Hold 'Em

Hold 'Em - Katie Porter The book synopsis offers an excellent overview so I’m not going to reiterate what’s already outlined regarding the plot or relationship dynamic penned in this delectable story. I wasn’t too sure about Leah and her hard-nosed living on the edge, ball busting attitude. However, the author(s) adeptly reveal Captain Leah Girardi’s inner conflicts and she impressed me as a remarkable, ambitious woman who aggressively fought and clawed her way in the man’s world of fighter pilots to achieve success and acceptance. Leah is a brilliant and gifted pilot but as her good friend Jon so aptly puts it:

“She’s a chick, but she’s a throttle jockey like the rest of us. So what does she like? Things that go fast. Things that are dangerous and stupid.”

Yep, that’s Leah, she craves the dangerous and stupid including over indulgence in alcohol, but she has cleaned-up her act because she wants a promotion and professional acceptance. Then along comes her old lover Michael who presents a whole new world of enticing danger and that scares Leah because she is drawn to him and the sexual world he offers like a bird is to flight.

Mike is Hot. (Note the capital H.) And, I will add a Damn, as in Hot-Damn. This guy is a manly-man who drives an amazing BMW motorcycle, is über laid back, comfortable in his own skin. Michael embraces the fact he is a sexual submissive, retaining his masculinity he merges his private proclivities and public persona seamlessly which creates a seductive hero. This guy loves to be aggressively dominated by a trustworthy, experienced femdom who knows his limits and can push him to the edge. He’s learned to keep his sexual preferences very private, therefore it is assumed by his flyboy colleagues that his call sign “Strap Happy” depicts his enjoyment of sexual dominance, not submission.

Mike and his former madam have parted ways but he continues to wear the symbol of belonging she gave him. When he sees Leah again he senses she may be a woman who would be tempted and enjoy an alternative sexual relationship. Essentially, Mike sees Leah as the perfect femdom and he isn’t wrong.

“So why haven’t you tried to kiss me yet?”

Mike pinched his fingers around the lip of the countertop.

“Because you haven’t told me I could.

The hauteur was gone. So was any obvious frustration. She narrowed her eyes, using her gaze as a pickax to dig into his brain. He opened up to her inspection. He had nothing to hide. Not anymore.

Hold Em’ © Katie Porter

Leah is a fledgling regarding D/s but once Mike offers her the freedom to experiment with certain provisos she becomes immersed in her role, she loves the power and trust this amazing man provides. There are a number of sexually explicit scenes, showing Leah in a dominant role. She enjoys pushing Mike to the limit both through pleasure and pain and he thrives on the rush of endorphins that accompanies the stimulus. Leah has worked hard to clean-up party girl image and prove she has what it takes to make Major. She is terrified their relationship will become known at work and damage her career. So as their emotional connection intensifies, dark clouds move in. Leah has personal vulnerabilities and insecurities that result in painful conflicts. I was moved to tears on more then one occasion, particularly during the riveting climax and conclusion of Hold Em’.

I have to say, initially, I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy this book as much as Inside Bet, particularly because of Mike’s professional chauvinism and Leah’s reckless behavior. However, Katie Porter proved me wrong, the authors show personal growth in Leah and Mike as their special intimacy evolves and love evolves. Hold Em’ is a fast-paced, seductive page-turner, with laugh-out-loud dialogue spiced-up with guy dirty talk. The Vegas Top Gun series will be at the top of my list of favorites for 2012.