Espionage: Dark Passions by Helena Pearson

Espionage: Dark Passions by Helena Pearson
Publisher: House of Sinn Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (46 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Forced Seduction, Toys, Spanking
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Enter a dangerous world of high-stakes corporate espionage with Celeste, thief-for-hire. However, has she met her match in an eccentric and paranoid CEO who is deadly serious when it comes to protecting his assets?

Set in Atlanta, Ga, “Espionage” is a contemporary light BDSM tale about Celeste Lenthor, a word-class corporate spy for hire. After a job, months in the works, goes awry, Celeste wakes up trapped in an unfamiliar room, and with a fuzzy memory as to how she could have possibly ended up there. Celeste must use her wits and keep a cool head if she is to complete her job and escape from the clutches of eccentric CEO and Tech Tycoon Sheridan Morton.

Celeste woke up restrained to a bed in a bare concrete room. When Sheridan Morton walked in, showing himself to be her captor, she knew she was in trouble. Celeste had worked hard for six months planning to steal a microchip from his work. Clearly, she hadn’t been successful. Facing a long list of felonies and a very unhappy time in jail, Celeste finds herself with a unique offer. Allow Sheridan to “punish” her – or face her crimes through the justice system. Certain that she can get herself out of this mess, Celeste agrees to the bargain offered. But Sheridan is no novice to these games and he won’t let Celeste go so easily.

This is a well-written story. I found Sheridan to be a sensual, dominant character, a good blend between sexy and alpha male. Celeste was also a sympathetic character, a modern, confidant woman. Self-willed, it took her a while to settle into the situation she found herself in. I understood her defiance (few woman would really find themselves a prisoner and immediately fall to her knees and beg to be dominated) but I found her resistance made the story drag for me a bit.

I would have found Celeste’s capitulation more inspiring (and sexually confidant) if she’d decided to take Sheridan on, play his games–beat him at his own games–and embrace her sexuality. Rise to the challenge. She didn’t hate Sheridan’s actions, or hate him, but Celeste clearly didn’t wallow in the sensuality of the experience she was having. Her lack of pleasure (at least until near the end) held me back from enjoying it too–and that disappointed me.

Having said that, Sheridan was a sexy, dominating hero. While I found him to be strict and a definite Dom, at no stage did I feel Sheridan to be brutal or cold. I never thought he’d genuinely hurt Celeste (he didn’t come across to me as a sadist or psychopath). Readers who prefer their erotica with a hefty dose of chemistry and romance might be disappointed with this. I enjoyed the fact this was a definite “forced seduction” type or story. I never thought the author came near the line of rape. But the set up of kidnapping and forced seduction meant for me that were was little sexual chemistry between Sheridan and Celeste in the beginning. Celeste does warm up towards the end, but this is clearly only the first part in a multi-segmented story. I’m intrigued enough–and hopeful of a warmer chemistry between Celeste and Sheridan–that I’m interested in looking up the second scene.

This is a sensual story and definitely not to everyone’s tastes. Readers should be cautious about triggers, but overall it’s a good, sexy read. While complete as a scene in and of itself, it’s clear this is only the first part in a multi-part story. I found this to be well paced and interesting, certainly worth looking into.

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