This week Morgan and Elisa crack open the steamy debut novel from Katie Porter — writing duo Carrie Lofty and Lorelei Brown — Double Down. The story kicks off their Vegas Topguns series, which will feature sexy military characters with special kinks in each book. Double Down treats us to the story of an Air Force pilot with a fetish for roleplaying that he just can’t seem to wrap his head around and a sultry young woman who is all too eager to satisfy his every desire.
Elisa: Here’s a fun fact: I’ve never read an erotic romance with a focus on roleplaying before Double Down.
Morgan: With such a spotlight on BDSM erotic romance in the wake of the 50 Shades phenom, it’s a refreshing change to read about a different area of erotic romance. (Especially one without all the angst!)
Elisa: I thought the roleplaying might just be the heroine dressing up in a plaid skirt and pigtails and calling it a day, but Cassandra and Ryan go all out.
Morgan: But before we get into Cassie and Ryan’s interesting bedroom antics, let’s back up a little ...
Elisa: Right, Double Down kicks off Katie Porter’s — the name for writing duo Carrie Lofty and Lorelei Brown — new Vegas Topguns series.
Morgan: Set in (surprise!) Las Vegas, the story starts off when Air Force fighter pilot Ryan Haverty lays eyes on Cassandra Whitman while he’s dining at the restaurant where she works as a waitress.
Elisa: Well, he doesn’t exactly lay his eyes on her, per se, more like her sexy seamed stockings!
Morgan: Oh yes, right off the bat we learn that Ryan has a thing for lingerie and costumes in a big way. And Cassandra notices, too.
Elisa: Which is why, after some eyelash batting, she enlists his help in a ploy to make her philandering ex-boyfriend jealous. (And, let’s be honest, that plan comes with a pretty fantastic fringe benefit: a kiss from the hunky Ryan.)
Morgan: They share an out-of-this-world kiss. Sparks fly. Angels weep ....
Elisa: And Cassie suggests that they spend some time together after her shift, with a spur-of-the-moment plan to bring Ryan to an adult novelty shop.
Morgan: Let’s pause for just one moment, because it’s worth noting that this is not Cassie’s normal MO. In fact, she is a pretty vanilla girl (or so she thinks), but there is just something about the sexy Ryan that makes her daring.
Elisa: No one is more surprised than Cassie herself when, at the sex shop, she pulls Ryan into a dressing room so he can “help” her try on a naughty goth girl outfit she picked out.
Morgan: Not that Ryan complains!
Elisa: He is so turned on by the flirty, funny Cassie in a teeny tiny costume, Ryan isn’t doing much of anything at all except trying to think of ways to get the dressed up Cassie undressed as soon as possible.
Morgan: Luckily, he’s not alone in that desire and let’s just say … a good time is had by all.
Elisa: However, even with some lightening-fast sexy time thrown into the action, Ryan is still a gentleman. He reassures Cassie that he is only interested in continuing their play if she feels comfortable. He completely lets her call the shots.
Morgan: This is just the right thing to say to Cassie who is feeling a bit unlike herself because she never gets intimate with strangers, but Ryan is just such a good guy that she can’t seem to say no.
Oh, he had a great smile. She loved guys who smiled. Tall, built, interested guys who smiled were like big-time jackpots. You heard about them, but you never imagined seeing one in person.
Elisa: So they continue to indulge in each other all weekend long.
Morgan: And their “play” gets tres decadent when they bring in a French maid’s uniform.
Elisa: I want to take a minute to give some literal and figurative props to Cassie, who is able to keep it together in the outfit. Even when she starts to slip out of character as she becomes more aroused, she still manages to hold onto a fancy French accent.
Morgan: This is impressive, especially because Ryan is all decked out in his Air Force uniform.
Elisa: I have to say Porter really hit the nail on the head with this scenario, because while I love a guy in a uniform, there’s something special about a guy in his Air Force duds.
Morgan: Too many late night showings of Top Gun perhaps?
Elisa: Or maybe it’s because a guy in his Air Force get-up, especially if he’s rocking some aviators ... somebody get a me a glass of cold water!
Morgan: And you aren’t the only woman whose engine runs hot at the thought; Cassie can’t get over all the sizzling fun that Ryan brings to the table.
