Review: The Pleasures of Spring by Evie Hunter
The final chapter in the Pleasures series ends with Spring. This is the perfect name for this 3.5 star book. Spring is for new beginnings. The hardships of winter is over and a clean slate is ready for life to begin anew. For Roz Spring, this is her time. She's starting fresh after a horrific witnessing of a brutal murder. She is going legit and avoids cons. She's also leaving her lucrative professional dominatrix job aside. She tries to stay off the radar because not only is a killer searching for her, but her mother's side of the family too. They hired a security firm to find her. Hot on her tail is Andy McTavish, one of the security firm's top agents.
This story is wonderfully rich in character. Roz is a female lead who's a fighter. Despite the disadvantages she's suffered, she's still loyal and takes care of her own. She's not without flaw which makes her a more interesting character. Ms. Hunter does a lovely job of creating an anti-hero in Roz. Roz could come across as a damsel in distress. Make no mistakes, she is not. Andy tries to rescue her several times. Each time he fails miserably because he is a white knight on a quest to save a princess who needs no saving. He wants to ride in to save the day. He constantly wants to make things better for Roz. What he doesn't understand at first, is that Roz is used to depending on no one. She doesn't need to be saved. She needs just needs to be supported and cherished.
This story is one which is rather sad. Because at the heart of it, it's about relationships and how people can disappoint. It also shows how bonds through family and friendship can counteract the disappointment. Roz's relationship with her mother's family is at best strained and at worst homicidal. It's interesting to see the two sides of a story and find that they are so different. When Roz finally confronts her mother's side of the family, it's not as she imagined or expected. This searching for a connection will speak to readers who are estranged from their family.
This story is more than just a chick flick of family drama. The reader is offered a front row seat to Roz and Andy's long overdue mating dance. The sexual tension between these two characters is fun and feisty. Both characters are used to calling the shots, especially from a Top perspective. Andy fully expects Roz to yield to his authority. Why Andy thinks this will happen when he knows Roz's professional domme gig is beyond me. When Roz flips Andy a couple of times, the sparks fly and it's great fun to watch. The BDSM in this story is lighter than the last. There is less erotica and more romance. It's sweet because Roz doesn't need the erotic stroking. What feeds her soul is to feel wanted and cherished. Her desire to belong is so strong, at times it's painful to witness when she's excluded and feeling left out. I like how Ms. Hunter does not let Roz become a pitiful wallflower. Instead, Roz takes back the power and turns all the men upside down with her confident sexuality. It's alluring and men gravitate towards her.
This story does move in a good pace. The threads from previous books are all nicely brought together in this one. The conflicts are believable and resolved in an acceptable manner. I can definitely see all four of these books made into a mini-series TV show. The places in this story are well described and the people memorable. This contemporary romance is recommended to erotic readers who enjoy a bit of kink.
*provided by NetGalley