Review: Hold My Hand

Hold My Hand
Hold My Hand by Paloma Beck

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Millionaire kinky men looking for the innocent poor young female seems to be the trend right now. In Holding my Hand, William is the rich male seeking the destitute little girl Aubrey. It is never clear as to how William makes his money. Somehow he is a philanthropist who helps build communities in nations needing assistance. While this at the surface seems romantically heroic, my cynical mind reads it as human trafficking for wealthy drug lords. Aubrey is the victim mentality female who is all too common. She has Daddy issues and a poor self image. Not my favourite type of female lead. This is a 2.5 star for me. It is a bit better than okay, but I can't say I truly enjoyed it.

I am mixed on this story. Ms. Beck shows potential with her writing voice. Her story can be captivating. What brings it down for me are her characters and perhaps lack of research into BDSM. This tale is light BDSM perhaps even SugarKink. It's not really BDSM even though there are constant reminders of William as a Dom and his insistence in a D/s lifestyle. This portrayal of BDSM is what I consider the rosy coloured glasses view from the Vanilla world titillated with the kinky side. Are there Doms like William in real life? Doubtful. He's a romanticized knight in shining armour a la Richard Gere style in Pretty Woman with a kinky twist. This is a very popular theme which is neither right nor wrong. It is good for the romance lovers who want a little taste of kink and have no interest in the realities of BDSM.

The characters in this book are hard for me to accept. William is apparently flawless. He's rich, handsome and generous. Why is it that he would want Aubrey? This is a very good question which neither Aubrey nor Ms. Beck can seem to explain. Based on all of Aubrey's actions, I'm hard pressed to see the allure either. Her constant inner thoughts of what her father said to her doesn't help. It makes her look more pathetic. After a while, it just became annoying.

​I think what really bothered me about this D/s portrayal is the implication of it helping Aubrey become a self confident woman. This is a myth of D/s which many who are not in the lifestyle seem to think happens. There is a thought that D/s will help bring a person's chaotic or downtrodden life under control. A female only needs the right man to lift her up and all will be perfect in the world. Perhaps in a Disney style fairy tale, this would work. In a domestic discipline theme book, it might work too. In a contemporary BDSM romance, it doesn't work quite so well. This is because one of the key elements to a D/s lifestyle is erotic power exchange. In order to exchange power, one must own it first. In this story, Aubrey owns nothing. She possess no power. How can she give over power she does not have? And this is what is missing for me in this book. Still, this is a sweet romance which doesn't really need the kinky element of D/s. This book is recommended for romance readers who love the white knight riding in to save the day.

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