Up in the Air by R. K. Lilley
This series is a serial, meaning you must read all three books in order to finish the storyline. They are not stand-alone novels, although the fourth book in the series is from the male point of view and does not need to be read in order to complete the plot.
Overall Rating: 3.5 (XXX)
Quick & Dirty summary: Bianca doesn’t usually let men like James Cavendish tempt her. After all, she’s served many of the rich and famous as a first class flight attendant. But there’s something about James that draws her and she can’t seem to say no. As James and Bianca test the waters of a dominant/submissive relationship, trust is a necessary ingredient. With Bianca’s troubled childhood, once that trust is broken, James will find that it’s very difficult to get it back.
The primary backstories for James and Bianca seem to suggest that people who are attracted to the BDSM lifestyle have faced serious trauma at some point in their lives. I have no idea if this is true or not, but I liked R. K. Lilley’s foray into the psychology surrounding this particular sexual preference. While parts of it made me uncomfortable, I thought the sex was pretty tame as far as erotica goes. There isn’t a whole lot of time (or words) spent describing the sex scenes, and while they frequently appeared, not all of them were kinky. That was a good thing and a bad thing for me in that it showed that a preference for BDSM doesn’t mean that a couple must engage in that kind of sex all of the time which was good, but bad in that the sex wasn’t as steamy as I was expecting.
Another aspect of the book that I enjoyed was Bianca’s relationship with Stephan. The close friendship was sweet and I loved how full Stephan felt to me as a secondary character. While I can’t say this book kept me enthralled all the way through, I was very disappointed when I got to the end and realized it isn’t a stand-alone novel. I am very curious about how Bianca and James’ story ends, but I won’t be finishing this series. You can read my reasoning behind that below. But Lilley is a strong author and she has another series, Tristan and Danika, I am also interested in reading, but won’t due to the cost. At least this time I was tipped off and knew to look at how many books were in the series before I started it!
Is it worth buying? (Kindle $2.99)
Okay, this is where the review gets a little sad. I bought this book and was pretty happy with my purchase until I realized there are two more books and each of them cost $6.99. There is a fourth book from the male point of view that also costs $6.99 putting the total cost of the series at $23.96. That is too much money for what is essentially a single book… or at least it’s too much money to me. But if you don’t mind paying that much money (and over a 1,000 people on Amazon are of that opinion), then you’ll be happy with these books. I enjoyed this one immensely and would read more by this author in a heartbeat.
Something else you might enjoy:
This is the first book I’ve read where the protagonist is unapologetically into BDSM. The exception to that is Hot Ticket from the Sinners on Tour series by Olivia Cunning. You can read my review of the entire series here, if you’d like to see what another BDSM book is like.