I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Holding the Cards by Joey W. Hill
Genres: Erotica, Romance
Published by Ellora's Cave on November 1, 2009
Source: the library
First in the Nature of Desire erotica romance series, and I’m not sure if it revolves around members of The Zone or Dominants and submissives. The couple focus in Holding the Cards is on Josh and Lauren. Be warned, it is M/F/M.
The underlying conflict is betrayal with Hill slowly drawing out Jonathan’s betrayal and Josh’s coming out at the end. That said, this is the ideal vacation, hubba-hubba! It certainly starts off with an unexpected conflict: that tree climbing incident was pretty funny — and so exposed, lol! It’s also amazingly homey and cozy for erotica!
I love how beautifully Hill avoids the info dumps! She does some nice writing with the show as well. The island. Lisette’s house. It all sounds so incredibly gorgeous, I wanted to melt.
It did feel weird for that first night to progress so easily. It’s also a different look at the relationship and actions of a Dominant with her submissive, the good and the bad.
I couldn’t get too excited about aspects of the scene on the beach. I’d’a thought Josh’d get gritty bits of sand in his mouth. Ick.
Wouldn’t we all (okay, mostly the girls *grin*) like to find ourselves “at the mercy of a miracle, two nurturing men”.
Retreating to an isolated island to lick her wounds, Lauren doesn’t stay isolated long when she locks herself out of Lisette’s house.
Lucky Lauren encounters two knights in jeans who proceed to care for her and for whom she cares in return.
Dr. Lauren splits her pediatric residency between rural clinics in North Carolina and an ER in a university hospital. She’s also a Domme with a broken heart. Jonathan is a manipulative submissive and her ex.
Josh is a caretaker on the island. Isabel is a white elephant on the island who loves Josh. Winona is his now ex-wife, a real bitch and a tattoo artist.
Marcus has been a friend of Josh’s for years; he’s also a very successful art dealer in New York City and a gay Dom. Thomas is the submissive whom Marcus had loved.One of his best clients is J. Martin who creates incredible erotic art.
The Salernos‘ house (she’s a cosmetic company CEO, and he’s a retired police chief) is as beautiful as Lisette’s with some exotic extras.
Lisette Delamar is an author and Lauren’s friend. Another Thomas operates a ferry service to the island. Maria is a waitress at the club who is another friend of Lauren’s with good advice. The island is a refuge for rich artists of all sorts.
The Cover and Title
The cover definitely tells you what the story is about with a dominant-looking woman in black elbow-length gloves, a cream and black lace bra and underbust corset with a Queen of Hearts playing card tucked into it, long chandelier earrings, and holding a riding crop. A black banner across the top informs us of the publisher and imprint while the title and author’s name is at the bottom.
The title is all about Lauren, as she is the one Holding the Cards.