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Friday, May 27, 2011

An Ordinary Girl by Barbara Elsborg

An Ordinary Girl by Barbara Elsborg
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (252 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/M, Anal Sex, BDSM, Toys, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Violet

Ash is an ordinary girl, leading an ordinary life, but behind her smile she hides a secret so damning she’s sure no one could ever love her.

Noah is a war photographer who’s come back from Afghanistan with a secret so dark he can’t escape its smothering grip.

Both need redemption. Ash looks for it by making people happy. Noah seeks it under the whip of a Dom. They’re damaged souls, drowning in guilt, unable to escape the legacies of their pasts. Then their worlds collide in an explosion of fireworks so strong it singes not only them, but those around them. It’s said love heals all wounds, but sometimes before love enters the heart, the intense fire of passion has to burn a path, lighting the way.

I giggled. I sighed. I squealed in surprise. An Ordinary Girl is one of the most compelling books I’ve read this year.

“Noah was a bad boy.”

This is the first introduction to Noah. And yes on the surface, Noah appears to be your typical bad boy. But from the first moment we meet Noah we know he is truly tortured. Everyone knows something happened while Noah was captured as a war photographer, but Noah isn’t talking. The memories are destroying him. He’s a fascinating hero who is even stronger than he thinks.

“Ash was a good girl.”

Like Noah, this is how we meet Ash. And Ash is a truly good girl through and through. But Ash’s torture is much more deeply hidden than Noah’s. She is too good to make up for her past. She tries to rescue troubled souls. She’s a beautifully giving and earnest person who truly deserves happiness. And in Noah, although he does need rescuing, she also finds someone who rescues her.

The book began by showing Ash and Noah in their own environments. Yet it’s when they meet in chapter two that the fireworks truly start. From the moment they meet, sparks fly off the page. They have a chemistry that glued me to this book. Their relationship is just spectacular. In most books, there’s normally just one damaged person and the mate is the one helping them heal and grow. In An Ordinary Girl, Ms. Elsborg breaks the rules effortlessly. Watching Ash and Noah alternately heal each other while they grow further in love is beautiful.

The supporting characters in this book were wonderful. Each played a unique part that helped enhance the story. For Noah, it’s his brother Ilya and friend Dalton. Ilya wants to run Noah’s life. Dalton is a good friend, but has ulterior motives. Ash’s roommates Ronan, Mike, and Kay are perfect fodder. Ronan has a twist in the book that made me squeal. Mike is the good guy who Ash is trying to help, but is also loyal to her. And Kay is your typical self-absorbed actress who needs everyone to build her up.

The book is truly captivating. The writing is superb. The love scenes between Ash and Noah are beautifully erotic, although some felt a bit long. The actual storyline was so absorbing, I wanted back to the story. The one M/M love scene felt pitch perfect (and I don’t read M/M normally). Noah does visit a male Dom for punishment, but this is not a sexual relationship. Nor is this a true BDSM relationship. If you are squeamish about BSDM, know that this is not a BDSM book. It is merely used as a device for Noah to find punishment.

Why is this book not a 5 or Best Book? As much as I was glued to this book the last twist was just too sensational. It went too far and hurt rather than enhanced my memory of this book.

Ms. Elsborg’s An Ordinary Girl is an incredible book. The whole time I read the book, I was thinking that her writing is a caliber above what I’m accustomed to, and how lucky I was to find her.

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