My rating: ❤❤❤❤ of 5!
Length: 195 pages
Published: the 14th of January 2019.
Written by: Naomi Smart
Series: The Gemstone Trilogy
Source: Free copy generously provided.
Disclaimer: I was lucky enough to receive a free copy of this book, in exchange for my honest review. However, please note that all opinions and views are my own.
The exciting second installment in Naomi Smart’s gripping BDSM contemporary romance trilogy.
Twelve months on, and it’s time for an angry Louisa to run. Where better to run to than the one person that reunited her with Evan in the first place. The one person closest to the two of them. The one who knows all their secrets. Conor.
But what to do when visiting such a place as the Manor? With temptation lurking behind every door, not to mention Conor’s irrepressible charm, will Louisa end up doing something she’ll regret? Conor has the ability to show Louisa a different side of herself. But can the new Louisa still coexist with the old, the Louisa that Evan is still in love with?
The three friends are all about to embark on a journey of sexual discovery. Will they reach their destination together, and be stronger for it? Or will they break apart along the way, destroying any sense of happiness that Louisa has ever known?
In the end of the the first book we learn, that while Louisa is telling the story about how she met Evan, she’s telling it to Ben’s son, Jacob. At first I was really mortified about this discovery, because at no point does Naomi clarify how old he is when he hears the erotic tale of how Louisa became a sub to the love of her life. There’s a comparison of Jacob’s eyes, stating that his eyes resemblances his dads, 15 years ago (this is mentioned in the first book). And that’s really vague! However, it got me thinking, and even if that makes him at least 15 years old, I’m not sure how I actually feel reading about some woman in her fifties, explaining her sex life in explicit details, to a young man. Or boy. That’s just…. well…. wrong! And apparently Jacob’s parents aren’t too thrilled with the time spent between “aunt” Louisa and Jacob, because at the beginning of this book, they plan to take Jacob away. Honestly, I don’t blame them! Though, a part of me still think it’s a clever and ballsy way of having Louisa opening up. Even if it is inappropriate.
When readers are reunited with Louisa in Sapphire Storm, she’s in the middle of one of her fits, being completely dramatic. The year she’s spent with Evan clearly haven’t done anything to calm her. Why is she so upset? Well, Evan dares to go abroad to take care of some personal things and doesn’t want to bring her along, to spare her the verbal toxic of his ex wife. (Are you mock gasping as much as I am?) Well keep reading. It gets better. Or worse – depending on your point of view. Anyhow, so the reason Louisa finds it completely okay to slam doors and walk away in a huff, is because Evan has failed to realise that his trip takes him away from Louisa on their one year anniversary. Now I’ll be the first one to admit I’m not an overly romantic person, which might make me slightly biased on this matter. However, I cannot fathom – that if it means so bloody much to her to spend the day with Evan – why wouldn’t she just say something? After one year together with someone, and living with them, there’s seriously something wrong if you cannot tell them about your feelings and expectations.
At this point I felt let down by Naomi Smart. Partly, because I don’t think it’s okay to act like that, if you don’t at least discuss the issue with your partner. But mainly because it once again shows Louisa as a flawed and insecure little girl playing grownup. I’m not a hardcore feminist or anything, but I expect more from the leading ladies I read about. But the real reason I felt let down is, at this point it didn’t show any character development, at all. If her medicine is all that important, why wouldn’t she just set an alarm – which Evan also points out to her. But hey, she doesn’t want to talk about it. And yeah, why would you talk about something majorly important with your partner? Sigh.
After the rocky start to the book, it completely turned around for me. Aside from a point where Louisa tells Conor (a mutual friend of her and Evan), that he spanked her for spending her own money, which made it sound abusive – instead of a mutual sub/dom – relationship, it got really interesting. Sure, Louisa still has her flaws. But somehow Naomi Smart has managed to make her develop into a more believable and three dimensional character. I actually fell in love with Louisa, as she experiences more of the world of BDSM on her own. Well not completely on her own, but away from Evan.
On her journey she is introduced to a female dom, who is such a great character. Her sparky and confident attitude is such a welcome addition, to what would otherwise be a bit of a pity party. And I think this is where I completely fell in love with Naomi’s writing. Because Tessa’s interest in Louisa isn’t romantic, she doesn’t adjust to her every whim. Instead she acts more like a proper dom (I should mention I have no personal experience with that universe, so it’s just what I imagine it should be like) than I’ve seen Evan do. As abovementioned Evan’s dom side seems to lean towards the abusive side, especially with the mindgames he play in this book. Whereas I think Tessa seems more professional and thorough about it. She takes the time to address Louisa’s fears and insecurities, work on them through their interactions – and actually takes proper care of her. That’s what made me love Sapphire Storm, and I cannot wait to read the final instalment in Naomi Smart’s trilogy.
Do you like books like books about BDSM? Have you read any of the books? Let’s talk in the comments!
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