Sunday, April 7, 2013


AUTHOR: Jodie Griffin
Pages: 139
Date: 06/04/2013
Grade: 4.5
Details: no. 3 Bondage & Breakfast
            Received from Carina Press
            Through NetGalley     

The Blurb:

A year ago, Detective Delia Robinson and Fire Marshal Colin Butler got up close and personal while working a case. But their sizzling relationship didn’t last. Now there’s a serial arsonist on the loose, and it’s up to Delia and Colin to bring him down—if they can resist their attraction long enough to concentrate on the investigation.

Delia quickly sees the connection between the crime scenes: elements of BDSM. Though she denies it, Colin is stunned by the realization that his former lover is aroused by the idea of bondage play. And suddenly he can’t stop fantasizing about being the one to bind her…

Unsure how Colin would react, Delia never revealed her desire to be dominated in the bedroom. But she’ll finally have the chance to find out when they go deep undercover—as a married couple at a B&B offering classes in domination and submission…

From the moment Colin and Delia meet again after not having seen each other for a year it is clear that the attraction between them is still strong. On the other hand both of them were wounded by the way in which their two month relationship ended back then, and are reluctant to give in to their desires for fear that they’ll only break their hearts again. Determined to be professional they set out to investigate a string of arson attacks and ignore their feelings. The fact that the case seems to have sexual if not kinky undertones doesn’t make this easy though. Delia’s desire to be dominated by Colin is as strong as it was a year ago, when she couldn’t find the words to tell him about her fantasies and Colin can’t stop his mind from imagining the beautiful redhead naked and in his arms.

Although BDSM is not something Colin has ever even thought, never mind fantasized about, he can’t help being intrigued by the idea once he notices how it affects Delia. The undercover mission to a training session in the Bed & Breakfast specializing in BDSM and the instruction they receive there doesn’t only exceed every fantasy Delia ever had, it also awakens in Colin a deep desire to dominate Delia. With an arsonist closing in on the B&B, and them, our two investigators have to make sure they keep their minds on their job though, no matter how distracting their new found sexual compatibility might be.

This was my second visit to the wonderful place that is Bondage & Breakfast, and once again I enjoyed my stay with Master Gabriel McConnell. Like Forbidden Desires, this book is a wonderful love story with strong sexual undertones. The attraction between the two main characters is so strong that it jumps of the page and their reluctance to give into it makes perfect sense given the heartbreak they’ve both been through with each other in the past. And, as in the previous title in this series, there is a lot more to this story than just an excuse to write lots of sexy scenes (although there are plenty of those and boy are they steamy). There is a great balance between the arson investigation, Colin and Delia struggling with their feelings and their sexual encounters. The dialogue between our two main characters sparkles and sounds real and their feelings come across as realistic rather than contrived.

To say I got pulled into this story would be an understatement. Once Colin and Delia get to the B&B and start their BDSM training together I found myself so submerged in their scene that I completely forgot there was a mystery to be solved. Just like Colin and Delia I had a ‘oh, that’s right we’re here to investigate arson’ moment once the scene was over.

While this is definitely an erotic romance there is, I feel, nothing in the book to offend or upset anybody (too) much. And I appreciate that Jodie Griffin makes a good and important distinction between BDSM and abuse in this book. That, in my mind, is a message that can’t be repeated often enough. Griffin is not out to shock or even lecture the reader though; she gives us a wonderful and romantic story with added value.

This is a light, sexy and entertaining read written by someone who knows how to use her words to draw the reader in and keep them hooked until the very last page. It is high time that I went back and read the first book in this series: Forbidden Pleasures. I also hope that Jodie Griffin will continue with this series and maybe, one day, give Gabriel McConnell his own story and his own happy ending. After all, he could run his B&B and give his training with a partner at least as well as he does on his own. And I have gotten quite fond of him after reading these books. In fact, I can’t stop fantasizing about paying a visit to McConnell and his very special B&B. Anybody got the address for me?

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