Cassandra Carr
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C-Squared Publishing
Release Date
March 2014
BDSM, Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance

Vanessa Clark is doing a research paper for one of her last classes – Psychology of Sex – before receiving her Bachelors' degree. Once she discovers the topic of BDSM, everything else pales in comparison. But where will she learn about it? The Internet has its limits, and Vanessa needs to talk to real-life practitioners of BDSM to really understand the lifestyle and write about it.

Will Astin, who serves as a dungeon master at a local BDSM club, doesn't expect to find a gorgeous, irresistible young woman when he agrees to a meet and greet with a college student as a favor to the club's owner. Even better, she's interested in learning about BDSM for what he suspects are more than scholarly reasons, and Will decides he's just the man to teach her about it, hopefully claiming her for his own.

Will and Vanessa begin a journey which teaches both of them there's more to BDSM than meets the eye. In the process, they grow closer, but when Will's job puts him in the line of fire – literally – their roles are reversed and Vanessa has to take charge. Can they handle the rapid shift in their burgeoning dynamic, or is their relationship doomed?

Book Review by Lynn (reviewer)
May 31, 2014   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
176 people found the following review helpful
AWAKENING is a story about self-discovery and a lesson in how deep you have to reflect upon yourself to find who you really are.

College psychology major Vanessa Clark is filling her final semester before graduation with random psychology electives. One of the classes she decides to take is Psychology of Sex. While Vanessa is stressing over the huge research paper she has to write for the class, her professor mentions BDSM. Vanessa is immediately intrigued by the topic and decides to make it the focus of her research paper.

In an effort to do the most specific research possible, Vanessa calls the owner of a BDSM club and asks to come in to interview him and perhaps tour his club. On the day of her tour, the owner of the club, Rod, is suffering from a migraine so he asks his best friend Will to give Vanessa a tour and keep an eye on her. Will immediately senses Vanessa's submissive nature and is drawn to her. Vanessa is attracted to Will as well, but wonders if he would be ok just dating.

Will wants to awaken Vanessa to her submissive nature but he is hesitant because they are very different people at very different points in their lives. Neither of them can deny their attraction to one another but there seems to be obstacle upon obstacle blocking their road to happiness. Vanessa's school work is time consuming, Will's job puts him in danger, Vanessa is not sure she can be submissive, Will is not sure he can be in a relationship and not be dominant. The two of them learn, and grow, and discover much about themselves and each other along the way.

This story was great. It was unlike others I've read because of the psychology aspects. This was not just a story about a woman deciding if she can be a sub or not; it was so much more than that. Vanessa has to analyze and question all of her feelings towards Will and all of the expectations the two of them have of a relationship. Initially Vanessa has Will to help guide her into the world of BDSM, but then Will is hurt and Vanessa is left trying to figure out her wants and needs while taking care of the man who said he would always be in control.

Will's struggles with his emotional state after being hurt are perfectly written. Will is dominant by nature, making him a control freak, and he now has to rely on others, including the woman he doesn't want to ever see him as weak. The emotional struggles are great, the love story is great, and the friendships of the secondary characters are great. I will definitely add more of Ms. Carr's books to my TBR list.
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