Publisher - Ellora's Cave Publication Date - 27th January 2012 Genre - Erotic Romance
Source - Received from publisher for review via NetGalley
Rating - 4 out of 5: I really liked it
Book Info - Ben is the last unattached member of the five-man executive team of K&A Associates. The other four, all Masters, have found the submissives of their dreams. That's fine. The sharp-edged lawyer knows he's the most hardcore of them all, with extreme tastes as a Master he satisfies physically through experienced club submissives. He doesn't really need anything more.
Marcie has loved Ben since she was sixteen. He's never behaved as anything more than a protective big brother, a family friend. But now she's twenty-three and starting her career as a corporate investigator. She may be a blood-and-bone-deep submissive, but she won't hesitate to use her aggressive talents to prove she's meant to be his. With a Master as tough as Ben, she'll have to take whatever measures are needed-even if her deepest desire isn't a hostile takeover of his heart, but an unconditional surrender to it.
Reader Advisory: Marcie's sexual journey contains a group scene of female/female sexual exploration. The Masters also share her in a brief group scene. Both these beautifully erotic moments are essential to deepening Marcie's bond with Ben.
My Thoughts - When I saw Hostile Takeover on Netgalley I was very intrigued by both the blurb and the cover. And luckily, I was not at all disappointed by this book.
I have read a few books recently focusing on BDSM - it seems to be difficult to avoid the topic these days in erotic romance ever since the popularity of Fifty Shades - but this definitely seems to be one of the better ones in my opinion. What I liked most about it was that it didn't just focus on the sexual side of BDSM, but gave a lot of insight into the psychological aspects of being both a submissive and a dominant. I found this absolutely fascinating and it's not something I've come across much in this genre. This is the fifth book in the series so I've come to this party very late but, according to the little hints the reader gets about the previous couples from the series, they all seem to have very different types of relationships and I'll be going back to the beginning of the series to see how the author describes the psychological aspects of these relationships.
The sexual aspects of the book were pretty hot but, as Ben is a sadist and hardcore Master, there were some elements that made me feel a little uncomfortable. But this is just a personal thing and I still enjoyed the book as a whole.
I really liked Marcie as a main character. Although this might sound contradictory considering the fact that she is a submissive, she is a very strong and feisty character who knows exactly what she wants in life and will stop at nothing to get it. She challenges Ben a lot and I loved seeing the chemistry and change in dynamics between the two of them that this brings about.
I did like Ben, although not quite as much as I liked Marcie. His background is explained, therefore detailing why he is reluctant to give up his heart to anybody, but this information seemed to mostly be given by others and I didn't really feel as though I got into Ben's head as much as I would have liked to when it came to his past. This meant that I didn't really connect with him as well as I did Marcie. Plus, he does something to Marcie that is pretty unforgivable (I won't go into any more detail than that though so as to avoid spoilers) and this made me like him a little less too. Although he was very sorry for what he did and he did willingly atone for his sins so it didn't make me completely hate him. I can see that this event was pretty essential to the development of the plot though so that made it slightly easier to forgive him.
Summary - An enjoyable Erotic Romance that gives a very detailed and interesting look into the dynamics of a BDSM relationship. A great read!
Other books in the series:
1. Board Resolution
2. Controlled Response
3. Honor Bound
5. Hostile Takeover