Originally posted on Around the World in 80 Books
4 out of 5 stars
It’s an acquired taste…he just has to acquire it.
Elise knows what she wants in the bedroom, and she makes sure she gets it. Her thirst for domination has long been quenched by a stable of men only too happy to bow down before her.
But sexual satisfaction isn’t the same as love, and she’s been burned in the past by giving her heart too freely.
Niall is handsome, smart, successful and sweet—sweet as vanilla. When they meet, their romantic connection is electric, even though he’s way on the opposite end of the kink spectrum. Despite how she fights it, Elise falls for him—but how can a relationship work when both lovers want to be on top?
It’s been way too long since I’ve read a Megan Hart novel, and I’ve missed her. Imagine my excitement when I won a copy of Vanilla from the author herself!
— Tqwana Brown (@TqwanaBrown) March 4, 2015
It’s fitting that a book that features an extended cameo by fan-favorite Alex Kennedy (and Olivia! His wife!) would star a heroine who refuses to allow her sexuality to be defined by anyone’s rigid standards. Megan Hart’s characters are never just one thing or another, because real people are never one thing or another. Yes, Elise is a Dominant, but it doesn’t mean whips, chains, and handcuffs all the time for her. What makes her so great is that beneath the exterior, she’s still vulnerable, coping both with a four-year-old heartbreak and learning to be with someone as traditional as Niall, without giving up who she is. And even her current sub, Esteban, manages to touch something inside her that vanilla people wouldn’t immediately think ‘normal’ for a Domme.
Vanilla, as with every Megan Hart book I’ve read, delivers on the sexy as you would expect from an erotic romance, but also packs serious emotion. I’d have liked more time with Niall and Elise as a couple, but I also understand that this is her story. I loved seeing her growth and healing, apart from Esteban and Niall, seeing her live an everyday existence. Bonding with her nephew. Joking around with Alex.
I also loved those glimpses of characters from other novels; not just Alex and Olivia, but Sarah, Jack, Tesla, and even Scott.
It gives me hope that we’ll see Elise and Niall again soon.
P.S. If you haven’t read Tempted and Naked (and Dirty and Stranger and Broken, and…), do yourself a favor and get on that!