Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Blushing Violet by Ann Mayburn

Shy and quirky Violet Bishop has finally found the perfect way to meet a man who can fulfill her hidden submissive desires—an online dating site that matches couples based on books they love. In this case, the BDSM erotica that fuels her fire.

Two Dom best friends and business partners, Carlos Romano and Morgan Kane, are matched with Violet. They both want to date her and, rather than fight, decide to keep the fact they know each other a secret and let her choose. A good idea in theory, but impossible when they both fall in love and wish to make Violet their own.

The men build up Violet’s almost nonexistent self-esteem and help her find strength she never knew she had, along with an almost bottomless craving for their dominant touch. When Violet discovers they’ve been less than truthful, the men realize they’ve helped her become stronger than even they knew—strong enough to leave them. Now Morgan and Carlos must find a way to win their perfect woman back, no matter what.

Reviewer: avidscribe
28 year old Violet, despondent over the breakup of her cheating ex, bravely places a want ad in an online dating service one drunk New Year's Eve night. She's a hard working physical therapist, slightly overweight, who has been raised to the mantra that she's not good enough, not pretty enough, not thin enough until she believes it to her marrow.

Violet has a secret. She's fascinated by BDSM. She craves a Master to call her own. Looking at a photo book of erotica, she is stirred by pictures of women shackled and pleasured and wants to know what it feels like. Her favorite fantasy involves the two men in a particular photo who are holding sway over a woman shackled by her hands and feet to a frame. One is blond, one has sable brown hair and a dark tan. They are impossibly handsome men she reacts physically to as she hungrily examines the photograph in detail and the rapturous expression on the submissive's face. She goes to bed wishing, hoping, praying her life will change.

Across town, these two very photogenic men are also looking for Ms. Right. Who'd have guessed that they posed in the very book Violet has been fantasizing over, a book of their own mutual work? Carlos is the dark one, a photographer with a keen eye. Morgan, his buddy since high school, is the blond who creates painterly effects in Carlos' photos. Together, they command good prices for their work and live comfortably, albeit alone. Tired of their share of vapid, manipulative, money-hungry bitches, they've both joined the very same dating site as Violet and that fateful night each man gets a hit. Yes, both are matched with Violet.

It takes a huge leap of faith (and a push by her best friend, Bethany, who helps her dress) to get Violet to go through with meeting them individually. She meets Carlos first who is urbane but knowing and takes her home to a repast of smores in his living room fireplace. She enjoys the ease at which he makes her comfortable and the standup sex in his hallway (they never make it to his bedroom) is earth shattering. She's never had a lover like Carlos ... that is, until she meets Morgan and finds that "together they were her perfect man" which pretty much tells a reader where the story will end.

Coming from a hard lifetime of abusive remarks by her mother and sister and a callous ass of an ex, she thinks she can't possibly be enough for either of these two affluent, gorgeous men and can hardly believe it when both of them are smitten by her curvaceous body and natural submissive behavior in bed. The problem is, she can't decide which she likes more and neither man is willing to give her up for the other. Secrets and reveals will tear them apart before we get a HEA at the end.

This is good writing, good characterizations, an interesting story I enjoyed the nuances of. I enjoy descriptives that try to reach for something different.
Her eyes like mint leaves covered in frost
had me sitting back to consider the what the luminosity and color value of that might be. Ann Mayburn has some funny moments I laughed out loud at, like Violet pseudo fretting about her aunt's will:
I don't want to take the chance of my sister getting her vast collection of Elvis refrigerator magnets and Lawrence Welk records instead of me.
And Carlos being called Sith Lord Carlos with the promise made to Violet of having her join the dark side with him. Loved
the wet secrets of her body exposed to his gaze.
I am fanatical about looking for new depths in writing and interesting turns of phrase and this book had several.

Spelling error, though, on page 69 "immediately," not "immideatly."

What I enjoyed about this is that even with the brevity of the storyline, the writer was able to bring nice characterization and backstory into the plot. Ann brings us an intelligent heroine who doesn't let her self esteem issues hold her back from an interesting, promising career. Violet is a touch volunteer at a hospital, part of a study to document the effectiveness of touch on helping people heal. Touching has been found to help the sick eat more and have better tolerance and she's good at what she does.

The photographic work of both men unveiled at the story's end at a charity event, glowingly depicts their love for the woman they both want in their lives. Unbeknownst to her, Carlos has snapped Violet at work, and Morgan has added in shimmers of fantasy transforming the simple moments of patient care into works of art that I found myself envisioning as something sensual, rich, and transcending. If only all women were as loved.

Worth reading. I will be reading more of Ann's work and hope it is as strong and well written as this. 3 1/2 stars out of 5.

Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders


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