This is an author who is a little bit hit-or-miss for me. Taking Her in Hand was definitely a huge hit, in fact there wasn’t really anything in it I could criticise. OK there is one thing – but it is very minor! The story starts about half-way through the blurb, we first meet Laci after the party that proves too much for the kink/BDSM/DD gated community she lives in.
I can predict some readers may have issues with Laci, what I see as dealing with loss, feeling alone and maybe just a bit of burying her head in the sand, others might interpret as childishness and even whiny behaviour. For me the author created a backstory for this character that totally explained the where and why of how Laci was. And she grows so much through this story, not just maturing but also getting stronger.
Eric could have come across as sleazy, but I was so drawn in by his passion for Laci. His desire not just for her but for her well-being sold me on him being a worth-my-time hero. Yes he didn’t always have the best words or actions to help Laci over her grief but that only made him feel a perfectly imperfect human. What I really liked was how the author allowed Laci to make decisions on her own. Too often in D/s books I find that the woman isn’t allowed a brain, the Dom is written as knowing what the heroine thinks/needs/knows better than she does. Oh my word does that bit of unreality annoy the heck out of me.
Now Laci’s slow progress to accepting her new feelings does lead to what some might consider OW drama, though it only touches the very edges. Kudos to the author for flipping overused cliches in how Eric felt and his actions over the situation. The slow progress doesn’t mean we don’t get plenty of heat and sexy times, some of which involves our couple (without intercourse) and some involves other couples in the community.
Whilst the setting is clearly kink/ Ds based, there isn’t a great deal of BDSM type play, though there is one very hot medical play scene towards the end. It has just enough for those who enjoy the kink but not so much that those unsure would be turned off.
This is a nice, steamy, NSFW kinky read.
Laci had just aged out of foster care and was jobless and sleeping on friends’ couches when she met Colin. He gave her the loving attention and firm-handed discipline she needed, and soon they were married and living happily in Haywood Hills, a community of likeminded people where a man spanking his wife when she is naughty is nothing out of the ordinary.
Then Colin died of a sudden, tragic illness, and Laci has been lost ever since. After a year of increasingly irresponsible behavior on her part, things finally come to a head. When Laci invites outsiders into Haywood Hills and her recklessness puts everyone at risk, she is given a choice. She can accept the guidance and correction she clearly requires or leave the community.
The man tasked with taking her in hand is Eric Renard, a close friend of Colin’s whom Laci has always considered too stern. When Laci reluctantly agrees to the community’s demands, she quickly finds herself over her handsome new guardian’s knee for a painful, embarrassing bare-bottom spanking in front of a room full of witnesses. Eric makes it clear that he will not put up with Laci’s sharp tongue and defiant attitude, and over the coming weeks his intimate, shameful punishments leave her with blushing cheeks and a burning backside on more than one occasion.
Eric’s bold dominance rekindles Laci’s passion in a way she thought nothing ever could, and part of her cannot help yearning for him to claim her properly, but is she truly ready to put aside the past and make a place in her heart for him?
Publisher’s Note: Taking Her in Hand includes spankings and sexual scenes. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.
5 stars – This is a book I will not forget and would definitely read again.
4 stars – I really enjoyed this book, I might not read it again but I would definitely recommend it to others.
3 stars – This story was good but either forgettable or just very typical of its genre.
2 stars – Whilst the book was readable I either didn’t enjoy parts of the plot or just could not connect to the main characters.
1 star – This is a book I simply could not finish for reasons listed in the review.