Dangerously Bound by Eden Bradley
Allie was the good girl who gave her virginity to her high school sweetheart Mick when they met again in their twenties. She had no regrets with this but Mick never giving himself any slack felt like he took advantage of her and wanted to protect her from his “dark side”. Mick had been interested in kink, bondage, sadism and masochism since he was a teenager – fearful of what that meant he turned the pain inward and sought out the release of pleasure in pain through fighting.
Hurt from Mick turning away from her after they had sex, Allie spent the next decade burying herself in work and yes, exploring her inner submissive/masochist at BDSM clubs around the world. When she returns to New Orleans she decides that in order to have a chance they are going to have to play – which Mick initially rejects but does end up agreeing. Playing with others is nothing like playing with someone whom you have loved for years, however, and they both hit sub/dom space very quickly. Allie runs fearing she has hurt him by forcing the issue of their playing and being together.
Eden Bradley does a great job of building characters you care about – want to fight for. There are points in this book when, as a reader, you want to smack Mick up the side of the head for putting Allie through all the pain he has through the years and for not realizing how very much their love is reciprocal. The same is true for Allie – at points through the novel you want to grab her, give her a hug and tell her that no man is worth constantly risking your heart when he shows to real sign of returning that affection. I would recommend this book and will have to look for more by this author.