I'm not really new to the world of erotica, but am a super novice when it comes to the darker shades of sexuality. I am, however, extremely glad that one of the first guides into this new territory was Julia Sykes' Dark Grove Plantation series. I've omitted the spoiler tag because it keeps screwing up my post, so if you don't want to learn about what happens, please stop reading!
Anyhow, what I appreciated greatly
about the Dark Grove Trilogy is that its first offering, Awakened,
didn't just throw me in the deep end and expect me to swim. I was
introduced to Holly and her dinky boyfriend, as they progress to the
forbidden club and eventually meet the very seductive Holden. Taken was
super sexy, and I will admit that there was something so very primal
about Ella being broken - I've typically come to associate that word in a
negative sense, but with Brandon, it turned out much, much differently.
I think a lot of us can relate to Gwen - especially those of us who are
comfortable with our sexualities or bodies. Her and Damien really
seemed to click in a sweet way that was neither artificial, or
offensive; the latter seems to be a lot of peoples' ways of dealing with
BDSM and that's just a shame. But thankfully for us, Ms. Sykes isn't a
lot of people :)
My only real complaint, and I hate to even bring
it up, but on my machines (and later, my husbands, when he wasn't
around) the formatting was slightly off. Perhaps I'm a stickler, but
tidying this up (as boring as it may be) would really give this a crisp,
professional edge. Then again, it may just be how it's showing up on my
machines, so c'est la vie.
Haleigh Cookson Clark gives this effort 4 out of 5 stars.