Friday, February 8, 2013

Book Review: Graceful Submission by Melinda Barron

Title: Graceful Submission
Author: Melinda Barron
Publisher: Loose ID, LLC.
Publication Date: January 1, 2009

First, let me warn you. This book is fast. If you get frustrated by characters who instantly connect and fall head over heels for each other, be aware that this happens. I don't mind this concept. I never have really because if it's done right it doesn't feel like the characters have only known each other for a short time. Also, it's fiction. And like with all things fiction, I suspend reality for a little while. That's the point isn't it? I mean we read to get away from the 'real world' for a bit and live where happily ever afters happen and hot, sexy alpha males actually don't mind a woman who is not a size 0. So, because of this, I don't mind journeying into a world where the heroes are alpha, women are strong, can kick ass when they need to, and at some point, the hero and heroine fall madly and deeply in love with each other and realize they're soul mates. Yeah, totally not the real world. So, this is the kind of thing I want to read, as long as it has a plot, character development and is well written.

For me, Graceful Submission had these things. Here is the blurb from Goodreads:

Plus-sized Grace Kinison lives a dull life. She's a teacher and aspiring author who does nothing but work and then write on her novel. That is, until she becomes a cyber submissive.
Grace has agreed to help her childhood friend's husband plan her surprise birthday party. Grace thinks her fellow party planner, Toffer Shelley, is a writer on a TV show. What she doesn't know is that he's the show's sexy star, Drake Dawson. He's a Dom, and he wants to work his magic on her.
When Grace runs into trouble at work, her cyber relationship turns into the real thing after she travels to Hollywood to meet Toffer. She's thrilled to be meeting her Master, until she realizes that he's the most gorgeous man in Hollywood.
But Toffer won't let Grace judge him by his looks. He takes her on a sexual journey full of bondage and submission, which give her strength to overcome challenges in her own work.

As the synopsis for the book indicates the two "meet" online. So if you have an issue believing this sort of thing can happen and be successful, just keep that in mind before reading!  So basically Grace and Toffer get to know each other first online, with the two being flirty while planning their mutual friend's party and then deciding to explore things from there with talking not only via IMs and email, but also on the phone, and eventually in person.  It was a cute story, sweet, and definitely heavy on the steam factor. (The scene where he is at some award show and calls her!?! Wow. Just...Holy hell. I mean, ohmyfreakinglord! *fans self*)

Now, I need to talk about Grace. For the most part she was cool and I liked her a lot. But the whole issue with her boss really pissed me off. I wanted her to stand up to him before she did. I get that this was in the story to add an interesting plot line and give some background, but it just felt forced at times. The only other issue I had was that the misunderstanding(s) between Grace and Toffer made me want to smack Grace. Hard. Instead of communicating with him, she took off. This was not cool. Especially not after everything she and Toffer talked about and did. She should have trusted him more. But it wouldn't be a romance without the misunderstandings, right? I guess if the misunderstandings had been developed a bit more and shown to have more of an effect on the character.  The way it is, it's almost as if it's a 'throw away' sort of misunderstanding just because romantic fiction almost requires such conflict.

There were areas that the plot could have been developed more to make it a bit longer (the party planning aspect could have gone on a bit longer. Her friends in LA weren't in it all that much; and maybe some more background on Grace and Toffer would have been nice. But then, this might not be a "complaint" since when I'm reading a book I get into a mode where I really don't want it to end even though I know it has to.

Despite the issues I had, I did enjoy the book. It was a quick, hot read and so it gets a 3.5 out of 5 stars. The author has an engaging voice and I will likely check out the next in the series (as well as her back list) when I get the chance.   I am interested in finding out about Grace's friend and the lawyer and keeping my fingers crossed that they get a book.

*This book was a self-purchase and I was not in any way compensated for, or even asked, to review this book. All opinions are my own*

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