Dare to Surrender

Dare to Surrender - Lilli Feisty Joy Montgomery is a well educated and traveled Art History major working as an art dealer for a struggling gallery in San Francisco. Joy is under the gun because her boss has issued an ultimatum that if she doesn't bring in artist "Ash Hunter's" work for a show she may well be out of work. I really enjoyed this heroine, she is referred to as a "mess" by her friends because of the numerous "predicaments" she gets into and her best friend "Erica" feels Joy requires someone to look after her. In reality Joy is eccentric, brilliant and quite pretty with an innate ability for recognizing exceptional art talent. She does have major body image issues and is a disorganized scatterbrain. Joy also has a history of poor choices when it comes to the men in her life.

Ash Hunter is a war veteran, with a background as a Navy SEAL. After his discharge from the forces, Ash worked doing private Intel so he could provide for his mother and sister. He lives with the burden of guilt and responsibility for his family who have required financial and emotional support in the aftermath of a violent act perpetrated against his sister while he was overseas. Ash is described as a "bad boy" in the synopsis, which I suppose is true in some respects, but I also found him to be a very honorable and decent human being. He is an artist, whose speciality is provocative "bondage photography". Ash likes women bound not only for inspiration in his artistic pursuits but also during dominant sexual encounters. He is organized, fastidious, and, darn hot.

Joy approaches Ash at a museum fundraiser regarding doing a show of his art photography but he refuses as he has recently put away his camera. He does show Joy some of his work that is stored away at the museum. There is an instant intense attraction and chemistry between these two, and while the strength of their desire unnerves them both, it also excites, Ash wastes no time in moving in for a little nookie, even though Joy isn't his "usual type". Joy becomes completely enamored with a piece of his sculpture and when Ash gets called back to the fundraiser, she impulsively, in a fit of kleptomania lifts the piece from his collection and leaves. This sets the stage for major conflict in the story, for a variety of reasons.

I was a little concerned because the initial relationship between Joy and Ash encompasses a series of very intense, erotic booty calls, and I began to wonder if the author was going weave the "romance" in the narrative. Ms. Feisty did slowly develop their relationship and penned a lovely heartwarming HEA for these two unlikely lovers giving more depth to the characters in the process. This is an erotic BDSM themed novel but there is also a theme of "opposites attract" which Ms. Feisty wrote into the story using considerable humor.

The main plot of this novel certainly involves Joy and Ash, however Ms. Feisty also wrote a romantic subplot involving Joy's prickly best friend "Erica" and "Blaine Prescott" that also kept me turning the pages. In addition, there are a number of well developed supporting characters that each have an integral role in advancing the plot of the story.