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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Review: Under His Thumb by Vonna Harper


A handshake at a remote mountain lodge becomes a powerful grip. With the sudden change, Meka Morgan is lifted out of the familiar and safe, and thrust into an evening of submission and fantasy.

At first shocked by her capture, she soon embraces everything the powerful stranger offers, including his bindings and sexual mastery. Moment by moment, touch by touch, she surrenders her body and more. He knows her better than she does herself, particularly how to explore her secret need to be dominated.

But Meka is a woman of today. She craves answers and explanations, and her captor holds the key to all of them—and much, much more. Reader Advisory: Contains one scene of non-consensual sex.

 My Review:

Under His Thumb begins with Meka driving up to The Gateway resort/lodge as she has won an all expenses paid weekend there – though Meka doesn’t remember entering a contest.

She first meets up with Rafe Cordon (though we don’t know his name for awhile) who welcomes her into the resort which is surprisingly devoid of any other staff. Rafe takes Meka’s bags and shows her to her room where he immediately sets to drugging her and puts her to sleep.

When Meka awakens, she is tied up and gagged (with her used underwear – gross!) and Rafe reveals what she is doing there. It’s not long before we learn Meka has always had kidnapping and BDSM fantasies, as well as what sort of resort and clientele The Gateway truly caters to. Will Rafe and Meka keeps things strictly professional, or will Rafe cross the line and keep Meka as his own?


I can’t put my ‘thumb’ on it, but I’m not sure why Under His Thumb didn’t work for me. Maybe it was because Rafe sounded completely clinical when he was supposed to be sexxing it up with Meka, and he came off like a creepy serial killer. Or maybe it was because at the end of the story, he sells Meka off on Craigslist.

Either way, I didn’t “feel” the chemistry or heat between the two characters, and I couldn’t get into this short read (51 pages).  I’m not giving up on this author, though, as I’ve heard from some friends she’s really great. I guess this just wasn’t the book for me.

“You’re bound to have questions,” her captor said, the words slicing into but not completely destroying her fantasy. “Everything will be spelled out, eventually. But I don’t believe in getting ahead of myself. A little anticipation and suspense, you know.” He brushed a lock of hair off her forehead.

“This might not matter to you, but I  deeply enjoy my job. Over time I’ve refined and further defined it because even the most appealing career becomes stale unless there’s constant improvement. I’m self-directed and fascinated by human psychology. At first I was also self-absorbed. Yes, I was performing a service, but it was all about me.
Now that I’ve done it as long as I have, I’m becoming more and more interested in the women I’m servicing. You’re particularly intriguing for reasons I’ve yet to decide whether I’ll share with you.”

He’d been standing behind her head, but now he stepped to the side of the couch and held up his hand. Several leather strips dangled from his fingers. Metal rings were embedded in the strips. A shudder coursed through her. “Your new jewelry,” he said as she struggled to comprehend how much he knew about her. “You have to be eager to
start wearing it. I know you are, but first I need to get rid of your clothes.”

No, she wasn’t part of a harem after all. Instead, something she’d held close to her for years was now a step away. Inescapable.The thought of cold, hard metal settling around her wrists or around her neck stole her breath. She’d never been more vulnerable.

After depositing the leather and metal things on the couch between her legs, he took hold of her sweater hem. “I thought about saying nothing,” he told her. “Leaving you in silence to anticipate. But as I mentioned, I intend to be as much a part of this experience as possible. Toward that end,I’ll begin by telling you this. You’re soon going to be
naked, whether you tell yourself you want it or not. Naked and unable to stop me. It’s what you need.” He drew the sweater up a few inches. Cool air brushed her midriff.

“You’re pale there. Either you don’t get enough sun or you only wear a one-piece.” He spoke slow and low, positioned so she could study his face as bit by bit he exposed her. Never more alive than she was at this moment, she lived for each second.

“Your eyes are expressive. I want you to be aware of that in case you try to keep anything from me. And I don’t see fear.”

Was she supposed to be? The part of her that had her locking her door at night and looking around whenever she heard police sirens argued that she must be so terrified she couldn’t recognize the emotion. But the rest of her knew better. Her world had changed the moment the door to the lodge opened, and no matter what the outcome,
she had no desire to flee.

After something between a heartbeat and forever, he reached her breasts, causing her to hold her breath.He blinked several times, and his jaw seemed to tighten, causing her to wonder if he had to grab hold of self-control before continuing. Then, moving so slowly she was certain she’d scream, he drew the sweater over her bra-captured mounds before releasing it.

“I don’t need to explain what’s going to happen next, do I?” he asked.






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