Title: Bound Beneath His Pain
Author: Stacey Kennedy
Publisher/Year: Random House 7/5/16
Length: 275 Pages
Series: Dirty Little Secrets #1
Real estate mogul Micah Holt exerts absolute control over all aspects of his life. He keeps his dark side hidden away from the press, who will chase down any hint of scandal. He’s always in command of his world, careful to expose his closely guarded secrets only to those he knows he can trust. Then Allie Bennett shakes his legendary discipline. She’s beautiful, pure, untainted. But is Micah willing to sacrifice her innocence for his own selfish obsessions?
When that sexy smile makes her body burn, Allie tries with all her might to ignore it. For one thing, Micah’s her new boss. For another, he’s as complicated as he is devastatingly handsome. Still, Allie can only fight so much before she gives in to his dangerous games. She knows he’s got dark secrets. But when she discovers the true depth of his pain, Allie must decide how far she’s willing to go to light the way for love.
I loved Club Sin which is the origination of this series and i think that it’s great that we get to learn a bit more about those Doms up in San Francisco that Dimitri is so close with and went to for help with his club. So when we got this first installment of the spinoff where we’re able to meet Micah the leader of the DC (Dominants Council), and find out how he ticks.
His story interweaves with Allie’s story – a successful Real Estate agent who’s made her success by being a great listener and finding a home for her clients, not just a house. It’s partly due to the type of woman that she is and partly to do with her past, as her parents were killed in a plane accident when she was 15 and she was raised by her half brother. The way that the story gets interesting is that her half brother is a great guy – 10 years older and took her in when no one else would even though he didn’t have a relationship with her mom since his father wouldn’t allow it. So the life that her brother had and the life she had were quite different since he’s from money and has everything, and Allie really doesn’t want anything to do with that once she’s able to make her own choices.
That’s where we find ourselves now – Micah’s company has bought the one that Allie works for and she’s being absorbed into Holt where she’s making more money and has the opportunity to sell some amazing properties. She still continues to live meagerly though, since she’s learned the lesson in life that money changes people and how they look at you. Micah however is a man with endless means, and when they discover an attraction between them, it’s his lifestyle that continues to put a wall up between them.
Their connection is instant as it usually is in these types of stories, and it’s fun to watch how they play around each other, waiting for Allie to crack under Micah’s pursuit and then hope to see how amazing they can be together.
The journey that we go on in this story is one where Allie is trying to find herself, Micah’s trying to get past demons that continue to haunt him, and they both realize that they NEED each other but that there’s a cost to it all. Micah has a very dark past which brought him to need BDSM and Allie sees deep inside him where he’s trying to keep everything secret.
The interesting twist that we get is that Micah and Allie’s half brother Darius are quite close and Darius ironically is part of the DC. So there’s a bit more of a complication there when figuring out how to handle all that.
What i really enjoyed about this story though is that it feels similar to club sin but completely it’s own thing. The chapters are written in alternating POV so that we get to see Allie’s side and then Micah’s and that’s something that we didn’t have in the other series. We also see that while Sex is quite important to them, BDSM doesn’t play a huge role in this story. there are moments of spanking or flogging and a bit of bondage, but no playing in a club or dungeon which completely surprised me. all in all though, a great intro to this new series and i can’t wait to see what happens next since the last few lines of this one really set us up for heartbreak.