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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Healing Seduction by Jory Strong

Healing Seduction by Jory Strong
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (57 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Anal Play, Spanking
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Viscaria

For years Lucca and Quade have shared women and enjoyed games of sexual dominance. While she was married, Kiera was off-limits, even in their fantasies. Now that she’s single, guilt and loyalty keep them from acting on their desire.

At twenty-six, Kiera has been a widow for almost as long as she was a wife. Before pain and loss stripped her bare and changed her, she’d never craved the things Lucca and Quade want in the bedroom. Now she does. She knows they love her. But for them to have a future together, she needs to break through their emotional barriers.

Unknown to them, she’s got a plan. And if it works, Quade and Lucca won’t be able to resist her healing seduction.

For such a short story, Healing Seduction packed quite a of wallop. Granted, I’ve come to expect nothing less from Jory Strong, and this story was no different. I loved getting a chance to visit her Crime Tells universe once again.

Kiera has been healing after the devastating loss of her husband. She knows that she has to let him go and move on, and she knows just the men to move on with her into the future. But they’re clinging to a sense of duty to her dead husband, and she’s not about to let that ruin her happy ever after. What’s a girl to do when she knows the men she wants want her just as badly? Why, push them a bit into a healing seduction.

I really liked Kiera as a heroine. She was much stronger than one would expect, and I had to respect that. Knowing such heart-wrenching loss has made her realize that one must grab onto happiness with both hands before it’s gone, and to never let go, and never look back. I loved how she was so determined to get what she wanted, and the way she forced the issue made me smile. Especially her men’s reactions to it. She’s definitely someone I would love to have as a friend, if only to live vicariously through her.

Lucca and Quade were both interesting Alpha males, even if they did need a swift kick in the rear that Kiera was more than happy to provide. Lucca was really quite admirable, if a bit forceful. Luckily, Quade balanced out the force quite nicely. Lucca's conflict was really quite believable as his internal dialogue reveals that he doesn’t want to dishonor his friend’s name. And pulling Kiera into a threesome with Quade is not something he thinks his deceased friend would approve of. Good thing Kiera knows what she wants. Quade was a wonderful bookend to Lucca's force, and I liked seeing his more tender side come out.

I did have a small issue with this story. Quade seemed just the tiniest bit wishy washy to me. Regardless of how much I liked him, and knowing that he was dealing with his own guilt in how Kiera’s husband died, there were a few times I wanted to smack him upside his head. I kind of felt that his change of heart was too quick considering just how conflicted he was about where this relationship had led them. Since he had good reason to be conflicted, I would have liked to have seen a bit more development of that internal conflict. But, keeping in mind that this is a short story and more had to be packed into this small amount of pages, I won’t mark the rating down too much simply because there truly was plenty of emotion right alongside the heat I have come to expect from Jory Strong. It just would have been nice to get a bit more time to see Quade’s realizations of what his ambivalence could be doing to Kiera and their relationship. Since it all worked out in the end, I’m not really complaining about how they got to that happy ending.

In true Jory Strong fashion there were funny and fun, if not downright fascinating secondary characters that I would love to see more of (ahem… Jake and Tyce anyone?). I truly got a kick out of their behavior and had to fan myself just in the short amount of time they were introduced. Alongside new characters, there were visits from old friends from the Crime Tells world, and it was a joy to see how they were doing in their own happy ever afters. Add in a truly explosive love scene between Lucca, Kiera and Quade and I was one happy reader. That first love scene between the three of them was intense, hot and incredibly passionate while somehow managing to be tender and even a little sweet at the same time.

While I wish that this story had been longer simply because I didn’t want to see it end, I honestly couldn’t put the book down and finished it both times I read it in one sitting each. For fans of Jory Strong and the Crime Tells world she has created, this is a must have for your keeper shelf. This fan was thoroughly entertained and can’t wait to see what else Ms. Strong has up her sleeve. This was definitely a well-written ménage that left me with a smile on my face.

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