Slow Surrender by Cecilia Tan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
SLOW SURRENDER is an erotic story of a girl who is struggling to find her place in the world and what happens when she meets a mysterious man who invites her to play a game.
Karina is finishing a doctorate degree in pre-Raphaelite art—but instead of being sure of what she wants to do with her life, she’s more confused than ever. She pursued a doctorate degree in the hopes of giving herself more time to discover who she was, but the extra time has only confused her more. She’s tired of trying to meet others’ expectations, especially when most of the people with expectations of her don’t try to understand who she is before making their demands. So when she meets a man who seems to know exactly who he is and he invites her to play a game with him, she quickly agrees. They embark on a sexual journey where the elusive man sets the rules and Karina can obey and be rewarded or disobey and accept her punishment. But the man, who Karina only knows as James (and isn’t sure if that is even his real name), is a complete mystery. While he expects honesty and openness from Karina, he is extremely protective of his own identity and only allows her the slightest of information.
I found SLOW SURRENDER to have a very similar feel to Fifty Shades of Grey, only with a slightly creepier hero. James is such a recluse and I felt that the lack of information made his requests and expectations less understandable and more in the realm of weirding me out. I’ve read several books where the rich hero asked the girl to get an STD test, but when Karina shows up for one of their first dates and finds herself in a gynecology exam instead of with James, I was disturbed. Not that he expected the test, because hello, they don’t know each other, but that he didn’t even bother to be there when she arrived or mention it in advance. Karina seems so comfortable with James because he’s asking probing questions and trying to understand her, but he won’t even tell her his name; how can she feel like she’s getting to know him? While the story is very sexual in nature, I think I would have found it a lot sexier if I felt like I was getting to know James while I was reading it. He remained such an enigma throughout the book that I just couldn’t quite understand the appeal. There were definitely times I’d get caught up in the tantalizing nature of the story, but then James would say or do something and I’d be back to square one. Also, I found Karina and James both having a passion for the arts to be a bit convenient and I got a little bored with their efforts to impress each other with their intellectual art talk.
All that being said, I felt completely blindsided by the ending and while I’m not a sentimental reader by nature, I’m really struggling with the desire to find out what’s going to happen to Karina and James! Usually, if I’m not that into the first book in the series, I’d rarely consider investing my time in continuing, but in this case I really felt robbed by the way things were left. I’m desperate to know what will happen and the only thing keeping me from jumping directly to SLOW SEDUCTION is the reviews that already warn me I won’t really know anything until SLOW SATISFACTION! Seriously? I’m usually pretty understanding when there are cliffhangers in a series but in a book that offers so little information about the hero I’m really torn about the requirement to read three books just to finally get my answers on why James is so private about his identity. I think the STRUCK BY LIGHTNING series has potential, but would really benefit from more depth to James—even if the depth doesn’t give away any details of who he is, at least show the reader what makes him tick. It was just a little too evasive for my taste and I need to be attracted to the hero to really get caught up in the story.
Readers who prefer a good, titillating chase over strong character development may enjoy the sexy and mysterious game in SLOW SURRENDER.
**Complimentary copy provided by the author/publisher for an honest review.
**Reviewed by preppea on I ♥ Bookie Nookie Reviews.
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