I read a LOT of erotic romance, including BDSM themes, so I am no prude. Maybe this book had some kind of appeal in the immediate post-50 Shades world, but in the post-Harvey Weinstein world it is seriously awful. The only difference between the hero in this book and any creepy sexual predator or abusive male is his good looks. Even Harvey Weinstein is said to have had some charm — this guy does not.
Spoilers ahead! The hero is the heroine’s business client, but he lures her into a sexual set-up, coming out of a hotel bathroom half-naked, expecting her to succumb to his sex appeal immediately. She does. Then, in their very first sexual encounter, he “forgets” a condom and ejaculates inside her, then follows that with virtually forcing her into anal sex — without condom or lube — then immediately returns to vaginal intercourse without giving either of them an opportunity to clean up or use a condom, which he apparently thinks is unnecessary. Not only is this recklessly unsafe sex, it’s really just gross and not at all erotic.
Thereafter, he harasses her with phone calls and texts, follows her, shows up at her workplace where he physically throws her over his shoulder and drags her out to the street. He later shows up uninvited to her home pounding on the door demanding another chance to “remind her” how great the sex is by forcefully seducing her. The heroine, instead of being terrified and getting a restraining order, is worried that she will fall for this creep and be emotionally lost when he inevitably dumps her because he is too rich and handsome for her. This pretty much sums up how abusive relationships begin.
I love a dominant alpha male hero, but This Man is a controlling, violent stalker and a total jerk. The heroine not only takes his verbal and physical harassment and abuse, she also works for a boss who calls her “flower” and expects her to accept sexual harassment from other male clients.
We deserve better. Even in a fictional world.