Review: Mina's Heart
Mina's Heart by Michele Zurlo
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Open communication and trust are the key ingredients for a hot smexy D/s relationship. Everett knows this well since he's a second generation BDSM lifestyler. His parents are in a loving D/s relationship and a great example for him. They also have a family business named Oasis designed to help bring kinky compatible couples together. With all this training and experience, one would think Everett would avoid a rookie mistake. He does not. To be fair, he's emotionally vested in Mina Sung, his heart's desire.
Everett finally starts dating Mina after she graduated from college. He treats the relationship in a D/s manner without explaining anything to Mina. Honestly, I'm mixed about this. Mina's reaction when she finds out is a bit extreme for me. It's understandable because of her family experience and her fear of her father. It's just that sometimes a D/s relationship doesn't have to be so formal. Now, in this situation, it's a bit different because it's also tied to Everett's job. There are many misconceptions for the uninitiated like Mina.
While this story is mostly from Mina's perspective, it was difficult for me to empathize. I'm not a fan of Mina. I don't know why Everett wants her. She doesn't appeal to me. I could be prejudiced because my interactions with women like Mina are usually negative so I'm predisposed to dislike her. However, Everett is a delicious man who makes a grave mistake and actually has to pay for it. I like this about Ms. Zurlo's writing style. Mistakes are not glossed over and a magic wand makes it go away. Realistic responses follow bad choices and it hurts. I felt so sad for Everett even though I understand he caused the situation to occur. It's not all his fault, but he didn't help.
The BDSM in this story is good. It's not intense. It does focus more on the D/s aspect and BD. There is no SM since it isn't what interests Everett and it frightens Mina. The punishments in this story are amusing and show those who think punishment is all bruises, beatings and blood that it isn't so. There are creative ways to punish someone without raising a hand.
The part which confused me and feels as if it distracted from the main story line is the conflict between Sara and Jude. I didn't like it and I felt awkward just witnessing it as a reader. I can't imagine how uncomfortable it would have been in real life. My guess is that this sets us up for the next book in this series. Based on the contention between these two secondary characters, I'm not sure I want to read that train wreck. It already seems dysfunctional.
This story about Mina and Everett is sweet and gives hope. It shows readers second chances are possible and never to settle. With open communication and willingness to work at a relationship, trust can be regained. This kinky romance is recommended for those who love the happily ever afters.
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