Posted in Books

Personal Geography (The Compass #1) by Tamsen Parker

First I’ve heard of Tamsen Parker was when I read the Winter Rain anthology (also last year’s first installment – Summer Rain). BTW, if you haven’t yet, get it and enjoy it – all profits go to RAINN.

I don’t read many BDSM novels. While I don’t live the lifestyle, I consider myself a logical person and many authors just write it depraved and psychologically flawed – it just doesn’t make sense. So I’m very selective in my BDSM reading and it’s pretty much limited to Tiffany Reisz, Sophie Morgan and a couple more authors (and I’m stretching it).

Anyhoo, her contribution to Winter Rain was fantastic, with got me very eager to read her debut novel, Personal Geography. And oh, boy…

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Powerhouse consultant India Burke is notorious for her razor-sharp mind, her incisive tongue, and for always being in control. But during her “lost weekends”—out-of-town, one-and-done, anonymous rendezvous solely for the purpose of kinky sex—she craves a submissive role.

Cris Ardmore, India’s latest tryst, is a Dominant who calls an isolated Hawaiian paradise home. India’s expecting forty-eight hours of contractually defined sex, but instead of serving as just another BDSM Band-Aid, Cris wants to know the real India Burke. Despite her aversion to anything approaching intimacy, India is hooked by their incredible sexual chemistry.

With tension ratcheting up in her professional life, India needs the release Cris offers more than ever, but her repeated visits come with their own risks. No matter how strong their attraction, India is determined to maintain her boundaries in order to keep her life whole after her first love blew it apart. She must choose between taking a chance and handing Cris the road map to her heart or locking down her borders before he does any more damage.

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Not going into the plot in this review. I’ll spoil it for you guys if I did.

India Burke is one strong, feisty, very broken woman. She also knows her limits exactly and what she wants. I think I admired her from the very beginning of the book. Her character is very precise and meticulously crafted, and as such, her arc is very defined, in this book, her shell is just starting to crack. As a submissive in desperate need of release, she is reluctant to tie herself to one Dom and will traipse all over to unwind from a very stressful job.

Crispin Ardmore (Gah, that name) is special. He’s a Dom fresh out of a long relationship and is looking for a rebound. Sounds like a fairytale beginning, right? Apart from being gorgeous, he’s also very attentive and gentle. Falling for India is no big hardship, but getting her to open up is proving to be a challenge.

What I loved about their relationship is the gradual give and take, Cris slowly chipping India’s wall, pushing her.

I know people who live this lifestyle always say the submissive holds all the power, and I can’t think of a better example to prove that than India and Crispin’s relationship. It’s clear Tamsen Parker thought hard about every word in this novel.

There’s a perfect amount of play, emotion, angst and teasing in Personal Geography and while the ending left me with my mouth open ready to scream at the author, I can’t not love it and hold my breath for the next installment. Oh, I didn’t mention it’s part of a series (trilogy)?

And I have to give a little shoutout to Ray – a phenomenal supporting character that’s just too awesome for words. What a great friend to India ❤

Get on this rollercoaster of emotions and enjoy a great story, packed with surprising plot twists and some incredibly hot moments.

My rating: 5

* My thanks to Tamsen Parker and NetGalley for this review copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.

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Tamsen Parker is a stay-at-home mom by day, erotic romance writer by naptime. She lives with her family outside of Boston, where she tweets too much, sleeps too little and is always in the middle of a book. Aside from good food, sweet rieslings and gin cocktails, she has a fondness for monograms and subway maps. She should really start drinking coffee.

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I read, review, flail and swoon.

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