Wednesday, September 28, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: Stepdaddy Savage by Charleigh Rose


You do not say no to Graham Savage, because Graham Savage doesn’t ask. Just like his name suggests, he takes, and right now, he believes I’m his. 

He is a cold, calculated, ruthless, formidable Irish mobster, and... my step-dad.

Regardless of the fact that it's nothing more than a business transaction, he's technically married to my mom. Even still, I find myself scared to be caught, yet even more terrified of being cut loose.

They say love is like a butterfly…well, we are about to prove to the world that it’s also like a punch in the face. Sometimes inevitable…and always painful.

4 Stars

*This review may contain spoilers, but honestly I don’t think most prospective readers are picking this up for the plot twists.  Let’s face it, if you are considering reading this it’s because of the taboo smut factor. And if you’re reading the reviews it’s probably to decide how far out of your comfort zone this dirty read is going to push you.

None the less, I have to say aside from a few grammatical and minor continuity errors, this title was surprising well writing. It pulled me in right of the start, introduced intriguing characters, and built some major sexual tensions.

Does it deliver in the steam factor? Absolutely!  This book is hot! Like ‘wow is it warm in here?’ fans-self-hot.
“‘If you’re on fire for me now…Then wait till I fuck your brains out. You’ll motherfucking burn, baby.’”
Graham Savage, 32, most certainly rocks the ‘bad man’ (notice I didn’t say boy), take control, above the law, make no apologies, dark hero role. If you’re going to be a bad guy then own it, and Graham does. So I might have been crushing on him a bit myself. ;-)  And while Dahlia, 17/18, is a virgin, she wasn’t a weak, innocent, doormat heroine. Dahlia is sassy, smart-mouthed, and not above breaking the rules. Because of this, they worked together as a couple despite the age difference and the forbidden relationship as well as had some interesting “banter.”
“‘Good girl, Dolly. Now suck on how you make me feel.’”
There was one thing though that made me drop the rating from 5 stars to 4 stars. Surprisingly it was not:

The daddy kink—while I’m not typically a fan, it wasn’t too over the top. But more specifically I felt like Dahlia and Graham were role playing with it more than actually heavily into the idea since at several places they acknowledged the limited extent to their stepfather-daughter role. Bringing  me to the second thing that did not bother me…

Cheating—while I understand some readers won’t be able to get past the notion that Graham is legally married to Dahlia’s mother, I honestly didn’t find this an issue of cheating in this particular instance, nor did it gross me out since the marriage was never consummated. From what’s disclosed about Graham and Dahlia’s mother, their union is nothing more than a marriage of convenience, orchestrated by Graham to acquire citizenship and for some other benevolent reasons divulged in a romantic reveal. They do not sleep in the same bedroom nor have they ever had sexual relations, and once Dahlia is on the brink of turning eighteen, Graham begins the process of ending the marriage. Oh and Dahlia’s mother is screwing the pool boy. Bottom line, there’s no romantic or monogamous expectations in Graham’s on-paper only marriage.

What I did deduct a whole point for….
I was hugely disappointed when the overused, trite, h-is-about-to-get-raped by a creepy OM trope was introduced at 63%. To be clear, she thankfully is saved by Graham in time. But then of course, it continues the ridiculous resolution where the h is hardly traumatized and is still horny for the H. For authors who state in their bio that their philosophy is “fun, sexy, smut” that is “original” and that they “won't give you what you've already seen a million times before,” well they certainly missed those goals with this scene. This plot device isn’t original and has been done many times over.  But more importantly, attempted rape isn’t sexy!  I’ve ranted about books that use this unrealistic and unromantic plot climax in romance books before and it bears repeating. Rape/attempted rape/sexual assault does not belong in a romance novel and using it as simply a plot devices not only trivialized the real problem of sexual abuse against women, but contributes to a rape culture.  And from a reading perspective, it threw cold water on the build up to the H&h’s first time, completely taking me out of the erotic moment. Suddenly, I needed a sweater instead of a fan.

That scene aside, it was an engaging, taboo read told mainly by Dahlia’s first person POV (the epilogue is told by Graham). The main characters were great; they worked well together as a couple; the story was developed (even for being only around 100 pages); and I got a kick out of cheeky references like cum gun and Masturbationgate. The first in a standalone series, I’ll probably check out the next book, Savage Beast, about Dahlia’s friend and Graham’s "brother." 

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