Vanilla On Top
by C.J EllissonPublished by: Entangled Publishing (Brazen) Publish Date: January 11, 2013 Genre: Contemporary Romance Series: Walk on the Wild Side #1 Source: E-Galley provided for review Rory’s Rating: From Goodreads:
Discover your inner bad girl, and set her free…
Heather Pierce is done being a wallflower, both personally and professionally. Desperate to live a different life for one night, she attends a speed dating event. Maybe here, anonymous unless she chooses otherwise, she can become someone new. When a man way out of her league sits across from her, Heather gathers her courage and takes charge of what she wants, secretly fearing he won’t desire the real person she’s desperate to hide.
Top acquisitions officer and international playboy Tony Carmine is about to close the biggest deal of his career. But then he meets Heather at a speed dating event…and discovers losing control may be exactly what he needs. Her blossoming sensuality occupies his every thought, consuming him with the need to possess the most intriguing lover he’s ever encountered—until he walks into the boardroom and sees Heather on the other side of the negotiating table.
Heather is tired of getting dumped (and dumped on) all the time. She just wants a man to like her for who she is, but she is almost certain that is impossible. Instead, she decides to take charge for one evening with a nearly anonymous man. She is successful in her venture, surprising even herself with her demands (and her satisfaction).
Tony, renowned ladies’ man and wealthy businessman, is in for the surprise of his life when he sits down across from Heather. Tony’s always in control, so he is shocked when he enjoys letting Heather take the lead. So much so, that he can’t get her out of his head. The two might be exactly what each other needs and wants, if they can overcome their issues – both personally and professionally.
Vanilla on Top by C. J. Ellison is a tough book to rate. If you asked me to rate the book on the first half alone, I would’ve only given the book maybe two stars. If you asked me to rate the second half of the book, I would give it four stars. Do I take the average and go with three?
Heather is an incredibly insecure woman. She doubts herself physically, emotionally, and professionally. She’s beautiful, but afraid to embrace it. She fears she is too needy and drives men away. She knows she’s hiding her boss’s alcohol problem, but she’s afraid to let anyone know she is doing his work – successfully. Basically, the girl is like the black hole of self-doubt. All of this changes one night at speed dating. She decides to embrace her inner “vanilla” dominatrix. It was actually one of the issues I had with the book. Yes, her epiphany was fun and sexy, but it just does not seem that plausible to decide one afternoon that you’re going to make a random man get down on his knees in a public courtyard (though it was definitely a fun scene to read). People rarely change their lifestyle in a span of 15 minutes.
Tony is a playboy and enjoys being in control of the situation. So it is incredibly surprising to him that he enjoys when an essentially random woman takes control – in public. He can’t seem to forget Heather and wants to get to know her for more than just sex. Then he discovers his biggest business deal yet will involve dismantling the company Heather has worked so hard to save. Does he choose his interest in business or in love?
Tony is initially quite the pushover. He followed Heather around like a bit of a lost puppy, which totally went against his description of controlling playboy. This was another one of the problems I had with the first half of the book. Luckily, this was corrected in the second half and Tony became much truer to his character (and much more likable). The same can be said of Heather. The first half of the novel she alternates dealing with her self-doubt to dealing with her “new” self. Once they figure out who they are and where they stand with each other, the plot (sex, love, ethics, family) really picks up and saves the novel – thus earning it a solid three star rating. If this one sounds like something you might like, don’t give up after reading the first half. It’s worth it to stick it out until the end.