Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Review: Hanging On by Michele Zurlo

Hanging On by Michele Zurlo

Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand Publishing
Genre: BDSM Romance

Heat Rating: 4



Five years after being abused by her boyfriend, Sophia DiMarco has managed to put her life back together. She’s a dominatrix with her pick of willing submissives. For her, sex is about control, and she’s the one pulling the strings. Everything in her life is perfect until she meets Drew Snow, one of the country’s most popular TV chefs. Handsome and charming, Drew gets what he wants, and he wants Sophia.

The chemistry is undeniable, but Drew refuses to fall in line. He simply isn’t a submissive. Sophia tries to walk away, but Drew refuses to give up. Can he tear away the barriers to her heart and claim it for his own?

Desmond’s Review

Sophia DeMarco is a Dominatrix, using her skills with BDSM to compartmentalize her relationships. She must remain in control and, when Drew Snow enters her circle, he creates a classic approach/avoidance conflict within her.

She desires him sexually and more, but her necessity for control pushes her away from any meaningful connection. In Hanging On, Michele Zurlo is masterful using BDSM as another character, the plot device, by which she can have Sophia use it both for keeping her distance and yet, lower her walls of isolation, but not let anyone know.

The main characters, Sophia and Drew are fully realized and it isn’t far into the book, before Ms. Zurlo makes them seem real; they both have virtues and flaws, which only help us to relate to them. The secondary characters, Sabrina, Jonas, and Ellen add flavor to the story, their personalities painting a world, many of us never see.

Ms. Zurlo has crafted a tale, spiraling inward towards the inevitable dénouement, which captures your imagination and takes you along for the ride. Slowly, over the course of the story, you see Sophia succumb to her need for intimacy, but fight every step of the way. Drew is her steady rock, albeit in this tale, more of the lure attracting Sophia to examine her world and draw her to his, one where true intimacy is the treasure, she unknowingly covets.

I’ll admit I didn’t know anything about BDSM when I started reading and I was somewhat reluctant when I chose Hanging On, but I realized, soon into the book, how necessary it was as a well done plot device. Ms. Zurlo has chosen an ideal instrument from which to tell a tale. This is a well crafted, well written book, highly recommended.

Desmond’s quote: Among the plethora of books available, Hanging On is a jewel, a treasure of a story describing a woman’s journey through hell and finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And as Ms. Zurlo intersperses Shakespearian quotes, I’ll leave you with the title to one of his plays: ‘All’s Well That Ends Well.’

4 Tea Cups!

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