Asking for It
WOW!!!!! This is a fantastic, breathtaking and harrowing story. I couldn’t put it down (other than to exclaim over certain poignant parts), reading it in one sitting, devouring it every step of the way. I followed, and internalized every single emotional and physical footprint of their personally distressing journey. Exploring each other (and themselves). I “stepped in their shoes”. I became “Vivienne” (as hard as that was at times), and I highlighted the whole darn thing!!!
While I wish I could say I don’t know why I’m wired this way . . . I do.
Now beware my friends!!! This tale is not for everyone. There are certain potential triggers riddled throughout and the subject matter as a whole, is already quite controversial.
“You hate it, don’t you? The fantasy. I do too. But it doesn’t change anything.”
An unconventional love story, for those willing to explore a different side of human psyche, and the traumas that make us (at least in part) who we are.
Maryse: Gah!! I’m already loving this “dark” read… the writing is amazing, and the inner dialogue… SO REAL.
“Wave for help or duck behind the car, so the driver doesn’t see that I’m a woman out here alone? My fantasies were one thing. Reality was another. I wanted help really badly, but I walked behind the car.”
Wow. This is gonna be good.
LB: What’s Asking For It about – contemporary?
Maryse: Dark… she has er… umm… specific fantasies to… “get off” <— OMG I just said that. (<—sidenote from Maryse after I’ve read it… it’s SO much more than that. Very emotional. Possibly quite healing. We’ll see…)
Maryse: “It’s all delightful fun until you have to explain your life choices to your shrink.” <— Wow. I’m loving this!
Jenn: Loving this book!!
Emma: Just finished… good stuff!
Maryse: HOLY MOLY IT’S GOOOOOOOD!!!!
Whoever “Lilah Pace” is (her publisher indicates that this is a pseudeymn for a well known NYT Best Selling author), she’s a total pro. Telling an emotionally daunting yet romantic love story <— ( yes… romantic it is in it’s own way) and handling such a delicate subject matter, responsibly. Nothing is glossed over. Nothing is rushed. And nothing is *squashed* either. There is detail, where there should be, aggression and pain, heartache and fear… and it’s gentle and loving, everywhere we need it.
Possibly even healing. Because THAT is the whole point of this book.
So what’s it about?
Vivienne is an ambitious undergrad, teacher’s assistant (I think) and she’s got all of the normal friends, personal comforts and fairly “normal” past boyfriends. Except for one thing. She has to fake it. Or she has to “go there”. There? A VERY dark place to be able to… well. I said it up there. Don’t make me say it again.
…it never, ever gets me off. Only one fantasy does that. I try not to think about it. I tell myself it’s sick, it’s wrong.
She’s only ever confessed her need (fetish?) to her latest boyfriend, and it didn’t go too well. He didn’t understand. Understandably. And he didn’t want to “do that” to her.
Oh, he tried to be sympathetic, all “But why do you think you feel this way?” That’s what I pay my therapist for. What I needed from him was something a whole lot dirtier. A whole lot scarier. And gentle, funny Geordie couldn’t give it to me.
And they ended it.
But she’s met someone (a mutual friend of her best friend). Jonah.
His whole body looks as though someone took the macho ideal of a masculine form and brought it almost to the breaking point. Strong— and yet strained, beneath the surface.
This is a man who could be broken, I think. But he’d be more likely to break you first.
A professor at her University.
A professor. That’s virtually the last profession I would have guessed for him. Maybe— SWAT team member. Navy SEAL. Hit man. Not a teacher.
And he’s overheard a private, yet all-too-public (and embarrassing) conversation, between her and her ex.
They have no idea how deep this goes for me. To them it’s a tremor, not an earthquake.
He checks on her. Consoles her. And he’s all too willing to play. Because HE TOO has very specific needs.
“You’d like to play one role. I’d like to play another.”
They are two pieces to a broken puzzle.
Everything is clear between us. No hurt feelings. No further complications.
The best move is not to answer him, now or ever.
I click reply.
This becomes an intense, mutual yet unemotional “relationship”. To keep up the intensity, they need to remain strangers. But partaking in something so personally exposing, together… how can it possibly remain that way?
“…don’t you see? I don’t just f**k you, Jonah. I bare my soul to you.”
Of course the “why” is explored. How could *this* be? What is normally a trigger, and can turn most off of any intimate contact (or have them struggling to overcome the guilt and shame), can have others in the same boat, seeking it out. Needing it. Desperately. How could two people want to partake in what most consider a creepy and unforgivable act? This is not intimacy, right? This is emotional and physical abuse and degradation. But between two consenting adults, for some… it is so much more.
And as frightening and taboo as many of the scenes are, broken or not, the two main characters (and their entourage) are absolutely human. Completely believable in their successful and ambitious public personas… and in their crumbling private lives. Their torment. The author handled such a delicate, yet chilling subject matter with dignity. No matter how ugly it gets, I never found myself ashamed to be a part of their lives… to get to know them and let myself eventually become them. To be reading this.
And the backstories? She doesn’t tiptoe through that, either. We get to know her “why”. But his? That only comes in the end, and kept me guessing the entire way through. And yet… as despicable as his part in their mutual satisfaction seemed, I never hated him. In fact I adored him. I knew there was so much to Jonah, and the author doesn’t leave us hanging or “making up our own” backstory for him. He plays a monstrous part… but his heart proves him otherwise.
AND OMG by the time a certain something was revealed… I was ecstatic!!! Voraciously consuming every word as certain things came to light, and the reaction… and domino effect of it all.
Does this one end on a cliffhanger? No… not really… (Okaaaayyyyyy I suppose a bit of a cliffhanger *snort* but it wasn’t killing me like some do…). It made sense to end it there because there is SO much more to come… and I can’t wait!!!
“It’s your fantasy, and mine. Chances like this don’t come along often— two people twisted in the exact same way.”
P.S. Thank you to the publisher for sending me a review copy. This was exactly up my “intense-read-need” alley! And also:
Maryse: Soooooo the curiosity is killing me since I’m loving her book (and the writing) so much. Penguin Books says: “Lilah Pace is a pseudonym for a New York Times bestselling author.“ Does anyone know “who” Lilah Pace is? (Only tell me in private-message for now if you do, ’cause I’m figuring it’s not supposed to be known). LOL!!!
Melissa: Inquiring minds want to know!!!
Miranda: Now it’s killing me! lol
Sarah: I’m super curious too. Glad to hear you’re enjoying the book! I loved it!
Emma: Maryse I’m reading this book today, my day off work. I need to know who the author really is. Loving this one too!
Maryse: It has a “Cara McKenna”/”Megan Hart” feel to it…
Emma: I was thinking Raine Miller
Maryse: Interesting… *waggles eyebrows*
Emma: Or.. Lisa Renee Jones… I more guess… Julie Kenner
Sadie: Did you figure out who Lilah Pace is?! I have to know.
Maryse: No I have NO clue. Dying to know so I can read the rest of her stuff… unless I already have. LOL!
Maryse: Somebody!!! PLEASE. tell. me. *grumbles* bunch of secret keepers… ;) *snort*
Anyone? Still waiting…