Title: My Best Friend's Stepfather
Author: Opal Carew
Length: 240 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Rating: 4 Stars
She’s always craved his touch…even though it’s forbidden.
When Ash is assigned her first feature as a reporter, it should have been simple: interview a real life Dominant for an article about BDSM. But her subject is none other than Darien Gallagher, her best friend’s stepfather…and it’ll be an interview she never forgets.
What started for Dare as a lesson in sensual domination suddenly has become so much more. He can't deny the spark between them, even though he knows she’s completely off limits. With every seductive word, every lesson, Dare tests Ash's resolve and pushes her boundaries. But at the same time, her boss Adam has her craving things she shouldn’t.
While Ash finds herself dreaming of both men, a dark secret threatens to destroy everything. But how can she hold onto a relationship that isn’t even real? -Goodreads
Honestly enough, the story starts off a tad on the vanilla side, as far as the BDSM side of things goes. Dare is a good Dom, but he does manage to keep things very much Christian Grey, during his sessions with Ashley.
While all the reasons that Ashley becomes infatuated with the enigmatic and most decidedly alpha, Dare, are glaringly obvious from the start. Those surrounding Ashley's feelings for her clearly beta friend and boss, Adam, are allowed to languish in slightly murkier waters.
The reason for the indecisiveness on the part of Adam lying not at his feet, but at those of both Ashley and Dare.
Ashley being to blame because she refuses to make things easy for her two lovers and choose.
Dare, because of some hinted past between he and Adam,
that remains unresolved for a large portion of this read.
So readers get to sit through a great deal of human ping pong, with Ashley as a very willing and ready ball.
While this constant back and forth is great from a sexual standpoint, the schoolyard nature of the emotional aspect of their struggle gets tiring after a while.
The addition of Dare's very dysfunctional ex-stepdaughter/stepdaughter, Helen, into the mix; provides a strange and very unexpected catalyst that helps to move the story along quite nicely.
It is after dearest Helen manages to spill the much lamented beans, that things really start to change for the better.
The sex and story really take off, and the romance becomes all the sweeter.
How you ask?
Well, let's just say that sometimes great things have a habit of coming in threes.
Opal Carew's exploration and treatment of the M/M/F ménage pairing is so sensual, and well represented in this book, that the whole experience elevates this story from the everyday to the extraordinary.
As such, authoress Carew also succeeds in tying up all of her story's loose ends in a very colorful and all-inclusive happily ever after bow.
Reviewer's Note: This book has been released as both a serial novella and a complete work. It is the opinion of this review that this book is best enjoyed as a complete volume.