Friday, November 8, 2013

Book Review: Awakening (The Chrysalis Series #1) by Elene Sallinger

Claire Ryan has recently gotten out of a 10 year abusive relationship. The twist is that she is the abuser. Her body and mind crave physical pain so she would push her former lover to the point that he would hurt her. Not out of passion but out of anger. Now that they have finally parted ways, she needs to delve into that side of her and find out what it is that she needs. When she joins a book club at the local book store owned by Evan Lang, she is drawn to the erotica section and more specifically BDSM themed books.

Evan is still mourning the death of his wife and submissive, even many years after the fact. He refuses to let her go and move on with his own life. When Claire walks into his store, her vulnerability wakes the dominant in him, which pisses him off. He doesn't want to be attracted to another woman and he certainly doesn't want another submissive. Or so he keeps telling himself but his body has a mind of its own.

When Evan overhears Claire discussing her past relationship with their mutual friend Bridget, he realizes she needs some guidance into the BDSM world. Still refusing to be the Dom to instruct her, he continues to ignore her and instead he leaves appropriate books out where she will see them in his store. But how long can he keep lying to himself? How long until he gives in and gives them what they both need.

I have read a decent amount of BDSM romances since I first read Fifty Shades of Grey over a year and a half ago and Awakening is definitely different than the others. And that is what I liked most about it. While in many books the heroine is a BDSM virgin that accidentally discovers it thanks to her hero, in this our heroine Claire is seeking to learn about it. Though she may not understand it fully, she realizes that on some level she needs the pain and after a decade in a miserable relationship, she is finally ready to discover that side of herself. Even though ghe is ready, she is also hesitant and shy about it, which to me is a very real reaction.

Evan is older and sexy and an experienced Dominant, but he was also extremely frustrating. While it was sad that he lost his wife to cancer and I understand not wanting to forget her, I was annoyed that he basically stopped living too. He refused to see what was right in front of him. Stubborn, stubborn man. Ultimately, he knows he is the perfect man to introduce BDSM impact play, once he gets out of his own head.

I really liked the premise of this story as well as the characters. However, I would have liked more interaction and dialogue between Claire and Evan as I felt like the majority of the book was Evan scowling at her and it caused the story to move along a little slowly at times.

Marianna's Rating:

*I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Title: Awakening
Author: Elene Sallinger
Series:  The Chrysalis Series #1
Genre: Erotica, Contemporary Romance, BDSM

Book Blurb:
River Rock, Vermont, 2011. This is the story of Claire Ryan and Evan Lang. 35-year-old Claire joins a local book club for romance readers in order to get over the breakdown of her 10-year relationship, there she meets book shop owner Evan, a dominant man who has never recovered from the sudden death of his submissive wife. As their relationship develops and they embark on the path of Claire's submission, it becomes harder and harder for Evan to keep his emotional distance. Claire is open and responsive and he wants her badly, but refuses to let himself go. As Claire falls deeper in love with Evan, she realizes that he is holding back and decides to end their relationship, forcing Evan to confront his own past and his feelings in order to save his new love.


About the Author
Hailing from Washington, DC, Elene Sallinger first caught the writing bug in 2004 after writing and illustrating several stories for her then four-year-old daughter. Her writing career has encompassed two award-winning children’s stories, a stint as a consumer-education advocate, as well as writing her debut novel, Awakening—a novel of erotic fiction that won the New Writing Competition at the Festival of Romance 2011.
Twitter: @esallinger

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