Rating: ★★★+.5| 336 pages | Berkley | Contemporary Romance | 06/02/2015
Trigger Warning: Rape as backstory and Rape Play
I’ve been reading a lot of romance novels this year and sometimes it can all get a little same-y. I was looking for something more boundary-pushing and when I saw this in the library I decided to give it a try.
25-year-old PhD student Vivienne Charles has harbored a secret rape fantasy for years and when Jonah Marks, a mysterious earth sciences professor, accidentally discovers her fantasy–he reveals he has the same one. Together these two strangers explore their taboo desires and it brings them closer than they ever planned.
This book was fascinating. Pace did a great job delving into the intricacies of Vivienne’s rape fantasy, while also being sure to emphasize the importance of consent, safety, and boundaries. It’s revealed early on that she was a rape victim and the book draws a hard line between fantasy and reality. That said, the scenarios they create are still intense AF. Jonah and Vivienne go deep into their fantasy situations and get physically violent with each other
I do think Pace made a smart decision in only having this book from Vivienne’s perspective. I think a woman fantasizing about being raped reads differently than a man fantasizing about raping women. Their relationship smoothly transitioned from two people filling each other’s primal needs to heart fluttery romance.
But whew, chile this book has a dark reveal at the end about Jonah’s past that was real rough and super disturbing, I was kind of questioning why Pace went there. I mean IDK, I’m curious to see where Pace is going to go with this. This is a duology and it does end in a cliffhanger and I am curious enough to see how things end for Vivienne and Jonah.
I am just still fascinated Berkley published something like this. When it first came out Pace (who is a psuedonym for another author) did a lot of interviews and there were a lot of thinkpieces about this book. I’m surprised there haven’t been other books like it since it came out.