Thursday, December 1, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: His Doll by Isabella Starling


How does that make you feel, doll? 

Don't fall for the patient. 
Don't fall for the pretty, broken, sweet little doll sitting across from you in the office. 
Don't fall for her lies. 
Don't fall for her looks. 
Most of all, don't fall for her deliciously broken mind. 
But life keeps throwing Alice at me, and her naturally submissive nature makes her such easy prey... 
And after all, the broken ones are the most fun to train. 

Jacob Hawke can only ever be a crush. 
He's been my therapist for years. 
Now, my mother wants me to live with him while she chases her dream job in another state. 
Mr. Hawke has been trying to put me back together for a long time now. 
Maybe he was supposed to break me all along. 

Full-length novel. Standalone, no cliffhanger. HEA guaranteed. 
4 Stars

Alice Leroux is a troubled eighteen year old senior, the daughter of a celebrity newscaster. Upon her mother’s decision to take a job in New York, Alice is left in the care of her therapist, now guardian, Mr. Jacob Hawke.

Alice and Jacob put a little different spin on the typical push/pull romantic attraction. Alice spews hate towards him one second; then she’s seducing him the next.  It’s a twisted game they are playing, and Jacob certainly desires her; he’s just old enough to know it’s inappropriate.
“She’s a fucking doll, all pretty and perfect, but hollow on the inside. I want to fill her up.”
I’m not exactly sure that Alice ever fully works through her complicated issues or that she gets the therapy she needs. There’s a slight lack of back-story development on the part of both characters. As a psychological romance it would have been helpful to perhaps have more insight (particularly from Jacob as her therapist) into Alice’s troubles as well as explanation as to how Jacob developed his particular sexual proclivities. There’s a clue dropped that’s never fully explained. None the less, they seem to be what each other needs to find happiness, and their taboo relationship is a engaging tale.
“She’s so fucking perfect, already so damn submissive, and she’s not even on her knees yet…But I’ll have to change that soon.”
Obviously they give in to their desire, and the story spins hot and dirty. Some aspects of their sex life seemed a little…far fetched? Exaggerated for sure. But it’s not lacking any steam.
“‘I’m gonna play with my pretty doll now,…Because this is how we play at my house.’”
The “dark” angle of the romance comes mostly from the unethical relationship that Alice and Jacob engage in.  But it ends on an upbeat outcome so no depressing book hangovers here thankfully.  I do wish someone…anyone would have picked up on the bullying that Alice endures sooner. It seemed there was more to be explored there. Despite the age difference and that Jacob has been married before while Alice was a virgin, I didn’t find their experience as unbalanced as it would seem. It appeared they fit each other well and served needs that no one had fulfilled for them before.

Told via Jacob and Alice’s first person POV, His Doll is an erotic dark romance standalone. 

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