Monday 14 October 2013

Club Wonderland by Christine d'Abo - Book Review (New Release)

Club Wonderland Cover

From the Blurb:

Alice White isn't used to being ignored. So when the object of her lust does just that, she's bound and determined to get his attention. Her pursuit leads her to Wonderland, the kind of club she's only read about, and suddenly Alice is craving something she never knew she needed.

Gael Hernandez wants to be the youngest partner at his prestigious law firm, and not even a certain tempting legal assistant can distract him from his goal of financially helping his family. Until she shows up at his favorite club and surprises him with an interest in being restrained. But the BDSM lifestyle is no game to him, and he won't take things further until Alice is schooled into submission.

After a taste, Alice wants more. She offers to be Gael's sub for one weekend, with nothing forbidden and no boundaries. In a few short days, he gives her the strength to be the person she's always wanted to be. Now Alice just needs to convince Gael that he can dominate in the bedroom, and submit to love.

The Review:

Club Wonderland is an erotic romance with allusions to Alice in Wonderland, so right from the start you know it is going to be fun. It's set in the same world and on virtually the same timeline as Christine d'Abo's earlier novel Sexcapades, but this time it follows Petra's friend Alice. In Club Wonderland we get a closer look at Alice White, a legal assistant who has been long lusting after Gael Hernandez, a lawyer at her workplace. Little does Alice know, but Gael has been longing for her too. The only problem is, he doubts she would be into his particular sexual appetites, so both are surprised when Alice turns up in his favorite BDSM club and likes what she finds.

Alice would have to be one of my favorite contemporary romance protagonists. She is quirky and funny but not in that two dimensional, designed for a quick laugh, way I've come to expect from a lot of novels. She has a real background and family history which is as much part of this story as the romance between her and Gael. She is hot for Gael right from the start but it is her willingness to try new things in order to get to know him better that makes this such a sexy story. She also has the most sarcastic internal dialogue that had me laughing out loud on more than one occasion. 

Gael is a delicious hero. He is experienced as a dom, but quite inexperienced with love. In a lot of ways, his swoon-worthiness comes from his seemingly contradictory traits as determinedly in control, while being knocked off balance by his feelings for Alice. In the beginning, he appears quite shut off from his emotions, the typical aloof hero, but it is soon clear that this is far from his real persona. He is caring and sweet as he teaches Alice the ways of the sub and reveals his true desires to her. We also get to know a little about his romantic past, as well as his family who he is dedicated to looking after, so like Alice, he has quite a developed story.

In terms of the sex, this is a BDSM erotica, but it is relatively light. The reader is eased into this side of erotica, as Alice is eased into the BDSM lifestyle by Gael, making this a good start book for people wanting to explore BDSM literature without being thrown in the deep end.

My absolute only complaint about this novel was that I wish it could have been a little longer. I wanted to know more about Gael and I would have enjoyed a few more scenes from his perspective, though this isn't necessary. Basically, I just wanted more, but I know I'm being greedy. 

I love the combination of humor and passion of Club Wonderland (the same humor and passion d'Abo did so well in Sexcapades) and I strongly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys their romance funny, very sexy and with a light side of ropes and floggers. For those unfamiliar with BDSM erotica, this novel is your chance to venture down the rabbit hole. You know you want to.

Club Wonderland was published by Carina Press and is available from Amazon.

This book was given to Love Reading Romance in exchange for an honest review.