. The ending is one of the problems I had with the story. It seemed to tie up rather quickly into a neat little package. I'm sure great sex can solve a great many things, but somehow I think this story line needed a bit more considering the circumstances. Another problem that I had with the book, is April and Decker's story. April is a friend of Rowan's and Decker is a dom. They are both minor characters in the story and so is their story line. Their story felt like it was thrown into the book. I think it would have been better if April and Decker had their own book. Rowan and April's story line paralleled, but I felt as if more explanation was needed in their story.Overall if you're a fan of 50 Shades of Grey, you might enjoy this book. There are things I enjoyed about this book as well as things I didn't. The writing was good, the characters were good, but the story line left me wanting. This book is recommended for mature audiences only. I would rate this book 2.5 but I'll round it up to three Willies since we don't know halvesies .read more
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Without the external distractions, I could've finished this in one sitting. Eden Bradley has fast become one of my favorite authors of erotica, and while the theme is BDSM, most of the story didn't revolve around it.Rowan is a Domme at Club Prive, and her instant attraction to Christian, who's also a Dom, excited her, but scared her at the same time. She felt confused and shocked by agreeing to his 30-day contract to top her, to prove to her she's a true submissive. For Christian, it was all about winning at first, but as the days went by, he started to see the real Rowan, even when she still hid a lot from him. The greatest catch of the contract: no sex as agreed by both parties.This novel is more focused on the characters, and not considering Rowan's professional qualities and artistic tastes, I didn't warm to her because of her one-track mind about resistance to submission. Her outlet for writing was a clear indication of what she doesn't want to admit to herself, thus putting it in a fictional sense. Christian exhausted all means of patience and understanding, and he's not one of those arrogant asses who don't care about limits. He's all about respect and giving what Rowan wanted, I liked his character a lot because he fell in love with her and admitted that it scared him.Rowan is a different matter. She's really stubborn and too caught up in the past, that she's not living in the present. She enjoyed what they did together and it scared her, but I hated it when she gets all defensive and twisted about being a submissive as a sex slave, or someone weaker. If she didn't have a heart-to-heart with April, then she could've been more miserable. My opinion of Christian greatly heightened when he decided to fight for her as well. He's really sweet.It's not often I pay attention to the secondary characters but April and Decker's story was compelling. The main characters didn't have sex until 70% of the book, but April subbed for Decker and they had a lot of it. With her own charms, Decker fell for her but he had to her first (figuratively), and I'm glad she confronted him about it when he's confused in his life for the first time. I admire characters like her, those who aren't ashamed of their sexuality, and who go after what they want.The erotic scenes were sparse at first, but they were condensed in about 3 chapters frequently, I still loved it. The quality is the same, there's the slow build, sensual touches, the five senses are involved, and it was wonderful.read more
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