The Bottom Line

Shelley Munro
The Bottom Line
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Samhain Publishing
Release Date
April 2010
Book 1 of Love and Friendship
Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance

Spicing up her sex life sounds exciting…until the fantasy hits the fan.

When Maggie Drummond buys an erotic romance novel by mistake, she gets more than an unexpected eyeful. She gets an introduction to a world that arouses her to a fever pitch: Spanking.

Her boyfriend isn't interested in pushing his vanilla-flavored sexual boundaries. Then there's Connor Grey, who haunts her fantasies like a magical genie. As a source of masculine advice for her and her female friends, he's off limits. The only safe place to explore her fetish is her anonymous blog.

The recent changes in Maggie don't escape Connor's notice. Now that her boyfriend has dropped her, he can finally—carefully—make his move. Given his family history, laying a hand on any woman, even in fun, is a line he's reluctant to cross. But for Maggie? Anything the lady wants.

As Maggie gives in to the temptation to let Connor add some sin to her life, she finds herself juggling lies, half-truths, friendship and sensual delights. Her job is in jeopardy—and she's falling in love. Exploring her fantasy is one thing, but she's beginning to question if indulging her own pleasure is worth the cost to everyone around her. Especially Connor…

Book Review by Lynn (reviewer)
Jun 16, 2013   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
213 people found the following review helpful
Reading an erotic romance novel leads quiet, reserved Maggie to explore the more adventurous side of her own sexuality in THE BOTTOM LINE.

After reading about, and being turned on by, a scene in a romance novel that involved spanking, Maggie is intrigued. She begins to investigate spanking--who does it, how they do it, what they do it with. Maggie decides to start a blog to discuss her feelings and her desire to be spanked and to inquire from others about their thoughts on the subject. Maggie decides to share her new fantasy, and her blog, with her three closest female friends, with the explicit instruction that no one tell their very dear male friend, Connor. Maggie is attracted to Connor, but she and her friends have made a pact that none of them will pursue Connor for fear of damaging the friendships they all have with one another.

When one of the girls breaks her promise and tells Connor about the blog, he is intrigued. Connor has been hiding his true feelings for Maggie because of her boyfriend and his uncertainty as to how to approach a relationship with his good friend. When Connor finds out about the blog, and that Maggie has dumped her boyfriend, he decides it is time to make his move. But a relationship that is shrouded in secrets may not have a great chance of survival.

This story was, for the most part, funny and sweet. The main plot was generic--boy and girl have feelings for each other but both are hesitant to share their feelings so a frustrating love story begins. However, the author kept this generic plot from being boring and predictable by adding in the elements of spanking exploration and the other female friendships.

Connor is aware of Maggie's desires but is hesitant to help her explore them, while Maggie believes Connor knows nothing of her spanking interests and is afraid to mention them to him. An added twist is that Connor grew up in an abusive household so he has some strong ideas about hitting women. The two of them struggle with forming a relationship because neither is being honest and they are not communicating well with one another. To add to the stress of the relationship, they are keeping it a secret from their friends because of the pact the women made about dating Connor.

Now, the friends! I really enjoyed the other female friends and the honest exploration of the changing friendships. There was an underlying theme, in the romance plot and in the friendship plot, of how secrets effect relationships. The author made it quite obvious that the three female friends were all harboring secrets, but we never really find out what they are. Because the secrets weren't revealed and worked into the story, I felt that they were somewhat distracting to the story. I found myself thinking about what was occurring with the other characters and wondering if we were going to see more of their personal lives. The storyline with the ex-boyfriend was distracting to me as well.

Other than that small distraction, this story was great. Maggie's blog posts were thoughtful and sometimes hilarious, the romance was fun to watch develop and Maggie's journey of self-discovery was charming.
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