15 October 2014

Temptation to Submit by Jennifer Leeland

 In the midst of a hostile takeover, Tori Rodgers's private life goes crazy and the skeletons from her closet are rattling. It doesn't help that she keeps trading insults with the CFO of the company that's raided hers. But Vegas brings out her insanity and she finds herself at Atticus Paulus's mercy. His offer of Dominance brings her to the brink of total surrender and she knows he'll never forgive her when he finds out she's been lying to him.

Whatever secrets Victoria has hidden Atticus has decided he's going to discover. She's a brat sub, the kind he avoids, and yet, he can't resist her. He admires her strength, her determination and the spankable parts drive him over the edge. The closer he gets to her, the more he desires her trust. But there are more secrets than the ones Victoria keeps and uncovering them might cost more than either of them ever dreamed. Even with all that's at stake, Atticus knows he can't give up offering her the temptation to submit.

Let’s face it, sometimes authors attempt to give us a novel in the form of a novella and that is the feeling I received from this book. The cross between business and submission was not given plenty of time to develop and make sense  in my honest opinion.  It was made somewhat clear that due to the takeover in the business this is how the two main characters were introduced but I still felt I had a lot of missing information that would have made this story complete. Some of the characters stories and personalities felt like it were sacrificed due to the shortness of the book and the battle between Victoria and Atticus was so strong, I almost feel cheated that they didn’t get to progress their story farther into a full length novel. 
With all that said, there is no way to mistake this as all negative.  Clearly I felt I needed more of this story and was upset it was not a full length novel which leads me to what I did love about this book. I enjoyed, Victoria and Atticus as a couple.  She was internally needing to be a submissive but her tough exterior wouldn’t’ allow her to admit it.  Putting on the witch mask and going through this story “forcing” Atticus to take control not only fed his personality but it did lead for some funny and HOT situations.  Being one of the three women left to deal with the clause in the new contract at work, she was going to make sure she pushed enough for him to take control but still keep her pride.  Victoria also harbored a few major secrets in life that I feel was one of the main reasons she acted like she did.  It would be difficult for any man to look past her behavior to see the woman she really was.
Atticus, also known as Finch for you Mockingbird lovers, has to be one of the most controlling yet patient men I have read about so far.  So many times I wanted him to spank that attitude out of her but he played along with her games and continues to give her the space to fight against the submission she so longed to give.   I think it was clear he could see the real woman and that not only intrigued his intelligent mind, it captured his lustful heart.  I loved the push and pull between them and when he had enough he stood up and let her know she had crossed the line.  The author did do a great job at allowing the readers to see past the façade of each character and get a general sense that they were a match made in some sick twisted version of Heaven.
I won’t even get into the business part of the story for this review.  It was distracting and felt like it demoralized the relationship with the contracts and power of the takeover.  I would have been perfectly happy if that has been excluded from the story because at the beginning it gave the feel that whatever happened later on was not going to be consensual and we learn that isn’t true.  I would recommend this book but advise the reader to go in with an open mind and not give up after the first few pages.  This isn’t going to be a woman taken against her will, it is more of a man who can see past the game she is playing and be willing to fulfill the desires she is too afraid to express out loud.  

Temptation to Submit proved to be a fast-paced read that lived up to the secrets and intrigue that the blurb promised, which I found quite impressive considering that it is a novella. I’ve read full-length romantic suspense novels that didn’t pack the punch this did. And it quite literally packed a punch from the very beginning as the introduction to Tori is her arguing with and taking a swing at her new supervisor. Her male supervisor. Her male supervisor who is a Dominant. Yeah, not a good way to impress your new boss. So it was not the least bit surprising when Atticus deems her a brat sub – what was surprising was her reaction to it. It gives us a glimpse into Tori’s psyche and helps the reader understand her better. With the sh*t storm that was her life, it was surprising to me exactly how well she kept it together.

While it is not the main element of the story, there is an underlying romantic suspense element and an entire plotline I cannot discuss without risk of spoilers. I will say that when the criminal activities were discovered I liked that Atticus did not fall for the obvious trail of breadcrumbs that pointed to Tori as the guilty party. He trusted his instincts and all that he had learned about her and asked for her help. Granted he set the situation up to confirm what he knew about her, but that merely showed his skill as a business man and a Dom. It is his skill as a Dom that puts him in the position to help Tori emotionally via punishment when she is unable to ask for help. As Tori’s personal life encroaches upon her job, she finds herself submitting to Atticus’s punishment in order to keep her job but quickly finds that it does so much more for her. It also ratchets up the sexual tension between the two so much that I was amazed with how far into the book we were before they finally had sex, but boy was it worth the wait.

Although not marked as a series, this is actually the second book about the employees of ConFed and Sunsoon. Temptation to Submit easily stands on its own but definitely made me want to go back and read Declaration to Submit so that I can get Nell and Mark’s story. It also means that Gina’s story is most likely up next and I will admit that I am quite intrigued about what may be going on between her and her boss Reena. Or maybe Dimitri’s story will be the next to be revealed. Either way, I’m looking forward to reading more of Ms. Leeland’s work. 


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