Book Review: Asking For It by Lilah Pace

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Title: Asking For It (Asking For It #1)
Author: Lilah Pace
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 336 pages
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis

“This is who I am. This is what I want. Now I need a man dangerous enough to give it to me.”

Graduate student Vivienne Charles is afraid of her own desires—ashamed to admit that she fantasizes about being taken by force, by a man who will claim her completely and without mercy. When the magnetic, mysterious Jonah Marks learns her secret, he makes an offer that stuns her: they will remain near-strangers to each other, and meet in secret so that he can fulfill her fantasy.

Their arrangement is twisted. The sex is incredible. And—despite their attempts to stay apart—soon their emotions are bound together as tightly as the rope around Vivienne’s wrists. But the secrets in their pasts threaten to turn their affair even darker…

Reader Advisory: Asking for It deals explicitly with fantasies of non-consensual sex. Readers sensitive to portrayals of non-consensual sex should be advised. 

Grace Review

Reviewer’s note: Before I get into it, you read the synopsis, right? You read the warning, right? This story deals with rape fantasy. There is no fade-to-black. These two get off on something that haunts others. If you can’t handle that subject and go into this book with an open mind, then don’t torture yourself. Move on.

Vivenne has been lost for years, struggling with a fantasy she can’t understand, yet unable to move past the fantasy to a healthy relationship.  She wants words and actions most women shun or fear.

In reality he says, Baby or You’re beautiful; I imagine him saying, Whore.  Suck it, you cunt.

And then she meets Jonah, someone she immediately fears, and that fear excites her.

Everything about this couple has an intensity to it, most of this coming from Jonah. From their initial meeting and brief discussion at her friend, Carmen’s party, I felt the sparks coming off the page.

Vivenne’s rape fantasy is much bigger than the common female fantasy of domination. She doesn’t just seek the pleasure from the sexual act, but she actually gets off on the pain and fear of it all. So I also had to wonder why she does it. It doesn’t take long to find out her reasons. Did I get it? Nope. But that was her flaw and something she was worked to understand.

From the first moment, I couldn’t put my finger on what exactly was Jonah’s story. He’s mysterious, and it seems every move he makes, even down to his smiles, are calculating. But the biggest question mark is why does he do what he does? Vivenne even mental compares their fantasies. It’s bad enough to want the aggression, but it’s even bigger to want to commit that aggression. Why would Jonah want to do that to any woman? I constantly wondered, how deep and dark are his demons?

Their negotiations about limits were very unexpected. The things most would consider with such a dangerous game, didn’t really come up, although I thought the “no pictures or video” limit was smart. I was most surprised/confused by Vivienne’s limits, but they made sense later on.

His grasp tightens – and all that does is get me hotter.  He’s brought me back to the line between fear and arousal.

With the first couple of role playing encounters, I thought, “this isn’t so bad, I expected worse.” But their role playing escalates. The scene at the cabin . . . Sweet Baby Jesus!

“You’re going to come hard while I’m in your ass, and that’s going to prove how much you love it, slut.”

The story takes a dramatic turn as Vivienne’s past comes back to haunt her with irreversible consequences. And I had to wonder, why such important things as the reasons for their fantasies, were not shared sooner.

The ending is a cliffy and it hurt, but there’s a small bit of hope in it, so I’m not hysterical . . .YET. But I would like book 2 NOW, or yesterday!!!

I’m dying to see how these two can make it work. Based on their past experiences, I can see Jonah’s growth in a relationship, but Vivienne has some serous hurdles to overcome. We shall see in September how their twisted game all plays out.

– Grace

Michelle's Review

I will admit that I did not want to read this book, not so much regarding the subject matter because that didn’t bother me at all, it may bother you, so if you’re not into the rape fantasy, then move on, it will not be your cup of tea.  My reasons for not wanting to read was because I knew I would have a book hangover (guess what, book hangover it is), then knowing there is a second book out and then finding out it is coming out until September.  Since I am such a glutton for punishment, add to the fact that I knew Grace would be reading this book, but two other of my blogger friends were doing a buddy read and the comments flying back and forth led me to Net Galley and requesting.

What I loved:
The writing was superb.  This book is not for the faint of heart.  I have to warn you that if you’re not into the rape fantasy or it may cause some time of triggers you may not want to read.  Chloe I adored although I was trying to figure out why she wanted this type of fantasy which you will find out fairly early in the book.  When she meets Jonah, the stranger that helped her fixed her tire and the one staring in her “rape fantasy dreams” at a friend’s party.  Things are about to get interesting.

I wanted to know why Viv had these fantasies, I had an inkling, and when I figured it out, I still wanted to know why she couldn’t “let go” just naturally without the fantasy.  I think her shrink was trying to help Viv reach that conclusion, I just felt Viv wasn’t giving it  chance.  Then Jonah, what’s his story?  He comes off real serious, rarely smiles, but damn he’s hot nonetheless.  You won’t know the why he gets off on the rape fantasy until very late in the book and when you read it, your heart will break in two.  You start to wonder, can two broken individuals really have a relationship?  Oh and the negotiation scene, holy hell never had I seen anything like that since FSOG.  Prepare yourself for Chapter 22 and the scene in the woods.

What I didn’t like:
Well besides the fact that Viv didn’t come clean earlier, but I get why the author did this.  The fact that I have to wait until September for book 2 is another lol.  The writing was really, really good.  I didn’t want to put this book down.

– Michelle

*An ARC was received from the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.

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