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I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I grabbed this book, but I will say I was unexpectedly surprised!
Mina Cavallari is in London researching her dissertation topic and her time is running out. She still hasn’t found the information she needs to back up her paper. The one person she never expects to run into is Sebastian Graham.
Sebastian is a part of her past, one she’d rather forget. Their last interaction in the states left her realizing how inexperienced and naïve she was and she has spent the last two years changing that.
But the numerous one-night stands and casual sex weren’t what she wanted either and her downward spiral left her reeling at missing deadlines and meetings that could have jeopardized her future. She buckled down and changed her ways again, but she was no longer the virginal girl that Sebastian would remember.
Dinner plans lead to an opportunity for Mina to finally get her taste of Sebastian… and she isn’t going to pass it up, but she’s also going in with her eyes open, fully aware that Seb is a very sexual man who wasn’t into commitment.
“He was this odd mix of elegant, perceptive, and crude. Oddly, the crude didn’t bother me.”
And let me tell you, the crude didn’t bother me either!!
“Do you have any idea how sexy you look right now? Spread open for me? Your pussy soft and wet. The taste of you still on my lips.” I didn’t answer. Couldn’t.
I can’t lie… I completely fell for Sebastian.
What Mina thinks is going to be a one-night stand with Seb turns into something neither of them expected. Though it’s definitely not all play for them. Seb is researching his grandfather’s journals and on the search for a Gentlemen’s Club called Harridan House. He asks for Mina’s help and so she extends her stay in London and moves into his flat.
I thought the pacing of the story was really well done and the characters were fairly well fleshed out. I truly enjoyed getting to know them. This story is told in Mina’s perspective so we do only get one side of the story, but I think that Darby did a really good job of showing us as readers that Mina’s perspective was a bit skewed based on her history with him. She never really could see him as something serious simply because she couldn’t let herself go there.
The chemistry between the two of them was so well done… my only complaint though and this is just a personal thing… I really hate using the word penis in love scenes. It just is so jarring to me for some reason. I mean I totally get that is what it is, but I’m a girl who likes the word cock or dick lol (OMG I just typed that!)
I really liked the evolution of their ‘relationship’ to the discussion of their fantasies … and I really loved what Mina had to say when asked about hers…
“There’s a difference between what turns me on and what I really want to experience.”
Harridan House offers them a safe haven of sorts to experience some of the things they desire… but it also opens up a lot of issues for Mina and ultimately something happens that had me cringing because OMG.
All that said, the thing that stood out the most for me about this story is that the characters acted their ages. Sebastian, rather than push Mina away when a misunderstanding arises forces conversation and they work through whatever might be the problem. I absolutely loved loved loved seeing a hero who could act mature.
I did think that toward the end, Mina’s work on her dissertation ended up taking a backseat to the sexy times and the hunt for Harridan House. Though we do get a bit of a wrap up at the end, I was surprised it wasn’t more a part of the actual story since it was kind of a big part of it throughout.
If you’re looking for something that toes the line … makes you step outside your comfort zone, this might just be the book for you… (though not for you BFF… not for you.) I'll definitely be looking for more stuff from Darby in the future.
Definitely give this one a read when it comes out in October!
This review can be found on my blog, Fic Fare