My rating: 3 of 5 stars
GRACE STREET is a fascinating story reminiscent of the television shows “Tell Me Lies” and “Hannibal”, only the focus is on the romantic relationship instead of a murder. It features a man who thinks he’s the master of the mind game, and the strong heroine who unexpectedly challenges him. This is a dark story with some harsh elements, but it’s not all doom and gloom. There’s plenty of excitement and the occasional laugh to prevent the plot from getting mired down. Also, Elsa is no shrinking violet, and I’m planning to add several of her quotes to my favorites list.
At first I had trouble understanding Elsa’s attraction to Victor. He starts their relationship by stalking her, and frankly it’s creepy. Even Elsa thinks Victor’s behavior is sinister, and describes him as “Beautifully Creepy”. Elsa fingers her mace, but hesitates due his attractiveness. I wanted to yell at her, Do it! Do it! Of course, macing him wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun as the witty repartee they indulge in instead.
“…I’ve had my share of dangerous men and I’m over it.”
Elsa decides to follow Victor down the rabbit hole a little further, and meets him at a house on Grace Street. There the story turns hot. He’s still dark and torments Elsa without remorse, but I could see why she stayed. Whew! A bit of hot, dirty sex sure as hell hits the right spot for Elsa as well as the reader.
“So what you’re saying is: everything will be safe, sane and consensual?”
“Not exactly, but two out of three ain’t bad.”
Soon Elsa starts playing the game, but not exactly by Victor’s rules. She may be submissive sexually, but that doesn’t make her either stupid or a doormat. This is a concept which is missing in way too much BDSM fiction. Submissive doesn’t mean never questioning your dominant lover. It also doesn’t mean stupid or weak. No, I don’t subscribe to the theory ‘the submissive actually has all the power’ theory. When you’re tied down and your lover is flogging the crap out of you, how in charge do you really think you are? Elsa a smart, educated woman, and she starts turning the tables on Victor. It’s delicious to read.
GRACE STREET is intriguing with some very good characters, however, there are a few issues. The story develops a bit too slowly so the book seems much longer than the advertised 235 pages. There’s also an anal sex scene with no lube which always makes me clench my ass cheeks in horror. Lastly, there is no happy ending to this story. Honestly, I don’t see how there could have been a happy ending without ruining the book, but it’s important to note for those who require one in their books.
So who would enjoy GRACE STREET? Well, it’s less dark than “MindFuck” by Manna Francis although that term comes to mind frequently. It’s around the same level of darkness as “Bared to You” by Sylvia Day, only the characters/story are deeper. GRACE STREET is unique, and the story has plenty of interesting places to go in the next installment. This isn’t an automatic one click for the next book in the series for me, but on the other hand I can’t get Elsa or Victor out of my head.
✳✳ Copy provided by the author/publisher for an honest review.
✳✳ Reviewed on I ♥ Bookie Nookie Reviews by Guest Reviewer, Dame Margo