Awakening by Cassandra Carr


Vanessa Clark is doing a research paper for one of her last classes – Psychology of Sex – before receiving her Bachelors’ degree. Once she discovers the topic of BDSM, everything else pales in comparison. But where will she learn about it?
The Internet has its limits, and Vanessa needs to talk to real-life practitioners of BDSM to really understand the lifestyle and write about it.
Will Astin, who serves as a dungeon master at a local BDSM club, doesn’t expect to find a gorgeous, irresistible young woman when he agrees to a meet and greet with a college student as a favor to the club’s owner. Even better, she’s interested in learning about BDSM for what he suspects are more than scholarly reasons, and Will decides he’s just the man to teach her about it, hopefully claiming her for his own.

Will and Vanessa begin a journey which teaches both of them there’s more to BDSM than meets the eye. In the process, they grow closer, but when Will’s job puts him in the line of fire – literally – their roles are reversed and Vanessa has to take charge. Can they handle the rapid shift in their burgeoning dynamic, or is their relationship doomed?

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21423440-awakening
The only reason this book didn’t get a five star from me, was I felt the story moved to slow.  The characters were wonderful to follow, so engaging and each brought something to the story that added the charm but I wanted more from them.  I wanted less caution and more action so for that reason alone, I had to give it four stars instead of five.
Vanessa Clark is a college student who is majoring in Psychology and taking a class this semester titled Psychology of Sex.  She is going to have to write a paper that will be half of her grade but she struggles with the topics brought up in class.  She is a strong young lady and when the right topic comes up, she grabs at the chance to research it and explore the world of BDSM.  After watching many videos about the subject she decides to see if she can go see a club and watch the events first hand.  Maybe they would even answer questions for her for the paper.  She didn’t expect to meet Will Astin there and have her world turned upside down.
Will is a hostage negotiator who knows a thing or two about the psychology of the human mind and has offered to do the interview with Vanessa.  Rod is the owner to the club and Will’s good friend, they need to make sure Vanessa is indeed a college student there to write a paper, not some reporter who is going to gather the gossip of the club and publish it in some news rag.  When Will meets Vanessa for the first time it is clear to him she is a natural submissive, yet one of the biggest brats he has ever met.  Will is a Dom and takes on the challenge of answering Vanessa’s questions, even offering to show her some of the play scenes if she wants.
What grew between them started out as a promising relationship, he agreed to go slow with Vanessa and she agreed to try to get out of her head and stop overthinking everything.  They are an adorable couple together till he gets called out on a job and their world takes a turn for the worse.  Will struggles after he recovers with his limitations and injuries.  He is nothing without his job and his ability to dominate Vanessa.  She proves just how strong she is at a young age by going face to face with him, pushing him to accept her help. I really enjoyed watching the two of them come full circle once again, but wished that we would have had more intensity between them.  It felt like most of the book one was walking on egg shells with the other so they wouldn’t run away.  I think both strong personalities could have stood for more in your face moments and fighting for their future, but over all I love how this book read.  The author did a great job with explaining BDSM to any one new to this life style and did it with respect for not only the people involved but for the ones trying to learn.  It was a brilliant way to teach the readers about BDSM yet not
overwhelm them with a lot of intense BDSM scenes or talking down to the reader.
I really recommend this book and will looking for more of Ms. Carr’s books to read.
When I read the blurb for Awakening, I was really excited for the opportunity to read it. I’ve read a couple of other books in which the h made contact with a club or Dom for the purpose of a research project, met the H, was profoundly affected by him & agreed to allow him to teach her about BDSM. While admittedly I read the book with a slight set of expectations, I enjoyed it, I just didn’t love it.
I was well into the book beore I realized why I wasn’t loving Awakening. I found Will’s Dom nature to be lacking … he just wasn’t Dom enough for me. When it comes to Doms, I’m a reader of Cherise Sinclair, Lexi Blake, and Erica Chilson
(just to name a few of my favorites), so I’m used to a much stronger Dom personality. Will just didn’t project the strength I’ve come to expect from a Dom. Also, his constant concern about the age difference annoyed me after a while. It was a nine year difference, but you would have thought it was much greater than the way Will carried on. I understand that Vanessa is only 22, but 31 is not that old! You would have thought Will was getting close to signing up for Social Security the way he kept harping about his age.
I would like to note that there was surprisingly little sex in the book considering the subject matter, especially as Will was helping Vanessa discover her inner-submissive. Yes, there is a major incident that prevents sexual activity for a month or so, but I feel it should be noted. As I have read excerpts from some of Ms. Carr’s M/M books (I haven’t had the pleasure of reading one yet), I know she can write REALLY HOT sex scenes, but the sex scenes between Vanessa and Will are nowhere near the level of heat that I know she is capable of writing; I’m not saying the sex scenes are bad, just that I’ve read better by her.
Although it may sound like I didn’t enjoy Awakening, I did. In fact, once I got past my issues with Will and accepted him as he was, I got caught up in my reading and suddenly it was over – it left me wanting more. Ms. Carr has crafted a well written novel and I will be reading more of her work – especially if she writes a sequel because I would like to read more about Rod.
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