June 24, 2016

EARLY REVIEW: Bound Beneath His Pain (Dirty Little Secrets #1)

Bound Beneath His Pain (Dirty Little Secrets #1), by Stacey Kennedy
Publish Date:
July 5, 2016
Publisher: Loveswept
Format: e-ARC, provided by Netgalley
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4.5 STARS

(Synopsis) Real estate mogul Micah Holt exerts absolute control over all aspects of his life. He keeps his dark side hidden away from the press, who will chase down any hint of scandal. He’s always in command of his world, careful to expose his closely guarded secrets only to those he knows he can trust. Then Allie Bennett shakes his legendary discipline. She’s beautiful, pure, untainted. But is Micah willing to sacrifice her innocence for his own selfish obsessions?

When that sexy smile makes her body burn, Allie tries with all her might to ignore it. For one thing, Micah's her new boss. For another, he's as complicated as he is devastatingly handsome. Still, Allie can only fight so much before she gives in to his dangerous games. She knows he's got dark secrets. But when she discovers the true depth of his pain, Allie must decide how far she's willing to go to light the way for love.

What a great idea for a book. A group of enigmatic, kinky men who own the best BDSM clubs in the city meet regularly to talk shop, and they call themselves The Dominant Council, or the DC for short. Just that is sexy as hell, isn't it? Stacey Kennedy only briefly mentioned the DC in her Club Sin series, but now it's time to give these men center stage in a series of their own. 

Bound Beneath His Pain starts things off with the story of business mogul Micah Holt. He has acquired a small real estate firm, and its top seller Allie Bennett along with it. Although he's not one to mix business with pleasure, he decides right away that he might have to make an exception in this case. But, kinky play leads to actual feelings, and that crumbles Micah's carefully constructed walls. 

I'm a very character-driven reader. If an author can't make me fall in love with the main characters, I'll find it hard to love the story. It's even okay if I hate the characters a little to start with. Hell, sometimes it's better that way. Because, if I fall in love with them later, it's even better. Stacey Kennedy flawlessly drew me into this world of BDSMery and the DC and secrets and love and kink. 

She made me love Allie right off the bat. She's my favorite kind of female character. She has money because her family is wealthy, but she doesn't use it. She decided to make her own way in life and is very independent. She picks her battles, stands up for what is right, and goes after what she wants. And, she was the perfect match for Micah.

Micah is mysterious. It's obvious he has secrets and that there's a story behind why he remains alone, even while surrounded by people as he runs his empire. He's also a good man. He treats his employees well, he's fair, and he's generous with his time and money. It's his heart that he's not interested in sharing. And it was obvious right from the start that Allie might be the right woman to change that. 

For a book about a council of BDSM club owners, there wasn't actually all that many BDSM club scenes to be had in Bound Beneath His Pain. The main focus wasn't on the kink, but rather on the demons in Micah's past that are causing him to make the choices he's making now. But, it was okay. I didn't miss the club scene all that much, because I was totally caught up in Micah's and Allie's story. 

I'm assuming we'll get a book for each of the members of the DC in this series, and it sounds like Darius will be next. Based on Bound Beneath His Pain, I can't wait for the next book. 

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