Title – Asking For It
Author – Lilah Pace
Publication Date – June 2, 2015
Series – Asking For It, #1
“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.
I’ll be upfront in saying that I struggled with the decision on whether or not I wanted to read Asking For It by Lilah Pace. As a reader, I was intrigued and curious where the story would go, but given the synopsis, I knew it would push me past the brink of my limits. With a little nudge from my gut, I decided that I needed to at least try. Now, I can say with utmost honesty that I am so glad I read this novel, and would definitely be kicking myself if I had not.
“The only possible partner for these games is someone as bent as I am.”
Not only did I feel like I was pushed past my comfort zone, but the novel was so much more, in that I felt like I was on a journey with both of these characters. Vivienne and Jonah were both running from events of their past, and in a sense, used their sexual fantasies to grapple with their demons. Vivi’s family issues deeply scarred her, yet she pushed herself to be successful, even if the emotional scars still affected her. She avoided confrontation and was fiercely loyal to those who had shown her what love meant. The complexity of her character allowed me as a reader to resonate with her on different scenarios. Though I could never fully get into her head, her other traits forced me to understand her plight and sympathize for her.
“It’s as if I had been drowning until this moment, when I finally broke the surface and breathed in fresh air.”
Jonah is still a big old ball of mystery to me. We received just enough of his personality so that he really keeps that stranger persona, but something about him pulls you in like a moth to a flame. You get glimpses into his background at the same time as Vivi, so there’s never really any insight or foreshadowing from his side of the story. The author does an excellent job of balancing that need to keep him alluring and mysterious, but satisfying a reader’s craving to figure out his story. I will say, however, that the twist was one I definitely never saw coming!
“He’s tearing me apart – no. He’s fusing us together. There’s no me any longer, no him.”
I already know that there will be plenty of readers out there who will be plenty hesitant to pick up this book because of the terms used in the synopsis. I know, because I was one of them. However, while these fantasies are played out, it’s never in a situation that really makes you uncomfortable. The author does a fantastic job at not alienating her audience in that regard. If you’re looking to slip outside of a normal read with broken characters looking to outrun their pasts, I’m highly suggesting you pick up Asking For It by Lilah Pace. This is a wonderful debut novel and I look forward to seeing where the story picks up in the net book.
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Don’t Miss the Other Books in the Series!
Begging For It (Asking For It, #2)
Read our Review HERE
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Asking For More (Asking For It, #2.5) – Releasing March 15, 2016!
Read our Review HERE
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Quarter ’til ten.
Keiko’s pottery – put that away. Breakables have no place out in the open, not tonight. What about the lamp? If I move it to the center of the table, that’s probably okay.
I took a shower just after a light dinner of toast and eggs, plus the last of the peaches I bought a few days ago. The juice was still sticky on my chin and fingers as I stood under the hot spray of water, rubbing in something that promises to be “ultra-moisturizing.” My skin feels soft, anyway, and the faint lavender scent lingers.
I wonder if Jonah will even notice. Probably not. If tonight goes according to plan, his mind should be on other things.
“Unlock your door at ten p.m. No earlier. I don’t want you to do anything unsafe.”
Protecting me as he plans to terrorize me. This is the paradox of Jonah Marks.
Nearly everything that could break during a struggle has been put away. Now what? Lights on or off? He’ll want to see me – and I want to see him – but the dark would sharpen the edge of my fear. Finally I turn down one of the floor lamps in the far corner of my living room, so only a faint shadow of amber-tinted light falls across my bedroom floor.
“I should warn you,” I said. “When I said I’ll fight, I meant it.”
Jonah’s low voice made me shudder. “Struggle all you want. It won’t matter.”
My hair is down. Wearing makeup would be sort of ridiculous, but if I went to bed like it really was any other night, I might have acne cream on my chin. Let’s not. I settle for clean-scrubbed skin and cherry Chapstick. My shoes have all found their places in my closet, instead of their usual line near the side of my bed. This tank top is a soft shade of apricot – seemed like a good idea on the clearance rack, but it doesn’t really match anything else I own. It’s been sleepwear for a while now. My nipples are just visible through the thin ribbed cotton.
Simple cotton panties. If they get torn, so be it.
I should probably shop at the Salvation Army for more clothes I wouldn’t mind being destroyed.
“If I haven’t come in by 10:30, something’s held me up. Lock your door and wait for me to call.”
Five until ten. On the back of my bedroom door, I’ve hung a series of hooks, which gives me a handy place to keep belts, scarves, accessories like that. I run my hands through the scarves, feeling the various fabrics against my skin – then close my fingers around pale pink cotton. This scarf is sturdy enough to stand up to some abuse. Yet thin enough to serve as a makeshift rope – if that’s something Jonah wants.
I’m about to find out.
“You remember the rules I gave you, back when we began? About what I didn’t want the first time?” I put my hand to my chest, as if my touch could slow my fluttering heart. “You can consider those suspended.”
Jonah growled, “Good.”
Lilah Pace is a pseudonym for a New York Times bestselling YA author. This is her first adult novel.