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Monday, June 26, 2017

ARC Review: At His Mercy by Shelly Bell

I like Bell as an author. I've read one or two of her books before and she knows how to do erotic romance right. Despite my history with this author, when I first started this book, I wasn't sure I was going to like it. There is a dramatic age difference between Isabella and Tristan (9 years) and there is a lot of background information and super kinky sex packed into like the first 20% of the book. I just wasn't sure if I was feeling the connection between the main characters when it seemed to come from absolutely nowhere. But I have to say, perseverance paid off because things really did make more sense later in the book and I found myself really liking this couple.

Isabella is 19 when she meets Tristan at a "play party." It's Isabella's first time experimenting with the BDSM lifestyle but it's something she's really drawn too. Isabella, although young, was in a really bad situation with her high school ex. Long story short, he was crazy and tried to kill her. Isabella sees a D/s relationship as a way to take back power over her life even though she is the submissive. Tristan has grown bored with parties and the life when he meets Isabella. Tristan was a bright star who got involved with a toxic woman early on. He was married and wealthy and is now divorced and decidedly not wealthy. His ex continues to harass him because she's spent up all of his money. Tristan takes a job as a college professor to bridge his financial gap. Right before leaving for the job he is intrigued by the young sort of innocent red head who shows up at a play party.

On their very first night together Isabella and Tristan connect to each other in a way that neither of them ever expected. Both leave the night wanting more but committing themselves to look for that in the future. So you can imagine both of their shock when they run into each other 12 hours away from their original meeting spot at a University where Isabella is a freshman in Tristan's business class. Not only is Isabella in the class but she is supposed to be Tristan's teaching assistant. And to me, this is where things really get interesting. 

From this point forward, I really started to like Isabella and Tristan. Isabella is a very old 19. Everything she has been through has caused her to grow up. She is completely grounded, assertive and has a life plan she is determined to stick to. Isabella wound up being one of my favorite depictions of a submissive. Tristan also turns out to be a strong character who is my favorite flavor of bossy/big D/protective- basically everything I love in my book boyfriends. The whole time you are reading this book, you know the past is lurking around the corner for both of these characters and that adds suspense to the plot line. In the end this is a really sexy, entertaining novel that I highly recommend for all you erotic romance lovers.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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