Who else is on a BDSM kick? I know I can’t be the only one *G*. If you’re whetting your appetite and just starting to read some BDSM, Hostile Takeover by Joey Hill may or may not be a good one for you to read. It’s not overly heavy on the S&M portion, though there is at least one scene where the sub takes it too far with the disobedience. But, the D/s relationship featured isn’t just a sexual D/s relationship. This goes to the master/slave arena. It is wanted by both partners but if you’re not comfortable with that concept then you may want to steer clear. If that doesn’t bother you because you know it is wanted and consented to by both parties and see it as the loving and affectionate relationship that it is for the parties involved, then yeah..have at it!
Ben is the last unattached member of the five-man executive team of K&A Associates. The other four, all Masters, have found the submissive of their dreams. That’s fine. The sharp-edged lawyer knows he’s the most hardcore of all of them, with extreme tastes as a Master he satisfies physically through experienced club submissives. He doesn’t really need anything more than that.
Marcie has loved Ben since she was sixteen. He’s never behaved as anything more than a protective big brother, a family friend. But now she’s twenty three and starting her career as a corporate investigator. She may be a blood-and-bone deep submissive, but she won’t hesitate to use her aggressive talents to prove she’s meant to be his. With a Master as tough as Ben, she’ll have to take whatever measures are needed—even if her deepest desire isn’t a hostile takeover of his heart, but an unconditional surrender to it.
Technically, I believe Hostile Takeover is a re-release for Ms. Hill. It’s also book 5 of a series. However, I have read not the previous 4 novels and did not feel lost in the least. Yes, you see the characters from the prior novels and their relationships to a certain extent, as they all play important roles in Hostile Takeover and help Ben and Marcie along in the journey they have to take in order to actually get their HEA. But I don’t think you’ll feel like you’ve missed any important backstory. Am I intrigued to go back and read the other stories? Yep. It’s just a matter of finding the time, but the focus of Hostile Takeover is on the journey Ben and Marcie take.
Man oh man, Ben broke my heart over and over and I found myself crying at several different parts during Hostile Takeover. Ben didn’t have anything resembling a normal or happy childhood. He was abandoned by his parents, bounced between foster homes…basically grew up on his own on the streets. He was “rescued”, overcame his past, and now is a hugely successful man. However, those formative years just didn’t disappear. You know he has scars, both emotional and physical. He has to deal with those before he can get that HEA. Make sure you have the tissues handy, you’ll need ’em. You’ll also want to smack the crap out of him. The scars don’t excuse all behavior and he does some things that go beyond “asshole” classification. Though, you aren’t surprised by the actions.
Marcie was a bit too aggressive and pushy throughout the first half of Hostile Takeover and at times even in the last half. I get it, Ben is the guy she wanted since she was a 16 year old girl. I get the frustration that everyone, including Ben, thought it was a crush she’d outgrow. So when she got the chance to really pursue him as a woman, it was go big or go home time. I understand the self-inflicted pressure and the risk you have to take. But, there’s pushy and then there’s pushy. For me, she kind of fell into that latter category at times. She’s supposed to be a sub who isn’t just a sub in the bedroom. She wants Ben to be her Master…her Dom 24/7. Yet, she is constantly challenging and testing. Topping from the bottom. Too much. I think most subs try and top from the bottom every now and again. It’s part of the thrill…what will the punishment be? The pleasure both parties get from that punishment. But Marcie kind of took it too far. Also, she tried too hard at times to attempt to prove to Ben that she could be a good slave to him…that she was the slave for him. As I mentioned, there’s one incident where she took her disobedience, in effort to prove things to him, too far and really hurt herself (nothing life threatening…but still). As much as I think she felt she was beating herself into a brick wall, I felt like beating my head onto a brick wall because of her behavior at times. Though, I did like her well enough. She really was good for Ben and I connected with him and wanted him to have this happiness he was trying desperately to run from.
Also, Hostile Takeover is set in NOLA, and having just returned from there, while I was reading it, it made me crave those fabulous Cafe Beignet beignets even more! It was pretty cool, too, to be reading scenes where they are talking about various streets and places and being able to recognize them and having all the fun memories come to mind. :D
If you’re a BDSM fan and don’t have any issues with a master/slave relationship between a D/s, then you’ll enjoy Hostile Takeover. If you’re unsure about your feelings, then go ahead, give Hostile Takeover a try. The story is more about the people finding happiness and the journey to get there. Just be aware that the result each party wants for their HEA is that master/slave type of relationship, so those waters have to be explored to ensure the parties are meant for one another.
Behind the Mask
Controlled Response (as part of the Unlaced anthology)
Honor Bound (as part of the Laced with Desire antholgoy)