Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Genre: BDSM Romance
Heat Rating: 3
Tough, clever and beautiful, biracial detective Liza Bowman struggles with a San Francisco kidnapping case until she finds the victim’s secret sex diary, which reveals that the young female vic went to a bar dressed in scanty red leather and read The Story of O. She hasn’t been seen since.
Liza recklessly imitates the vic’s last known activities and falls into the hands of James Li, the most notorious whoremaster in the city. Wealthy and handsome, James has already crossed paths with Liza—when she dared to arrest him.
In James’ view, reading a famous bondage novel in public is a blatant come-on, and he’s eager and ready to give his nemesis what she wants.
I really enjoyed this book. The premise was great and the links to one of my all time favorite BDSM novels, The Story of O, gave it a dangerous edge and also made it feel quite personal, (clearly Ms deMello is also a fan) and the setting, San Francisco was perfect.
Phoenix and Dragon was long enough for me to really get my teeth into and the heroine Liza was awesome, brave and sexy, determined and gritty. Her internal monologue relating to the twists and turns of the case she was trying to solve kept me turning the pages. I liked her a lot.
I was mesmerized by James Li, he was an enigma. Although as the story went on I would have enjoyed him more if he’d been just a bit more of a rogue, a fraction more dangerous. But I could see why he was how he was, and ultimately it was why he worked so well with Liza and could be in the HEA.
Alone, or not alone, they were one hot couple and the author did a great job of showing the way they got together then worked on the initial assumptions they had about one another’s sexual desires so that they eventually both got what they needed. The heroine’s mother pops up unexpectedly at one point and that threw me slightly but certainly not enough to do any damage to what is ultimately a fab story.
Well worth buying and saving for a rainy day. It will heat you up and keep you more than occupied. I will be reading more by this talented author.
4 1/2 Tea Cups!