Early Book Review: My Wicked Valentine (Club Wicked #1) by Ann Mayburn
*** This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence! ***
For a story based in an elite private BDSM club, My Wicked Valentine starts off surprisingly slowly, with a romance that is more sweet than scintillating. Lucia is completely new to “the lifestyle” (really, she’s not even sure she will like BDSM), and Isaac is a bachelor who is constantly the target of a fellow club member’s matchmaking efforts. Even after her first night at Wicked, where she goes as a bartender rather than a participant, the romance between Lucia and Isaac is on a very slow burn and he’s straight out told her he won’t be having sex with her even if she begs. This put me in a strange place as a reader since much of the draw was the prospect of “wicked” kinky sex and I don’t want the hero (the Dom!) to start off breaking his promises…. because, obviously, at some point they’re going to hook up. That said, I really enjoyed the characterization of both Lucia and Isaac, as well as several of the prominent extras. This is a story where the sex doesn’t overwhelm the plot, and the characters are allowed to shine for who they are rather than what they to do each other.
Lucia is Mexican American, with that beautiful dark tanned skin and curvy figure Latinos wear so well, and her personality is a quirky fun tease. Comfortable with lingo like “damn skippy”, even around our privileged billionaire hero, Lucia is forthright and fearlessly honest.
Isaac is rich and privileged, but he has a good, tender heart and is normal in charmingly urbane ways. He’s also scared of commitment, thanks to a nasty failed marriage, so the first half of the book is sweet with hints of luscious stern domination, as Isaac tries valiantly to curb his emotions toward his Kitten (Lucia’s club name).
There’s one particular scene that reminded me fondly of Fifty Shades, and it just about broke my heart. After that, things heated up a little more, but even at a lavish private play party, this story is not voyeuristic or intimidating. I think it’d be an ideal book for someone interested in a light-hearted BDSM story but not comfortable with group sex scenes or hardcore practices.
Where ever you go, there you are…
“Will you be at your home tonight?”
She felt silly for being so defensive, but this whole conversation had thrown her
“Because I’m going to pick you up tonight, and it would be helpful if you were
home when I arrive.”
Heat rushed to her cheeks. She thunked her head against the back of the chair. “That sounds lovely. I mean, yes, I’ll see you then. At my house, where I’ll be.” Maybe all the blushing had caused brain damage. That’s why she was babbling.
Hold on tight, spider monkey…
Her world took on an almost surreal reality as she stepped into an enchanted garden filled with roses of every description and hue. Stunned, she whispered, “Places like this don’t really exist.”
“They do in my world.”
“Are you sure?”
“That I’m hungry? Yes.”
She frowned at him. “You know what I mean. Your ‘this is a mistake’ speech earlier didn’t seem to indicate a hunger of any kind.”
He ducked his head and gave her a crooked smile. “I’m revaluating the rules of our partnership. They now include you feeding me. Do you find those terms acceptable?”
“What do I get out of it?”
“Tomorrow night I’ll make you orgasm with one kiss.”
Yep, perfectly normal…
“I don—wait, she likes me? She told you that?” He sighed and closed his eyes. “Fuck, I sound like an idiot.”
“Men often sound like idiots. It’s perfectly normal.”
Don’t rush the man, sheesh!
She closed her eyes and counted to ten. “Isaac, will you please make me come?”
“I know, Kitten. But I want to take things slow, to savor you. When you rush, you miss all the good stuff.” He helped her off the edge of the fountain. “Besides, I promised you an orgasm with just one kiss, and I intend to deliver.”
If the diamond-encrusted bikini fits, REVEL IN IT!
“You are the most exquisite thing I’ve ever seen.”
She flushed and looked down at herself. “I feel like Jabba the Hutt’s slave girl from a porn version of Star Wars.”
Wow, that sounds… complicated?
“Have you ever cheated on anyone?” He glanced at her. “Don’t lie. I will know.”
She stuck her tongue out at him. “I’ve only cheated once.” His jaw tightened, and she sighed. “It was in the third grade. Timmy was my lunchtime boyfriend, and Paul was my playground boyfriend. Then Paul and Timmy met, became best friends, and I lost both my boyfriends.”
Oh, the imagery! Oh, the giggles!
She whispered, “You have a Clapper?”
He stiffened and tried to give her his best imposing Dom look. “I don’t like having to roll across my bed to turn out the lights.”
She nodded, then turned and buried her head in the pillows and laughed.
“What? It’s a very practical invention.”
Her howls of muffled laughter amused and annoyed him, so he pinched her wonderfully round ass. “I would suggest you not laugh at the man with the paddle.”
She peeked one eye at him and snorted. “Tell me, when you spank someone in here, does it look like a strobe light?”
If you liked My Wicked Valentine…
If you liked My Wicked Valentine and are in the mood for a sexy story set in a private BDSM club with a little more kinky action that isn’t too hardcore, check out Stacey Kennedy’s Pact of Seduction series of novellas, starting with Bind Me. Fans of male/male stories may also like Pulled Long (the second book in the Long Shots series) by Christine D’Abo, a sweet story about coming to terms with who you are and taking your first steps into the world of BDSM. Pulled Long is one of my personal favorites in the male/male contemporary romance BDSM erotica subgenre, and the books in the series can all be read independently.
For a deeper dive into the BDSM club scene of the wealthy elite, Cherise Sinclair’s Masters of the Shadowlands (starting with Club Shadowlands) is an excellent series, with high heat levels and play scenes ranging from public menages to humiliation to sadism to fire play. The books become increasingly more plot-driven and each new one pulls you more and more into the Shadowlands world, making you wish you had one of these sexy Doms for your very own. Highly recommended!
Rating: My Wicked Valentine