La Crimson Femme
At Her Service by Joey W. Hill
★★★★★ @JoeyWHill #AtHerService
Fluidity and adaptability allow resilience in many things. This is both shown in At Her Service and Ms. Hill's writing style. In the latest Mistresses of Board Room, it is less about BDSM and more about the human condition. I loved reading this book because it tackles hard problems that society would prefer to sweep under the rug or pretend never existed. Ms. Hill must have spent many hours, weeks, and months researching for this book because it is thorough and to a layman's eye, education and eye-opening.
What I loved about this book is the character development. At the heart of a great story for me is when I fall in love with the characters. Abby and Neil's love story is about resilience and taking the good with the bad days. I cannot imagine what it is like to have a debilitating illness that makes a person fight themselves almost all the time. To watch a loved one go through this and be helpless when you want to fix problems is excruciatingly painful.
Learning about how Abby starts to decline is an insight I appreciate. I admire Ms. Hill's subtle ways in inserting Abby's struggle to prepare a reader that something is amiss. Ms. Hill takes a little-understood illness with great stigma and makes it relatable. This could happen to a mother, a sister, and lover. Watching Abby's friends and her lover come to terms with her illness and decision is both poignant and rage-inducing. Why does such a wonderful person like Abby have to suffer? Why is it that now that Neil finally found that one woman who does it for him, his time is so short with her? How is this fair?
Life isn't fair and this story isn't about fairness. This story isn't a Disney romance where the princess is saved by a knight, storming the castle, and slaying the dragon. This is an honest look at trying to live life to its fullness by surrounding oneself with your loved ones. It takes hard work and the ability to be fluid to handle the curveballs nature throws at us. I didn't rage or scream throughout this book. I felt fear, sorrow, and helplessness. There is no magic cure. There is no magician or witch to create a spell and make it all better. I also learned something about Switzerland that I didn't know about and I'm both surprised and relieved.
Entwined in this "Notebook" like love story is the underlying theme of kink. Abby is a Domme. Neil is a Dom. How will this work? How does this all mesh with the onset of her illness? Because a Domme needs to be the one in control and ensure that her submissive is not harmed. Ms. Hill does a beautiful job of showing co-domming plus incorporating kink into Abby's continued health. Abby is already losing a lot of her identity, to lose being a Domme is just another painful reality. But what if it isn't necessary? What if she could continue to be a dominant? The kink scenes in this book are beautifully written and erotically hot. Loved them.
This erotic romance is highly recommended to readers looking for deep character development and who want a message of hope.
* ARC provided by Social Butterfly