I received a print copy in exchange for an honest review from Berkley.
Seriously. Sensitive content readers beware.
I am not kidding. Extreme content- sensitive readers PLEASE be aware. I cannot stress that enough.
Please be responsible about the content you decide to take on in the books you read.
Asking For It is a difficult book for me to review an even harder one for me to rate. I am not sure if its five, four or three stars or which one is more appropriate. I'd give it five stars if I simply rated on story, four if I rated for how it was handled and three for the cringe worthy moments. In the end I decided on four.
There was stuff I liked, there was stuff I didn't. There was stuff I agreed with, and there was stuff that I didn't agree with.
I felt that the author handled the topic of rape with various aspects of respect and with an open mind. I felt that if an actual rape hadn't taken place it would have just been a simple case of extreme fetish play. However because there was an actual rape it causes some tension in the fact that the fantasy play is taking place.
The author attempts to create a "safe zone" for the characters so that certain lines aren't over crossed and that readers aren't overwhelmed by the entire situation. Which I had to give props for. Even BDSM books have their safe words so that boundaries aren't lost.
If I was to dissect the rape and fetish content all together the author has written a strong story of two damaged people finding one another and learning to reach beyond their personal reservations to embrace opening up what they usually keep in their hearts alone. There's history and family drama galore and that makes for a strong story.
There isn't much romance although the characters do begin to warm up to one another toward the end of the story. Its a sex based relationship Viv and Jonah agree to take part of together. So that they can take part of their fetish together on a level that they can both agree on and be comfortable with together.
Keep in mind they are two mature adults that know exactly what they're getting into, exactly what their boundaries are, and exactly what the other wants from them. Very base and very simple.
However there is the complex issue of Viv's history and eventually Jonahs history (which I assume comes into play in the next book)
Readers get a few interesting interactions between Viv and her therapist as she struggles to cope with her confusion surrounding her fetish and her past.
I have mixed feelings about it all, I'm not sure if I enjoyed the story because for the first time in a long time it brought out some squeamish moments for me which is difficult because I don't tend to be a sensitive content reader but because the struggle Viv dealt with because of her family connected to me personally.
There's so much I connected to personally that brought out both fears, tears and arousal that I struggled to interpret and work through as I read the book. Strangely was oddly therapeutic in a small way during a few parts.
I thought the story was written well and I liked many of the characters and friendships, I am curious to read the next book to see where the author takes it. I have to give the author credit for being brave enough to take Asking For It where she went with it and not being afraid to journey into the land of giant question marks.