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Dane is struggling to keep himself sane. He wants nothing more than freedom and adventure and the rush of danger. But because of his brother's death years ago, his mother has forced him to play it safe -- hence his desk job in the city when he'd rather be back in the country and following in his dad and brother's footsteps (firefighter). Going in to work every day is killing him inside. He uses each weekend to escape, to dive and hike with his buddies -- and enjoy a good scene with a willing sub. But that's not enough anymore and things are pressing down on him too much . . . except for one thing, one lifeline that taunts him: his boss. He wants nothing more than to show her that she can let go, completely, and he'll not only hold her up but also break her apart -- with pleasure, that is. But he knows that's a dangerous game to play, boss and assistant, and Lexie is especially skittish about starting anything. She's been through the coworker relationship before and it didn't end well for her at all. But Dane . . . Dane is nothing like her ex. And she can't continue to deny the chemistry sizzling between them, the connection that's right there, just waiting to turn into more.
I loved the dynamic between these two. In the office, Lexie is the boss, she's the one in control, while Dane is her assistant. He's by no means beta or submissive at the office, but he knows to stand back and let her take control, while helping her in any way he can. But outside of the office, the tables flip; Dane is the Dom and Lexie figures out that she needs to submit to him, needs that time where she doesn't have to hold the world up on her shoulders and she can just forget about it all while taking care of her Dom -- and he her. Their relationship is done so very well and the power never felt off or uneven. In many ways, they're actually on even footing; whether it is him in control in the bedroom or her in control in the boardroom, they always show the other the utmost respect. And that's key in any relationship but most especially in a D/s relationship. It's not just about consent but also respect for one another.
The BDSM aspect is quite strong here, but it's not overly hardcore. It mostly focuses on the D/s, with some light bondage, but it never goes too far into the extreme side of the BDSM scene. There are some spankings, a time or two with a crop, and a particularly hot scene where Dane teases her for most of the day (he has a small vibrator pressed against her clit while they're out and he, of course, has the remote for it). He's commanding with her, but not in a mean or disrespectful way. It's just . . .gah, hot. Assuming that you're not opposed to that kink, of course. I know some will avoid this book because of the BDSM, and that's fine! But if it's your thing, I promise, you're going to love how well done it is here. And hot. So hot.
This is definitely erotica; their relationship is based on more than just sex, of course, but the sexual exploration definitely moves their relationship forward, and affects both of their character arcs, by showing who they are, what they like and need and want. I'm NOT complaining about the amount of sex (hello, when would I ever do that?!) but again, I want to tell you that there IS a lot of sex -- a scene every few chapters, after their first time -- so that you know what you're getting into. If you don't like a lot of sex in your books, then this is not the one for you. Again, that's fine!
If, like me, you love your books delicious dirty and ridiculously hot then you're going to love Nine Kinds of Naughty. Trust. Me. I'd share a sex scene snippet but I couldn't narrow it down. I'd start to reread a scene for a quote and suddenly I'd look down to see I had read 30 pages instead. Oops.
Together they explore her sexuality and kinks. At first, she freaks after submitting to him -- not because she didn't want to (I assure you, she's ALWAYS into what they do and there's explicit consent for every scene), but because she has to work through her own baggage thinking that submitting in the bedroom makes her weak in the office, will make people talk and look down at her. Because society, unfortunately, is still very set in that fucked up view of women and their sexuality. So it's an understandable inner conflict that she works through. She was also hesitant to play around with bondage because she never felt like she could trust a man so completely. Dane does not push her on this, ever, but he does talk to her about it and ask if she'd like to some day attempt a scene with light bondage. He only asks because she admits to him that it's not a hard limit. And there is a scene, later, when she finally asks him to tie her up. Yes, the scene was hot as hell, but what I loved was it showed their trust and relationship growth, not just the kink and hot sex.
Basically, this entire story is as much about the hot, kinky sex as it is the deeper emotions -- both the emotions they experience together in their relationship and the emotions that they each go through while coming to terms with who they are and what they want.
I could go on but I really don't want to give everything away. I will say that the black moment conflict towards the end was not at all surprising, but did irritate me while reading. However, it wasn't a "WTF, I hate this!" irritation where you want to throw the book and walk away. No, not at all, it was the kind of irritation when you KNOW that the scenes have to happen because they do fit with what they're going through and what they each need to come to terms with before having their HEA. Does that even make sense? I realize I'm being vague, but just know that I thought the black moment conflict fit the story and characters, and was needed, but it definitely hurt me a bit when it hit. But this is a romance, and you know that everything ends up okay in the end, and both Dane and Lexie stronger for it. Stronger as a couple but also stronger as individuals; Dane finally shakes off his shackles and goes for what he wants, and Lexie realizes that she doesn't have to be so hard on herself, that if things don't succeed at work every single day, it's not her fault, that it's okay to be strong AND still submit and let Dane take care of, too.
I cannot fully put into words how much I adored their dirty, emotional journey. The fact that this is my first 5 star for 2017 should tell you a lot though. Nine Kinds of Naughty is a story that's going to stay with me for a long, long time. And one that I'll be returning to again. I just have one question: Where's my Dane? 😏
Did I like Nine Kinds of Naughty? HELL YES!
Would I recommend it? YES!
Would I try another from Jeanette Grey? YES! Book 1 and 2 both cover her older brother's HEA, with book 1 ending on a cliffhanger, so I'll be reading those back-to-back. In fact, book 1 is currently $2.99! I cannot wait for Lexie's younger brother, Evan's story, which I'm hoping comes out in the next year or so. Beyond this series, yes, I'll still be reading Grey again. I loved her writing.
Quick sell: Seriously sexy, deliciously dirty, and emotionally satisfying, with BDSM that is done very, very well.
Find all of the quotes I shared on my Twitter feed!
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I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley.
*Note: The quotes used belong to Jeanette Grey; TBQ's Book Palace does not claim them. Any mistakes or typos in the quotes are my own fault.
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If you're looking for a new BDSM erotica to read, this is it, trust me.
Remember, since this is a Royal Pick, come back on February 23rd for a chance to WIN an ecopy of your own!
Until Next Time,
*TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!