The Deep End by Kristen Ashley

Title: The Deep End (Honey, #1)

Author: Kristen Ashley

Publication Date: March 7, 2017

Genre: BDSM

Blurb

Enter a decadent sensual world where gorgeous alpha males are committed to fulfilling a woman’s every desire…

Olivier isn’t sure what he’s gotten himself into when he joins the Honey Club, only that a dark part of him hungers for the lifestyle offered by this exclusive club. Here, no boundary will be left untested…and one’s deepest fantasies will become an exquisite reality.

When Amélie invites Olivier to surrender, she gives the alpha submissive what he craves. Soon they both find themselves falling harder than they ever anticipated—but as their connection deepens, the truth about Olivier’s past could destroy everything…

Gripping and seductive, The Deep End is the first book in a sensational new series from bestselling author Kristen Ashley.

Excerpt

“Here you go, Leigh.”

Mirabelle was extending her phone, which was good and bad.

Good because Amélie had not managed to unobtrusively deep breathe, her shallow breaths making her feel light-headed, and she needed something else to focus on.

Bad because what she was focusing on would be the profile of that beast.

She took Mirabelle’s phone and turned it her way.

O.H.
Security: Kitten
Hobbies: Everything
Limitations: Nothing
Notes: None

Translated, that meant:

INITIALS OR OTHER IDENTIFIER
Safe word: Kitten
Inclinations: Into anything
Boundaries, Rules, Unacceptable Play: None

Even with those few words, it was a surprising profile. Experienced subs, the only ones allowed on the floor, knew their boundaries and most had them. In this club, the vast majority were extreme, such as branding, marking, scarring, strangling, sensory deprivation, and so on.

But they had them.

She hadn’t seen a profile that open in a long time.

And the safe word “kitten” showed the beast had a sense of humor. He had the look that just uttering that cute word, which would bring images of the adorable creatures, would make him violently ill.

“Go hit that, tigress,” Mirabelle urged, and Amélie lookedto her.

Before she could say a word, Mirabelle continued.

“Get in there. Three times here, he’ll have heard of you. He’ll be holding out in hopes you’ll be extending the invitation to initiating him to our playrooms. I know it.” She leaned across the table. “Rock his world, lovely.”

She studied her friend, the open excitement, the budding love she was experiencing with her submissive, that time when life takes on clarity so pure and extraordinary, you want everyone to experience it with you.

She turned her head to the beast.

Years of experience only marred twice by two toys she’d had who held great promise, but who eventually fell short of the real thing, taught her that tonight, she would definitely enjoy herself.

But he might be champagne. He might be bourbon. He might, surprisingly, be cognac or port.

The bottom line was that she had to keep expectations low so she wouldn’t be devastated when he didn’t turn out to be top-shelf whisky.

Natalie’s 4 Star Review

I didn’t get it, an alpha sub? Sounds like an oxymoron to me. Going into this book I had a hard time wrapping my head around that concept and honestly I still do. I’m not sure I fully get it but you know what? It’s ok because regardless I still really liked the story. I’m not a BDSM expert by any means but I do know KA. I’ve read lots and lots of her books, many more than once and while this level of BDSM is new for her, the story is still classic KA alpha awesomeness. 

Mistress Amèlie is one of the most sought after and respected Dommes at The Bee’s Honey. She is nothing like I expected. My BDSM has been limited to images of dommes in leather, wilding whips and making their sub lick their books. Amèlie was nothing like this, she was way more sophisticated and real. Like many women, regardless of her predilections Amèlie was also going through a bit of a crisis. She wanted more out life, more than just a play toy for the night; she wanted to find the ‘one’, someone who she could connect with both in and out of play.

In walks Olivier, the tall, sexy sub with alpha tendencies who himself has doubts and insecurities about how his real life and his desire to be a sub fit together. Amèlie is immediately drawn to him and the feeling is mutual. Together they form this great relationship where they each help the other truly find what they are looking for.

This book had a lot of good in it. I really liked both Amèlie and Oliver. They each had their own unique voices that grew on me the more and more I read. Also, as I would hope you’d expect, there was some serious kink happening in this book. It was fantastically delicious and on top of all that kink there was also this really sweet playfulness between Amèlie and Oliver. I loved the tender moments between the two of them more than the ropes and chains. I also really loved the trust and honesty they shared with each other both in and outside of the play room. 

One of the biggest cons for me however was actually the writing, which really surprised me. Told in third person, which is not a favorite of mine, I had a hard time following along at times. At points in the story the dialogue felt choppy and there was an over abundance of inner dialogue that felt unnecessary. It did take a bit to find my groove and really get into it, but when I did I really enjoyed the story and I am very much looking forward to the next book in this series to see what KA has in store for us.

About Kristen Ashley

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Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn’t taken her first breath!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen’s Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning.

Nothing’s changed.

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she’s blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She grew up with Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing, it keeps getting better.

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