Published by Simon and Schuster on March 16th 2015
Genres: BDSM, Erotica, Fiction, Romance
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Bondage meets bookworm in this sizzling erotic romance about a shy bookshop owner who discovers an exciting new side to herself when an old friend opens a bondage workshop in the back of her store!Emma Green has never been very confident. When Ian Cooper, an old friend, asks to rent out the back room of her bookstore for a bondage workshop, she agrees because she needs the money. She isn’t expecting to participate, and she definitely isn’t expecting to enjoy it. But all of Emma’s expectations fly out the window when she tentatively agrees to be Ian’s bondage model for workshops and exhibitions—and her success in the role upends all previous notions she had about her body and her desirability.Now, Emma must learn to reconcile these conflicting images of herself while dealing with another conflict: Is Ian just another playboy, or everything she’s been looking for?
Considering the fact that Playing Knotty by Elia Winters is billed as BDSM, some readers may find the word I’m going to use to characterize it a bit strange. The word is one my father used frequently to describe things that gave him pleasure and just made him feel good. That word is. . .delightful. Yes, book lovers, I found Playing Knotty to be one of the most delightful books I’ve read in a long time. Filled with an entertaining and plentiful amount of information about rope play, it tells the story of how a woman who has never felt attractive learns to love herself and the man who ties her up.
Playing Knotty is edgy without being dark as some books with elements of BDSM can be. Both Emma Green and Ian Cooper are very sweet characters whom readers will want to get together. Emma is a young woman who has spent her life tied up by a self-image that her abusive mother ingrained in her. And yes, I did say Emma’s mother was abusive although not in a physical sense. I think any parent who actively encourages a child to accept that he or she deserves less than the very best life has to offer is abusive. Every one of you who has ever had even the slightest problem with your weight is going to want to tie Emma’s mom to a chair and force feed her a Big Mac! As a matter of fact, I think one of the things that made this book so delightful to read is all of the characters (with the exception of Emma’s mom) are very likable. Another delightful aspect of this book is the slow and tentative way Emma and Ian develop their relationship. Prepare to love Ian as he helps Emma untie some of the knots of her youth while he shows her how to be tied up with some very grownup knots as he nudges her toward seeing herself as a beautiful woman worthy of the love of an attractive man. There will be fist bumps when Emma finds the courage to tell her two best friends what she really thinks and there will be shouts of delight as Emma faces her demons to try to salvage a family relationship that seems headed for disaster.
I love a story with a friends to lovers theme and this book is no exception. There is plenty of that kind of angst that makes you want to lock the characters in a room and yell “Just talk to each other for heaven’s sake!” and while there is a HEA for those who need one, the characters will have to work for it a bit. There is some pretty technical information about the art of knot tying. . . more than most of you will ever want to know, but the author actually has some illustrations and descriptions HERE on her website to help readers get the picture. Believe me, there is more to bondage than neckties and handcuffs! I highly recommend this book to readers who love a book that’s sweet, tender and steamy, and just a little bit knotty.