The Story of Rachel: K.D. Mclean

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Rachel Collins is praying. And not for world peace. Thirty six years old and single, her prayer is self-centered. "Kill me now, Lord," she pleads during her latest attempt to meet Mr. Right via the internet.

She’s not hoping for a billionaire or even a millionaire, just a guy who can strike a spark to her tinder! Is she asking too much? She's a great gal! Just ask her parents! She might be a bit naive about some things, but capable enough- she's a correspondent for a major magazine, after all. So there!

On assignment she meets Michael, 42 years old, also a writer. The attraction is immediate and intense. Rachel, who sees vanilla as only a baking ingredient, enchants him. Michael can whip up some pretty hot delights himself, outside of the kitchen. He introduces a curious Rachel to powerful experiences of sensuality. Her Ladylike sense of propriety engages in a running battle with her now sparked Tinderbox desires.

Michael is an excellent cook and knows how to turn up the heat. Sampling the flavors offered, Rachel experiences humorous hiccups. On a date, Michael ramps up the risqué, resulting in a memorable skirt swirling salsa dance. Rachel's "What the hell, I ain't getting any younger" attitude spurs Michael to take her to the exclusive, adults only club Pandora's. Here, Rachel witnesses even more variations of earthly delights, and begins a lifelong friendship with another guest.

Michael is a realist, convinced that within 90 days, his affair with Rachel will be but another painful memory of loss. He is neither willing nor able to yell 'Geronimo' and fall for her. He can't, and that's that.

Maybe he should just get a damn dog.

This modern, urban, grown up love story is a recipe –three cups romance and one cup of slapdash humor. Blend in spices of eroticism, and beat until smooth.

Tammy's Rating & Review: 3 out of 5 Stars

"You're perfect, Rachel! You're so vanilla, it's gonna come through in the writing. I'll bet you were picked because your reaction will be like most of our readerships."

Rachel is another book I have read this week and had to sit on and stew over for a few days before I could sit down and write my review. There were some great things about this book, and some things that bothered me personally as a reader. The issues that bothered me had nothing to do with K.D.'s writing, but more on a personal level. A three star rating from me certainly does not mean do not read or try. It just means there was something that irked me. 

One of the things I loved AND hated about Rachel and Michael were their inner monologues. I adored hearing their inner thoughts, but I have this problem, when an author uses "unusual" nicknames to describe the male/female body parts, it takes me out of the story and annoys me to no end. It literally will pull my attention away from what I am reading and cause me to focus only on that.  Each time I read about Rachel's Tinderbox, her Ladylike, or even Michael's Caveman, I got frustrated and started to lose interest. These types of inner monologues just never work for me. Other than that, I really enjoyed Rachel and Michael and would have rated this book at least a four. 

I think Rachel's story is a great beginner’s story for someone who is new to the genre and wants to learn more about the inner workings of a BDSM relationship. I loved how she used a character that was naive or "vanilla" and walked us through Rachel's curiosity and lessons while mixing in some real life drama. 

"The Dominant has an obligation to the Submissive. He must be trustworthy and must devote all of his attention to the needs and yearnings of his submissive.  He knows she wants to be controlled, possibly even whipped, as a way to experience increased sexual pleasure. Sounds strange, yes, but it has to do with how pleasure and pain contrast on a sensation basis. Dom surrenders his own sexual satisfaction in his devotion and care to his submissive. He gives. She takes. She gives of herself."

I was captivated by club Pandora. I love stories that involve naughty sex clubs they just seem so forbidden. The worlds built around these clubs are so enticing and risqué. I really wish we had gotten to see more of Pandora, but after speaking with K.D. I totally understood why we did not. K.D. wanted the focus on the story to be more about what BDSM relationships entail and not so much the sexual scenes. 

Overall I liked the story and thought it flowed well, once I got past the "unusual nicknamed" monologue.  I enjoyed the second half of the book a bit more than the first. Rachel was a great heroine; she had backbone, which I loved. Michael, he was an on and off affair for me. One minute I loved him and the next I just wanted to slap some sense into him. Another thing I enjoyed was their ages; it was nice reading a book from the perspective of adults in their late 30's early 40's. I also adored the secondary characters, especially Annik.

Thank you K.D. Mclean for the opportunity and ARC to review The Story of Rachel for an honest opinion.


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