Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Dark Garden by Eden Bradley

4 Stars!
Amazon link- The Dark Garden

One thing I really enjoy about Eden Bradley's writing is that she makes a smooth entrance for you into the lifestyle of BDSM. There's a huge percentage of readers who like to read it, but don't understand the depth of that kind of relationship.  Ms. Bradley does an exceptional job with it. She makes it understandable and pleasurable, while at the same time telling a story. It's why I like her books so much. She doesn't have the readers dive head first into a shallow end. She makes it desirable and sensual and leaves you almost begging to experience it. I have to say, subspace sounds like an intensely erotic place to be in. This is another winner to add to my Eden Bradley collection.

A past relationship left Rowan unable to trust anyone. She closed off her heart and took control of her life. With the need to be in charge, Rowan is now a mistress at an exclusive club in California. It's where she has power over herself and the people under her. She will never be at the mercy of another man after what happened....until Christian Thorne walks in and changes her life irrevocably.

Christian Throne is an intense dominate, which make him off limits for Rowan. It's to bad too, she's wanted him since the moment she's laid eyes on him. They're both are aware of the electricity between them so Christian makes Rowan a proposition: She must submit to him for 30 days to see if she is a submissive. Christian believes she's not a dominate, that deep down she is a sub. Naturally, Rowan balks at the idea. She knows what she is....How can Christian think she's not a dominate...What nerve he has to question her like this! Rowan is hesitant to this agreement but she can't stop thinking about him so finally she says yes. But there is one stipulation to this agreement- no sex at all.

Rowan's transition isn't easy. It's going to take a lot of work on Christian's part, which he already knows. In one of the first scene they have together, Christian binds Rowan lightly with flowering vines. It was so beautiful and romantic to read and play out! Rowan was completely caught of guard by it. She nearly has a panic attack and flees, leaving Christian to see there is more than meets the eye with Rowan. He wants to help her, get her to open and let go of this monster from her past. Christian wants to show her she has power too underneath him. Rowan is realizing what a challenge this is for her and she's afraid she will walk away less intact than ever before. But the passion they share and the emotions they bring forth of each other will put them in a position neither of them expected. Is Rowan truly a reluctant submissive?

There is a side story with Rowan's friend, April, that takes place in this book as well. I really enjoyed that story as much as I enjoyed Rowan's...maybe even more.

Here are some of my favorite parts of this book:

He wrapped his fist in her glorious cascade of dark hair, pulled her hair back firmly, and spoke softly into her ear.
"You're doing beautifully, Rowan. But I have more in store for you. Are you ready?"
She gasped.
"Are you?" He tugged a little harder on her hair. "Tell me."
"Yes!" she hissed.

"God damn it, Rowan," he muttered.
She blinked. Was he angry with her? Hadn't she pleased him?
Then, "You'll be the death of me, girl."
She smiled. April was right. She still had some power here.

"It is, even now, at the end of winter. I love the driftwood that's washed up on shore. The shapes and the textures are so sinuous, so beautiful. It's like a still life. Like a garden of dead wood, with the sand the dry earth. Yet it's not really dead, is it? It's strangely alive, just...stilled. Serene." -Rowan

Because you're beautiful to me. Because I love the lines of your body, the shape of your face, even your hands. Your bone structure is perfect. And maybe because I never want to forget you." -Christian to Rowan, after Rowan asked why Christian wants to paint her.

And all around them the dark sky hid the stars and the rain fell, washing the earth clean."

Early dawn. The sky glowed with shades of pink and gold as the sun made its way over the horizon, fighting through a thin layer of mist to light the sky in a spectacular blaze of color.


Em said...

Fantastic review, adding to my TBR

Taryn said...

Thanks, Em! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Harlie Reader said...

Eden Bradley is the best BDSM writer out there. She immediately puts the reader at ease and her stories are not intimidating to read at all. They are highly sensual and thought provoking. You don't even have to like BDSM, practice the lifestyle or even fantasize about it to love her writing.

Great review.


Maria said...

Great review! I love Ms. Bradley's writing:)

Eden Bradley-Eve Berlin said...

Ohmygosh-thank you for the,lovely, thoughtful review! THE DARK GARDEN is still one of my favorite books, and I'm thrilled to see the lines you quoted, as some of them are my favorites, too!
Since I've been in and out of the BDSM scene most of my adult life, I do feel a sort of responsibility to present BDSM in a true, understandable way-the psychology of it as well as the sensation. I always love when someone 'gets' that. :)
*happy writer*

Taryn said...

Thanks, Eden! Yes, I definitely 'got' it, that's for sure! I loved the way it was written too...I almost felt like I was experiencing what Rowan was a few times. I think it makes a huge difference if the author is into or not. There are a few authors who I think are not into it, that write it....and those are the books that I can not read it seems. I could be wrong, but I don't think I am.

Under the Covers said...

Great review Taryn! I haven't read this book yet, but I'm definitely adding to the TBR.



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