Print Length: 262 pages
Publisher: Meredith Wild (June 16, 2014)
From Goodreads.com: Software mogul Blake Landon has met his match in headstrong Erica Hathaway. While his controlling nature and her independent spirit continue to battle, Blake has no intention of letting her out of his life again.
Erica has given Blake her trust and her love, determined that they will conquer any challenges together. But when he demands more and tests the boundaries of her commitment, she is forced to face the dark desires he’s kept hidden.
As their bonds grow tighter, their enemies close in. With Erica’s start-up in danger, Blake’s frustration grows as he tries to protect her from those who would ruin her only to get to him. Can their relationship survive when Blake’s enemies cross the line and threaten more than her livelihood?
My Review: I was going to call this one the worst in the series, but then I found out there is a 4th one, which to be honest - I've come this far I might read it simply because I'm sadistic like that.
To begin with - fans of the BDSM lifestyle - find another series to read. Seriously. Blake is not a Dom, he is an abusive asshole who not only uses NO aftercare, but leaves his woman (as I cannot call her a sub) feeling abandoned and used afterwards. As a matter of fact, I would go so far as to call one specific scene in this story RAPE because of the way he treats her.
Perhaps I should give you some history here (or as much as I can without giving away too many spoilers). Erica leaves Blake in a move that she thinks will spare his life. A guy in her employ kisses her and she kisses him back. And once Blake finds out - he completely loses his mind. He uses her, he uses his belt on her without mercy - and then he showers and leaves her to go to bed and wake up alone. In fact, he ignored her for several days and makes her come crawling back to him.
The fact that by the time she did go back to him, he had her convinced by his actions that everything was her fault to begin with was also a major annoyance with me. She had to change because she messed up, she kissed someone else (WHEN THEY WERE SEPARATED), she was the reason he was acting this way - seriously? Erica was NOT a strong character - she was overly pathetic and needed to grow a backbone and say "You overreacted. This is NOT my fault and I will NOT do this" instead of giving in to his every demand.
Perhaps I'm just not "submissive" enough, but when a man starts telling me what I can and cannot do outside of the bedroom and the decisions I can and cannot make outside of the bedroom (read in the business that I started before I met him), then he needs to go. I don't care how many orgasms he can provide, or how deeply I care for him. The man needs some SERIOUS psychiatric help.
This is not sexy, this is not love, this is not even true BDSM. This is an abusive man who needs to control every single aspect someone else's life as though the other person is incapable of doing so themselves. This is a man who proposes to someone KNOWING FULL WELL HOW (AND WHO) THEY ARE and then giving them the ultimatum of either completely conforming to how they want them to be or leaving them. Because that's totally the lifestyle right?
Another thing that really got to me was the fact that (during what I have termed the rape scene) he stuck two fingers into her arse without giving her much of a warning. When she protested, he stopped (thankfully) but then he tells her "Maybe not tonight, but I will have your ass. You can count on it. Do you know why? Because I own you."
Oh screw that. The whole purpose of the BDSM lifestyle is yes, to push the limits you have, but when someone makes it VERY clear that this particular thing is NOT ok - any good Dom accepts that. They may broach the subject again later on, but they do not basically threaten you in the way Blake CONSTANTLY threatens Erica.
If, after reading this, you still think this book is your cup of tea - you can find using the buy link below.
Hardline (Hacker #3) is available from Amazon.com