The Pleasures Of Summer
Penguin Books Aus
Copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley
Airline heiress Summer O’Sullivan is in danger. Her father’s airline recently faced an investigation after a crash and although they were cleared of any wrong doing, there’s been some public backlash. A failed abduction attempt last year on Summer has led to her father being even more careful and he hires a succession of bodyguards to look after the hard-partying girl.
Summer is tired of her father having people watch over and she’s managed to successfully dispatch of many bodyguards so far. However there’s something different about this new one and she gets the feeling that he isn’t going anywhere. She tries all of her tricks and none of them work, leaving her pouting. However she does manage to get the drop on Flynn Grant and sneak out of her luxurious home with her friend to a BDSM club. Summer has always been curious and she begged Maya to take her along and see what it was like. However when Flynn finds that she’s skipped out on him, and where she is, he teaches her a lesson that leaves her gasping. She’s been wanting to meet a Dom, to see if she could explore a potential submissive side and it turns out that there’s been one in her house, looking after her!
After another threat on Summer’s life, Flynn takes her to a remote cottage in Scotland with no luxuries whatsoever. Although Flynn has vowed never to slip and repeat his mistake of sleeping with the principle, their close proximity and Summer’s games make that a hard promise to keep. The more time they spend together, the more he breaks down Summer’s bratty facade and begins to explore the betrayed woman underneath. But Flynn leads a dangerous life and he’s not a long term kind of guy. He can help her with her fantasies but that’s it – or so he thinks. By the time the danger stalking Summer catches up with them, everything will have changed.
The Pleasures of Summer is the second novel in the Pleasures series but they don’t appear to be linked by anything other than each seems to feature an Irish hero with a bit of a dominant streak. In this one, we are introduced to spoiled and unlikable Summer O’Sullivan who spends her days shopping and making herself pretty and her nights partying and vomiting into gutters, all to be captured rather gleefully by the paparazzi and splashed across various newspapers. Her father came from humble beginnings but now he is extraordinarily wealthy and very protective of his only child, all he has left after the death of his wife, Summer’s mother, years ago. He spares no expense to keep her safe, hiring a string of bodyguards. Summer manages to get rid of them all until Flynn Grant, who is recuperating after an injury on another job and needs something a little less strenuous until he’s ready to return to full and active duty.
Summer is incredibly annoying and also incredibly stupid at the beginning of the novel. I always have to roll my eyes at people who refuse to sacrifice a little bit of personal freedom in order for their life. Last year, someone ran her off the road and attempted to drag her out of her car and the person hasn’t been caught and still seems to be around. You’d think that Summer would show a little more care about her safety but all she wants to do is get rid of each person employed to look after her which did become somewhat tedious. She cares little about the people just trying to do their jobs and when she realises that Flynn isn’t going to be so easy to be rid of, she immediately begins thinking of a way to at least sneak out so she can visit the club, which she needs to do without being photographed. When Flynn realises where she is and goes to get her, Summer gets to see a whole side of Flynn that she never realised existed which excites her.
There isn’t much BDSM in this book – apart from the club scene and a few spanking scenes between Flynn and Summer, there’s nothing else that you wouldn’t find in any saucy romance novel. I’m not sure why people keep billing these types of books, playing on the BDSM angle when really they’re just erotic romance with a bit of a twist. For a Dom, we never learn anything about Flynn and why he chose the lifestyle, how he came to it, what role he played in it. He had one former slave that he talks about in only the briefest of terms and likewise, it isn’t really explored why Summer wants to participate other than she wants something that can make her feel. She actually finds that in Flynn, even without any of the BDSM elements added in and this becomes more of a relationship than either of them realise. I actually really liked Flynn and even more, I liked the effect he had on Summer. She really dropped the party girl act and actually became a grown up and shared more things with him than she had with anyone else. I felt like I only got to know Summer during that time in the isolated cabin in Scotland even though she was still prone to tantrums and storming off, she became a lot less self-absorbed and definitely more palatable as a main character.
If you like romance with a bit of extra spice but don’t always appreciate the incredible angst that goes with that (and can drag out for multiple books) then this one might be a good choice. It’s a nice, neat tidy story that is done in one volume, there’s some decent chemistry and it’s “BDSM lite” enough that even my 83 year old grandmother could probably read it.
Book #192 of 2013