Learning to Breathe by Roxy Harte
Van Zant Siblings – Jessica Book 1
Publisher: Loose ID
Length: Full Length (365 Pages)
Other: BDSM, toys, Anal Play, Voyeurism, M/F, Multiple Partners
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Sorrel
The celebrated widowed wife of a hometown hero, Jessica leaves Boston for a fresh start in a Cape Hatteras beach house with her teen children. She never expects to fall hard for her new boss, Joe, at the fish and beer shop where she bartends. When he accidentally triggers her need for rope, she needs a quick fix for a shibari addiction she’d believed herself long cured of.
A drunk dialing moment leads to her sister’s fiancé–a man who has tied her in the past–who delivers Francisco, the man he considers to be a shibari-master and a perfect match, and Jessica has a great long weekend in and out of his rope. But then Francisco asks her to allow him to dominate her full-time.
Jessica runs scared and ends up in bed with Joe. When she shares her secret love of bondage, Joe insists she’s the victim of deviant men, and that he would offer her a normal, healthy love. Wounded by his misunderstanding, she runs again.
As if her sex life isn’t complicated enough, a case of mistaken identity catches her in the crosshairs of an assassin. While Jessica’s seeking sanctuary in Cincinnati for the holidays, her sister gifts her with a night with a shibari master who goes by the name of St. Nicholas. She quickly finds herself on the naughty list but will she also find a man willing to be the guy who makes her laugh, keeps her tied in knots, and makes no demands for more?
One intense story!
I have to mention this first and foremost; this book is not for the first-time erotic reader. The book includes some intense bondage scenes and loads of detailed sexual heat and chemistry.
Expressive and descriptive. The rope bondage scenes were highly descriptive and brought this reader right into the room for a front row seat. This is a writer who knows her shibari knots.
The book was a roller coaster. Some readers may appreciate the intensity while others may feel a little whiplashed by the back and forth. There’s a story within a story that gets revealed slowly. Add to that the fact that Jessica is attracted to three different men in the course of the book, each with certain aspects that she likes; Luc for accepting every single bad demon of hers without questioning the origin of it, Francisco for trying to make her face her demons, past & present, and Joe who is understanding and listens to her when she needed to vent about her late husband and his family.
I loved how it evolved though the one thing that surprised me was the ending. This book is a cliffhanger and I’m honestly not fond of cliffhangers. The book left a lot of questions hanging. The main one of course being who will she choose? Thankfully, the second in this series, Learning to Breathe Again is already available.
Readers who like it hot and their kink wrapped in soft ropes should give this a read for sure. It may just trigger a suppressed fantasy for you, too.