I'm an avid reader and reviewer of romance books, especially m-m and erotica. You can find me on http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4669232-baba-marcus-tyler-tate-dan-ty-hunter
5 intriguing stars.*****Review completed May 6, 2013
To those readers who want to flag these gifs: Don't do it coz they've been approved by GR! I have an e-mail to prove it.
What does a hawt hunk and former Navy SEAL have in common with a small-boned Domme and former ballet dancer? Not much you'd think? Wrong.
"Each of us has this sense that we're somehow divinely touched, a chosen person, but the reality is we're no different from any other creature struggling to survive. We try to find moments of peace and contentment, ways to enjoy the life we've been given, because this life is the only sure promise we have. You've given her the very best option she can have, and she has you."
Buddy read with my lovely friends Kels and Glamdring. It was fun--thank you, ladies!
Joey W. Hill never fails to amaze me. Willing Sacrifice is another inspiring and beautifully written story and I really, really adore the way she projected BUD/S training and skills of trained Navy SEALs as well as ballet into the world of BDSM. Joey did her homework, for sure. Janet used Max's SEAL training to ease him into the Lifestyle. Whew. It was brilliantly done! In-depth characterization, great plot, wonderful dialogue, a nice dose of fascinating philosophy and enough panty-melting and very hot sex will cater to everybody's kinky heart. I can't tell you how much I love and adore Max! The reserved Southern gentleman is a dream come true. *swoon* By the way, Max's ass is prime. *licks lips*
"So take me to work, and promise me when I'm not around to do it, you'll guard that fine ass of yours."
"Sounds like my fine ass is yours, not mine. Mistress." He spoke the last word against her lips. The way it vibrated through her body told her, amazingly enough, he was going to prove he was more than capable of taking her once more before they headed to work.
In some ways, the man truly was a god. But in some very harrowing ways, he was all too mortal and fragile.
"On a different note," he glanced at her, "a SEAL would make a hell of a Dom or sub, one because they're ambidextrous in a sense--trained to lead and follow. Also because they're machines, the way they process details. As a sub, he'd notice everything about a Mistress; how she feels, what she wants. He's not anticipating, he's actually in the now, watching the details, while another part of his brain is planning how to handle it. When the guy in charge tells you what to do, you stop what you're doing and do it, so he's immediately responsive."
Max and Janet have interesting and painful backgrounds. And while Janet has dealt with her past and came to some kind of closure, she has a tough time opening up to Max. Understandably enough, she is a very private person who is always in control. It needs a lot of will and strength of character to survive what she experienced as a young woman and ballet dancer. Janet has my compassion and admiration. Due to her awful fate, Janet has never been involved with anyone outside a club.
"Damn it, just wait a second. That's not what I meant. Yeah, being a Domme is real for you, but sometimes it's not. I don't want to make you mad by saying that. But earlier tonight, being a Mistress was something you embraced for your own pleasure, your own reasons. I was real. Now you're using it as a wall, hiding that real part of you. One's your true face, the other's a mask. Tell me if I'm wrong, Janet. Tell me."
Max's demons are still very present. A former SEAL, he’s trained in OPSEC (operations security) and is working out religiously every day to keep himself in top-shape to chase the villain who is responsible for his personal misery. This side of Max, however, worries Janet immensely.
Janet has never contemplated a long-term relationship with a man who is not a sub, but she can't help but fall for Max. And she fell hard, so that she could feel it in her heart and soul. Max is theman who grounded her and sent her flying. He has it all. Max is quiet and self-possessed and he exudes confidence as all get out. Also, there is his sense of safety and he commands a strong and very sexy presence from head to toe. In any event, the man is difficult to resist.
He took the stairs slow. Halfway up, she touched his face, guided it toward hers for a kiss. He stopped there, holding her securely, even as he was caught by the power of her simple touch. With every gesture, it seemed as if she gave him everything. He'd had an impression that Dommes withheld a great deal, but inside the world she spun, nothing was further from the truth. She made things in his heart swell up, made him want to say unlikely things to her.
At first Max has a hard time to understand the psychological aspects of BDSM, and in this context I found the yin and yang metaphor very insightful and lovely. Janet really helped Max to get to know the ropes. I was glad that she never humiliated him--at least that's how I saw it. Both of them are very perceptive, and she knew his boundaries. It was a give and take on both counts, a beautiful dance.
"I trust you, Janet. I not only want to prove it, I want you to believe it." His gray eyes held hers. "It's like me going to the ballet class with you. I'm not a dancer, but you included me in it, because it was something important to you, a passion. You didn't leave me on the sidelines as a spectator either. You helped me understand the steps, let me lift you, even knowing I'm not going to be leaping around in tights. The way you brought me into it like that…something in me responded to your love of it. I want to have the experience of sharing this other part of you the same way. I trust you to know what I am and what I'm not."
As she considered that, his fingers curled on her leg. "It's a lot like foreplay," he added. "Women always need more of it than men, but we like what happens to you when we're doing it with you. That gives us an incentive to keep doing it."
Only to a man who understands the rewards of generosity of spirit, she thought.
SEALs use a diving term when they're choosing a familiar underwater object to orient themselves. It's called reset point.Janet is that point for Max, and while Max is not a sub he was willing to make a sacrifice. However, it was not only his sacrifice(s) to offer, because Janet made some as well. In any event, I really believe that Janet not only took, she gave as well. Am I the only one who thinks that Janet and Max have something in common with Marguerite and Tyler? Sure, the similarities are not huge but still. I just can’t help but compare these characters.
Let’s talk about Janet’s “sacrifices”. Granted, the cool woman is not easy to love, but I didn’t see her as selfish. And I didn’t think that she treated Max in a demeaning or humiliating manner.