Elisa: It certainly doesn’t hurt that Ryan puts off some serious all-American boy vibes with his good looks and charm.
Morgan: But he’s got a deep secret.
Elisa: Something that he won’t tell just anyone … he has secret roleplaying fantasies.
Morgan: Which really doesn’t shock Cassie at all, since she’s pretty much figured it out herself.
Elisa: And it’s something that she is totally on board with — which means that for the first time Ryan has a smart, fun, intelligent partner who not only indulges in his “no-no” fantasies, but also initiates them!
“What do you think? Naughty nurse? You could be the doctor who gave me my injection.”
“That might be the worst joke I’ve ever heard you make.”
Morgan: I’m so glad you mentioned that scene, it’s such a cute moment. This story is chock-full of silly banter and laughter because Ryan and Cassandra have so much fun together.
Elisa: They even roleplay in public, taking their costumes to the streets!
Morgan: Where Cassie is kicked out of a casino by security when she’s mistaken for a call girl while “propositioning” Ryan.
Elisa: But even while they are having weeks of fun together, it’s a case of the “too perfects” — Ryan is convinced that the amazing time he is having with Cassie, his dream girl, can’t last.
Morgan: He’s got a lot of guilt and shame about their roleplaying.
Elisa: So, after each of the couple’s exploits, Ryan becomes quiet and withdraws emotionally.
Morgan: And in his mind, he’s got good reason to be ashamed of his costume fetish. After all, Ryan’s ex-fiancé dumped him when she found out about what made his heart race.
Elisa: Add to this Ryan’s childhood living in poverty, and he is convinced that his penchant for dress up is dirty (and not in a good way).
Morgan: Well he’s a guy who has made a career out of being the person in control, especially as he’s a pilot.
Elisa: But roleplaying takes away that control.
Morgan: And it does so in two ways: first it takes him outside of his own persona. He literally gets to be someone else for a little while.
Elisa: And second, in a way that was even more interesting to me, because Ryan’s desire to roleplay while having, let’s call it … “adult party time,” takes him over — and that’s not a sensation that he feels comfortable with.
Morgan: So, despite the fact that Cassie is a very open-minded person, Ryan is convinced that he needs to ignore his own needs so that he doesn’t scare her off.
Elisa: To that end, he suppresses his urges to roleplay because he thinks it’s degrading to Cassie. When they are looking at a website to buy a costume, Ryan feels “... positively high on deviant possibilities — all of which would mean turning Cassandra into someone else.”
Morgan: What he doesn’t realize (because he doesn’t ask) is that Cassie likes being able to turn into someone else.
He hadn’t brought home another kinky outfit for her to wear. She wouldn’t have minded if he did, and in fact the roleplaying had been sort of ... liberating.
Elisa: But it’s not long before Ryan’s issues spill over onto Cassie. The during is just so much fun, but the after, when he gets quiet and withdrawn, is really tough for her.
Morgan: Ultimately, Ryan’s post-play behavior makes Cassie doubt herself — and them.
She swallowed a sinking feeling. What if she’d done a terrible thing by indulging, even encouraging his roleplaying? What if that set them up for disappointment? After all she hadn’t been, until very recently, the kind of daredevil who had sex in public and donned frilly costumes. She was a waitress without the slightest speck of ambition, one who spent her free time studying art books and browsing the Internet for gallery jobs she never applied for. He’d figure that out eventually, and that would be the end of them.
Elisa: So they both have their issues and insecurities, which really resonated with me as a reader, because as much as we all might not want to care what others think, let’s face it … we do.
Morgan: Thankfully, Cassie is not done with Ryan yet. She is determined to get past the issues and celebrate their connection in all its kinky glory.
They didn’t need to sacrifice amazing on the altar of safe. Her fighter pilot deserved better, and so did the woman who wanted to be his.
Elisa: But will she be able to convince Ryan?
Morgan: Readers will just have to pick up the book to see for themselves!
Double Down, book 1 in Katie Porter’s Vegas Topguns series is for sale online now. And while you’re shopping for new reads, make sure to check out next week’s Dish book, Hell On Wheels by Julie Ann Walker, the author’s romantic suspense debut that RT’s Shawna and Morgan will be devouring!