“This is who I am. This is what I want. Now I need a man dangerous enough to give it to me.”
Graduate student Vivienne Charles is afraid of her own desires—ashamed to admit that she fantasizes about being taken by force, by a man who will claim her completely and without mercy. When the magnetic, mysterious Jonah Marks learns her secret, he makes an offer that stuns her: they will remain near-strangers to each other, and meet in secret so that he can fulfill her fantasy.
Their arrangement is twisted. The sex is incredible. And—despite their attempts to stay apart—soon their emotions are bound together as tightly as the rope around Vivienne’s wrists. But the secrets in their pasts threaten to turn their affair even darker…
Reader Advisory: Asking for It deals explicitly with fantasies of non-consensual sex. Readers sensitive to portrayals of non-consensual sex should be advised.
Thoughts: In all the years I’ve been reviewing I’ve never received a book with a letter from the editor explaining a book. When I was sent the invitation to review this book it came with that letter. Shortly after my Twitter feed blew up as we were all talking about it and whether or not we were going to read it.
Until that email, this book wasn’t even on my radar. Suddenly it was all I could think about. So I downloaded it and started it in on the car ride home from my kids game. For the rest of the day I ignored my family as I hid in the bedroom and read this book. Once I was done I had long conversations with other book people about why this book worked so well for me. And why I think that in a hundred years when they are talking about important books in the romance genre, ground breaking books, this is one I think they will be talking about.
One of the very many reasons that this book works so well is because of the characters and how very real they are. Neither one of them like this aspect of who they are. In fact, they hate it. No, they don’t just hate it, they despise and loathe it. But there is no escaping the fact that this horrific act (or just thinking about doing and having it done to you) is the only way that you can find pleasure in sex.
In this book it’s all from Vivienne’s POV so we get a front row seat to her struggle to accept this part of her psyche. From her visits with her therapist to how she handles everything with Jonah. Nothing is sugar coated and the emotions are very raw and powerful. At times so powerful I felt like I was a voyeur into her life, and that what I was reading wasn’t fiction but in fact a non-fiction story.
When the story ends we are left knowing two things, that Vivienne and Jonah have strong feelings for each other and that the next book Begging For It can’t come soon enough.
This is one of those books that will push your boundaries and make you think about your own sexuality and how and why it was formed the way it was. Its one that I recommend reading with a group of friends and then having open discussions about the book and they why’s and hows of each character.
This book isn’t for the faint of heart and if you have an issue with rape fantasies then please don’t read this book.