Max pushed her out of her comfort zone. Until she fell for Max, the BDSM club The Progeny represented this comfort zone to her. She is in her forties and Max was her first relationship since she was in her twenties—I bet it must have been twenty years since her last relationship. What she went through at that time was incredibly traumatizing, and I understood why she couldn’t have a “normal” relationship with another man. Also, I get it why she became a Domme. She is holding the reins, she is in control of anything and everything. She can stay in her comfort zone and she can avoid being really intimate. Let’s face it, playing at The Progeny accommodated her cool aura. Nobody could hurt her. Marguerite, anyone? Though when she started to date Max her control slipped a little bit. He shook her up and her shutting him out was a simple defense mechanism. Before Janet told Max what happened to her, Matt was the only one who knew about her fate. Trusting Max about that part of her life was a gift.
There are scenes when Max dominated her. She put her arms above her head, made herself vulnerable, he told her to come for him. Sex from behind was never an option before she met Max because it was too domineering, she would have been too vulnerable. Janet never played in public with him and he didn’t need to crawl on the floor for her either. I say Max could have backed out anytime but as a former SEAL failure was not an option. Also, Janet really tried to make him comfortable (not only during the play at Progeny). Furthermore, there was no body hair waxing and no silly dress code. After all, he really liked his chest hair but so did Janet. Max didn’t call her Mistress 24/7, and I liked to see him teasing her. Hence, I totally enjoyed his smart-ass remarks or their texts. They didn’t have a severe Dom/sub relationship. I might be wrong but I think their future BDSM lifestyle will take place at The Progeny most of the time. I suppose it won’t be something that will consume their lives 24/7.
The camping trip was another sacrifice. Let me tell you that hell must freeze over before I go on a camping trip. Never. Ever. I freaking hate camping! I need a real bed and plumbing and please no dormitory either. Not even a community shower will do it for me. Nope. It’s testament that Janet isn’t the outdoorsy type when she was wearing sneakers to go on a hike. Who does that? Certainly not moi. Between the age of four and seventeen I did a lot of hiking (mostly in the mountains) and my parents made me wear hiking boots. Sneakers? *snort* My dad would have flogged my ass. Oh well, I’m kidding but one never knows…
And last but not least Janet fell in love with Max.
The only part of Willing Sacrifice that I found a little bit silly was(view spoiler) I remember a particular scene of Mirror of My Soul when Marguerite (view spoiler)
Max and Janet made me smile. I love Joey's sense of humor.
From the direction of her glance, the way it shifted upward at her own leisurely pace, he had a pretty good idea she'd been studying his ass. He was wearing slacks and the K&A dark embroidered placket shirt, no sports coat over it at the moment. When he lifted a brow, she shrugged.
"That's sexual harassment," he muttered.
Despite the distance, she offered a seductive smile and picked up her pen. "Report me," she mouthed, and gave him a wink.
He grinned all the way back to the parking deck.
"Sorry. Forgot I was dealing with a miracle--a woman happy with her body. Glad we share that opinion."
"I want you to go down on me under the water, Max." She fixed him with her dark gaze. "You get to surface three times. But before you need a fourth time, I expect you to make me come."
He rose from the edge of the pool, shed his jacket. "What kind of dive gear do you want me to wear?"
Her eyes sparkled, appreciating him. "Nothing more than the dolphins wear."
"If I was as well hung as a dolphin, I'd go naked as well."
"You didn't ask what happens if you don't do it in three times," she said.
"Don't need to. Failure's not an option. (…)
Glancing at the sidebar again, he picked up one of the bottled waters there and leaned across the hot tub to place it on the ledge next to her shoulder. "To hydrate yourself, Mistress. You're going to be losing bodily fluids."
F@ck, she was so in love with the f@cking idiot.
At her look, he lifted a shoulder. "You like keeping men on a short tether. I was just obliging."
She stared at him. Something eased in her stomach, and she shook her head. "Ass."
"Bitch." But the tone of his voice made it a warm caress. He tilted his head toward the split rail fence. "I think this is someone's long-ass driveway. Which means we're trespassing. Want to sit on the fence until they call the cops?"
"Yes. But I don't want to be on the fence with you. Metaphorically."
What I especially love about Willing Sacrifice—and Joey’s stories in general--is the fact that there is always a lot of relationship and character development outside a BSDM club. If I remember correctly there were only three club scenes included in this book--that’s definitely not too much.
Let me be straightforward. Even though I think it wasn’t hardcore BDSM, this book might not suit you if you don’t enjoy FemDom stories.
Overall I think Willing Sacrifice is a beautiful love story about healing, letting go of the past, making concessions and sacrifices. Max and Janet embraced their relationship and became what each other needed. It’s also a story about two people who have more in common than meets the eye at first glance.
"You know her vulnerabilities, her needs, Max. You know the way in. The question is to what lengths you'll go to get there, what sacrifices you'll make. That's what it's always about. The willing sacrifices we make for those we love."
What Max did for Janet is HUGE, for sure. It was against his alpha nature but he did it out of love—a willing sacrifice. Ultimately they surrendered to one another. Max is hers, but Janet was also his.
I'm yours…but I can do this to you, because you're also mine…
That was the message, and it overwhelmed her. With him, she accepted it, didn't resist either side of that coin, and relished both.
A SEAL is always trying to get home. Home is the whole point of it. And Max finally came home. To Janet.
Don't ask, show me. Make me feel how badly you want me. Don't just melt the ice. Turn me into a f@cking tropical ocean.
Willing Sacrifice contains explicit sex, voyeurism and BDSM elements, i.e. light bondage, toys, spanking, and a blindfold.