Bradley’s series starter has a fantastic premise: a hero and heroine who established their interests in kink independently reunite to try and figure out if they can mend a broken relationship. Unfortunately, the execution falters. Mick’s problems with intimacy feel petty, making him come across as a bit of a baby. The author clearly knows the ropes when it comes to BDSM, and the sex scenes — vanilla, kinky and solo —are great, but the friction between the two just feels forced.
After studying with some of the top chefs in the world, pastry chef Allie LeClair has returned home to New Orleans to help out at her family’s bakery. But her homecoming isn’t so sweet when she finds out her high school crush, security specialist and rope bondage enthusiast Mick Reid, shares her secret interest in BDSM. Her solution for overcoming any potential awkwardness in the local kink community? The two must engage in a play session. But old feelings die hard, and soon the couple must rehash the old demons that caused them to part years ago. Will frigid Mick warm up to Allie, or will he continue to see her as the same innocent teenage girl from his past? (BERKLEY, Apr., 336 pp., $15.00)