Series: Falling Under #1
Published by Carina Source: Netgalley
Genres: BDSM, Contemporary Romance, Erotica, Romance
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Knowing all too well the damage online trolls can inflict, game designer Emily Bartwell takes privacy seriously. Living in solitude and working remotely under a male alias gives her a sense of security. The sexy writer renting the house next door ignites desires she’d forgotten she had, and when he invites her to play games of a very different sort, Em is ready and willing. Even if it means breaking all her own rules to abide by his.
Undercover tech reporter Fox Mullins is so close to the biggest scoop of his career: finding the elusive programmer Phoenix. An increasingly erotic adventure with his reserved but passionate new neighbor is the ideal way to heat up the chilly Pacific Northwest nights as he tracks the brilliant gamer.
At first Fox is happy to help Em explore her newly awakened kinky side, no holds barred, no strings attached. But as they push the limits of intimacy, both physical and emotional, Fox discovers he’s not the only one keeping secrets. And revealing hers may mean betraying the one woman who embodies everything he desires.
I went back and forth on 4 star and 5 star on this book, but ultimately I had to go with 5 cause it’s one of those books that sits with you after you are done reading it. The more time passed after I finished it, the more that I liked it. Truth be told, I’m so wary of trying out erotica authors I haven’t read before. I always feel like when it comes to erotica it’s all sex not substance, I need a book to have characters that I can get invested in, with a plot line that doesn’t feel like it came straight out of a dirty movie. So I was super happy to find that this book has characters with substance, an interesting storyline, and chemistry that sizzled even outside the bedroom.
Truth be told I picked up this book because I’m a gamer, my husband is a gamer, our friends are gamers, it’s not uncommon for lunch time during the week to mean 10 army guys sitting in the house playing xbox. So a book about a woman who designs video games, totally up my alley. I have to say I really enjoyed the who gaming/designing aspect of the book. I liked how accurate the whole forums and trolls storyline read, I know how insane some of these crazed trolls can be.
So Emily was definitely an interesting character. I liked that she was super skilled in a job/world that is so male dominated, I love when women are good at fields where people don’t expect them to be. She operates behind a shield, he identity hidden from everyone, so of course everyone just naturally assumes that she’s a man, so I loved that she used that to her advantage at times. There were moments when I really felt for her, for her past, her past that she carries with her like a battle wound that hasn’t healed yet and has her looking behind every corner to make sure she’s not still under attack. I think in some ways she thinks of herself as being weak because she hides, but to me she comes off more of a survivor than someone who is just running.
Fox is well, hmmm, there is so much to say about Fox. Fox is in town to try and uncover who Phenix, the elusive gamer designer is, and since he doesn’t want anyone to know why he’s there, he just says he is writing a novel. Of course then he meets Emily, and suddenly attraction is in the air. Fox is definitely a character, he’s dominate, but submissive also, he’s beyond sure of himself, and unashamed of his wants/desires (see hot tub scene). But he’s more than all that, he’s got this great kind of confidence around him, but then when you are in his POV you can see that sometimes it’s authentic confidence and sometimes it’s a mask. His past definitely came full circle.
Chemistry wise this book was off the charts for me. Yes the sex scenes were all hot and steamy, they pushed boundaries and were just all around kinda awesome (if you are looking for vanilla don’t come looking for it in this book). More than that though was the chemistry Emily and Fox had even when they were just talking, they had a great push pull dynamic.
So the whole book I’m sitting there thinking how is this going to end. Is Fox going to find out the truth? Is Emily going to tell him the truth? Maybe Emily finds out about Fox? Will Emily be exposed? And believe me I want to tell you what happens, but the ending just all came together so nicely. There’s this great scene at the end… I really want to talk about it cause it’s awesome… but it would totally ruin it for you, so go buy the book read it as quickly as possible and then find me on twitter so we can chat about how awesome the ending is. Seriously go buy the book. Now.