The Vixen by Harlem Dae

VIXEN
The Vixen by Harlem Dae
Sexy As Hell Book 3
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (182 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Anal Play, Forced Seduction, play acting, Fetish, Toys, Spanking, Fisting, Body Fluids
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Venice – Two people, a shed load of baggage and a way forward that takes extreme to new limits.

In an explosion of clarity, the mist cleared and I understood what my lascivious teacher, Zara, really was beneath the surface. I couldn’t see her beautiful core. Like a dank fog warning off poor unfortunates who wandered her way, she wouldn’t let the darkness lift, refused to light the way. But she gave me a key. It was small, stiff, and I was afraid of what I’d find if I turned it. But I did. I couldn’t resist. She did that to me.

In a tumble of truths, I understood her bleak voids and why she filled them with sharp slicing reds and hostile bruising purples. What had happened, what they’d done had bled her of colour and created a woman who needed so much more and always would—for all of time. But I could give her back that vibrancy, I was sure I could; my colours complimented hers and I had plenty of them. My needs could switch to take her to those grey places she needed to visit again in order to obliterate the memories that caused her pain. In the space they’d occupied, I’d create a pile of shimmering, perfectly cut-diamond memories, a rainbow cloud of sugar mist to replace that dankness. I could do it; I would help her become more beautiful than anything I’d seen before.

And within that new, delicate ‘thing’ was us. Victor and Zara. Unconventional, extreme, romantic, we spanned every shimmering stroke of the rainbow and all the coal-black shadows on the way down to Hell. But together we could fight demons. I would be her knight in shining armour even if it pushed me to the very limits of what I ever believed I could do to a woman. And what thrilled me, was if I bared my soul, found the courage to be a monster as well as an angel, I had a very real chance of making her mine—or did I? Because the only thing predictable about Zara, was that she was completely unpredictable.

Victor Partridge and Zara Watson are together once again and doing a test run of their new, ever-changing relationship with a weekend in Venice. Victor thought they could try to explore the more loving side of their relationship, to see if there could be a balance, but he didn’t expect for Zara to start opening herself so fully to him. Zara has never been anything other than a handful, a changeable, marvelous force of nature, and now is no different. The roller coaster continues, a beautiful hue of colors that defy description. Both Victor and Zara are determined to see if they can come together and make something perfect out of what has held such promise and potential.

Once again I’m blown away, not just be the plot and writing but with how amazing all the facets of this book come together. Victor and Zara are just as complex and multi-layered as ever, but finally we’re under all those exterior layers people naturally have and I’m seeing their true hearts and souls. Zara begins to open herself to Victor, to really tell him about herself. I found this helped me see how she ticks and what I read was amazing and devastating at the same time. This is no ordinary romance novel and I’d not have it any other way. This book makes you gasp for breath, ignore real life going on around you and devour every page to see what happens next. Zara has been incredibly hurt in her past, and with Victor’s gentle support together they face some of her demons. This makes for some heart-rendering scenes – both tender and provocative, and some of these experiences will not be for everyone.

This is not a traditional book or even like others I’ve read which push some boundaries. One scene in particular includes play-acting, collaring and pretending to be an animal and might shock some readers. Throughout the entire trilogy however, I’ve found every envelope-pushing scene to be written with excruciating care and taste. Never once have I felt revolted or as if the characters were being derogatory or abused – but others might not feel the same and there are a number of taboos breeched throughout this book: particularly fisting and body fluid scenes. Personally, I found the whole book (taboos and all) wonderfully written and even when I wanted to look away, or take a break, I simultaneously needed to read further, the strength of that being more than my desire to step back. And *that* is skillful writing to my mind. As a reader our questions about Zara are answered, the authors have laid her bare and so much of her is left still wonderfully complex, but now understandable as well. Victor is a sweetheart, and while I’ve adored his character from the start, his strength, his inner emotional power and his deep love for Zara just makes him even more amazing in my eyes. This book is not the ending (or solidifying) of Zara and Victor, but the first steps of what I know will be a life-long wild ride for them both together. While I’d always want more, I can’t imagine other readers not being satisfied with the way Harlem Dae have wrapped this series up.

Much like Book 2 – The Player – I believe if you picked this up not knowing it was the final in a trilogy you could still thoroughly enjoy Zara and Victor’s story and follow along as they solidify their relationship. However the story is far richer from being there from their beginning and I feel to truly enjoy it as it’s meant, reading this trilogy in order is needed. The complexities of their characters, the million strong threads binding them and creating who and what they are can only (in my opinion) be fully understood and appreciated having read these books in order. This story, The Vixen, is complete in itself though and stands perfectly well alone, but I would strongly recommend starting at the start and working through these in order.

A brilliant end to an amazing trilogy, I’d recommend this series for anyone wanting a deeply complex, incredibly intense read that pushes the envelope further and with more taste than many others. I’d suggest readers – particularly those wanting to expand their literary horizons – try this, but read the various warnings carefully, as there are many scenes that are not commonly touched upon.

In the end though, these authors write everything with style, care and such talent I’m pleased to have these additions on my shelves and know I’ll read them again in the future. Not a comfortable book (or series), this nevertheless balances perfectly between too much and not quite enough. I can’t imagine anyone reading it and not wanting more, so amazing is the mix of characters, plot, kink and emotion. A marvelous read that took me to dizzying highs and terrifying lows and a series I can strongly recommend to everyone willing to step on board for the ride of a lifetime.

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