Review: Return

ReturnReturn by Alexis Alvarez

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Writing about real life people into a novel is usually not recommended.  Apparently Ava Grimaldi missed this day in Writers 101 class.  At least she didn't use a person's likeness, make them evil and then kill them off terribly.  There are authors who do that to real life family members (Brian Vaughan).  Ava makes a worse mistake.  She takes a man she sexual fantasizes about and has him starring in a romance novel.  Not just any romance, but kinky BDSM erotica which it seems, he does do in real life.  What is the first rule of Fight Club?  There is NO FIGHT CLUB!  What is it with people outing others in the BDSM lifestyle?

Granted, Ava did not know Damian Perez, gym owner stud muffin comes with whips and chains.  Still, writing a real life person with all their characteristics without their knowledge into a BDSM novel just spells trouble.  As the readers can predict, Damian finds out about her book.  Regrettably, it is from his religious family members.  Oh boy.  Talk about a relationship killer.  Ava's hope to start dating Damian derails before they can even hop aboard the dating train.  This sets up for a delicious revenge scenario.

The BDSM in this book is HAWT!  It's kinky without all the fancy accoutrements.  Damian basically punishes Ava with meaningless sex and a taste of D/s.  From a BDSM scene perspective, these are all easy scenario to replicate and can be a lot of fun.  From a BDSM relationship between a Dominant and a submissive for a healthy relationship, it's completely a cluster.  Ms. Alvarez does a nice job of showing how unhealthy a relationship can become due to lack of trust.  She also gives a good perspective between those in the lifestyle and those looking in from the outside.  Neither are wrong, it's all in the perspective and how one feels about it.  When it comes down to it, the minute Ava's heart becomes mixed up in Damian's revenge fuck, heartbreak is imminent. 

Readers will hurt for Ava yet understand Damian's desire for Ava to suffer.  However, when it becomes more personal by having it shared outside the two of them, this humiliation is neither fun nor sexy.  It's degrading and one feels bad for Ava.  This situation is difficult to witness because it is realistic and can easily happen in real life.  Sides are chosen and no one wins because two people "making two wrongs" cannot make a "right".  The conflict and resolution are well done.  Readers may want drop kick Damian or bitch slap some sense into Ava.  Whilst readers may curse at Damian or feel that Ava deserved it, the end result is the same - readers are moved and they feel something.  This makes the book more engaging and memorable.  This kinky book is recommended to readers who enjoy revenge scenarios which turn into second chances.

*provided by BDSM Book Reviews

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