RS: Book Review – The Sweetest Taboo: An Unconventional Romance


cover art: The Sweetest Taboo

Credit: Harper Miller

Author: Harper Miller
Title: The Sweetest Taboo (An Unconventional Romance)
Genre: Erotica Romance
ASIN: B00PSEO3XS
‘New York City, Late Summer 2009
Like many single women who reside in the city that never sleeps, Micah Foster has had numerous encounters with undesirable men that make her want to renounce love. Just when she’s on the verge of calling it quits in her quest to find love and a sustainable relationship with a Dominant man, her friend Kisa requests her company for a girl’s night out at Spanxxx, a local fetish club. Both Kisa and Micah are seasoned submissive players in the BDSM lifestyle. Micah has been involved in the scene since her early twenties, but she has yet to meet a Dominant she meshes with and takes seriously. Now, at age thirty, she continues to search for a connection that repeatedly eludes her. Under duress, she crosses paths with Dominant Rick Thomas. Unusual and dire circumstances bring the pair together, and he’s exactly what Micah has been searching for.’

line break, swirling graphics, from openclipart

One look at the cover tells me that this book is right up my alley. That’s one of the reasons I picked it up. I talked briefly about this book last week but now that I’ve finished it, I figured a review was the next sensible thing to do.

Cover:

Brilliant. Abso-fucking-lutely beautiful. You know I like Taria Reed’s work since she designed the original ‘Sugar Dust’ cover, but this one is lovely. The linked ‘Os’, the super-sexy models, the understated, but bold lettering. There is nothing I dislike about this cover. Even the pink underwear gets a thumbs up from me!

Story:

Micah (LOVE that name) is looking for a Dominant willing for the long haul. Not some idiot who just wants to get in her pants, or practise his cuss words. She wants a man who will respect and love her the same way she wants to respect and love him. Cue Rick (Richard) a doctor who stumbles across her path at a fetish club. After a rocky, breathless start (heh, heh, heh) the pair hit it off and begin their relationship together.

I chomped through this story in the space of days but I think it’s mainly because I was waiting for something to happen. To go wrong. To test them. Aside from a cursory nod to families and race (which is not what I expected) then in truth this couple had it really, really easy. Wonderful if you like your HEA (this isn’t a spoiler, by the way) but for entertainment’s sake . . . I wanted more drama.

Characters:

Micah: Smart, sexual, muddled. Every now and then I got a little muddled as to what she actually wanted or why. Sure a rocky back road of failed relationships can make things hard, but for me, she beat about the bushy just a little too much. And then rocked to the other extreme and dived on with an abandon that was a little frightening. For me, that’s where the unconventional part came in, because there is nothing ‘traditional/normal/expected’ about the way she comes to be with Rick. At least not for me. But there in lies the power.
Rick: Has a playroom. Now . . . I don’t know what it is about these BDSM stories, but why do all these Dominant men have a play room? And why are they all rich? Sure Rick isn’t a Christian Grey type (thank fuck), but he has money and a whole room dedicated to play. Why are there no stories about piss poor Dominant men who don’t have money falling out their ears?
/rant
Sorry, that’s nothing to do with Rick – it’s a personal gripe of mine – but Rick had vague touches of Grey in him. The rest of him, thankfully, was lush and a pleasure to read – except for his dialogue. On occasion I just had to step back because I know of no one on earth who speaks the way this man does.

Eroticism:

Not too much, not too little. Harper makes us wait for the ‘full Monty’ and when it comes, it’s all good stuff. That little scene with the egg could have been expanded a bit though. On occasion I think Harper missed a trick to really make me sit up straight (or slouch, depending on company) because key scenes were reported in hindsight rather than written for us to experience them. And not just the sexy scenes. Some important, telling milestones in the relationship were glossed over and I feel that’s a bit of a shame.

Overall experience:

A good read. The warning about spelling and grammar conventions was something I appreciated because when I started reading I got quite upset at first. Then I remembered the disclaimer and dealt with it, but I did find it incredibly distracting at first. While I understand the convention and see it a lot in forums, I don’t believe it belongs in a novel where the primary focus of the author should be to entertain the reader wholly and without distraction.

That aside, my only issues are the ones I picked up above. Some scenes could have been expanded to give a fuller flavour of what they meant for Micah and Rick and to let us get deeper into their experiences. And overall, their journey was far too smooth: they got in the way of themselves a great deal, but with a relationship like theirs I’d expect external issues as well.

Final score:

Average across all scores is 3.6, which rounds out to 3.5 fireballs.

I’m glad I read this book through and I’m glad I read it to the end. I enjoyed it and will certainly be looking up Harper Miller for more of her work. I get a feeling I’m going to enjoy her style.

I just hope that there are more peaks and troughs to her upcoming offerings and that characters actually have to do a bit of leg work around other things as well as themselves.

Raven's Signature In Black

 

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About Raven ShadowHawk

I take great pleasure in writing erotica and am merely one side of the proverbial coin. My other half, 'Ileandra Young' writes fantasy and the occasional comedy piece. My six-part series 'Meeting Each Other' is available in full, through Amazon and Smashwords while my debut novella 'Sugar Dust' is now re-released (!) available through Amazon via Little Vamp Press.
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