I enjoyed this second book in the Smoky Mountain Series, and it does pick up from book one, Healing Hurts. The story is a series, and I would recommend reading it in order, yet it could be read as a stand-alone. The second story is the relationship between Dr. Melissa French is a respected psychiatrist and Detective Jack Meyers. They had originally met during a case involving Penny Frost.
With Jack and Melissa meeting again is purely coincidental but is the beginning of their relationship. Maybe a little too much to drink loosens Melissa’s tongue to say what is really on her mind and she will share her deepest fantasy.
“I think that you should spank me.”
The plot will have Jack being persistent in getting Melissa to go out of a dinner date with him, and before the night is through, he will give her that spanking she has been craving. The case with Penny’s kidnapping is getting ready to go to trial, and the DA warns that he may need Melissa to testify. When her influential parents learn about it, they threaten to disown her if she does because of the fear of them look bad to their friends. Jack and Melissa have fast become an item and enjoy their mild kink and are developing a D/s relationship. While it has all be for play when it becomes serious, and she has rightfully earned her first punishment, she tried to top from the bottom, and he lets her know in no uncertain terms that either they are all in or not at all.
“I’m not going to force you. I’ll never force you. And if you don’t want to be disciplined by men, I’m okay with that. It’s not something I have to have in a relationship.” “I’m saying it’s all or nothing, sweetheart. Either you trust me to discipline you when you need it, or you don’t. There’s no halfway here, and you don’t get to decide when you need it. That’s my job. Those are the terms.”
The story brings out critical issues during the trial of the accepted rules of BDSM, of safe, sane and consensual opposed to abuse. The comradery between the three couples, Eric and Penny, Paul and Elisa, and Jack and Melissa, is a mutual outlet for the men and the women to share since they all live the same D/s lifestyle. While Melissa is a trained doctor in the field, giving up control to Jack will be a first. It is a battle of wills for her in her own mind. It is easier to help patients than to accept her own feelings on the matter.
“It’s not like I want to be that way! It’s like there’s two different version of me constantly fighting with each other. The one that excels at everything she does, because she has exquisite control over every aspect of her life. And then the one that says to let someone else handle it because she’s just so tired of always being the responsible one. When you said you were going to punish me, it was like World War II inside my head.” “I’m tired of trying to be perfect, and I’m tired of not having anyone to take care of me. And I’m tired of feeling like a complete moron because I want someone to take care of me.”
What happens when Jack learns that she has kept a critical secret from him? That she had been threatened before the trial and never told anyone, the police, the DA, and especially him? Will this be the end of them, or will he prove to her, that because of discipline, he still loves her, and it is to ensure she returns that trust by being honest? The story does take on a life and death situation. There are several spankings, punishments, and explicit sex scenes.
“Do I finally embrace the lifestyle I’ve always wanted and give that control over to him?”