Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Deep End by Kristen Ashley - Review, Excerpt, and Trailer

THE DEEP END - header banner    


A delicious world of erotica, BDSM with alpha-subs and their Dommes, and a gripping love story…Welcome to The Bee’s Honey! 

The first book in New York Times bestselling author Kristen Ashley’s Honey Series, THE DEEP END is a seductive and rich lovestory. 



Fall into THE DEEP END and order your copy today!


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Author: Kristen Ashley
Publication Date:  7 March 2017
Publisher: St Martin's Griffin
Series:  The Honey Series, book 1
Genre:  Contemporary Erotic Romance, BDSM
Age Recommendation: 18 and up
Rating: 4 Stars

~ I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ~ 

Book Description:

Enter a decadent sensual world where gorgeous alpha males are committed to fulfilling a woman's every desire…

Olivier isn’t sure what he’s gotten himself into when he joins the Honey Club, only that a dark part of him hungers for the lifestyle offered by this exclusive club. Here, no boundary will be left untested…and one's deepest fantasies will become an exquisite reality.

When Amélie invites Olivier to surrender, she gives the alpha submissive what he craves. Soon they both find themselves falling harder than they ever anticipated—but as their connection deepens, the truth about Olivier’s past could destroy everything…

Gripping and seductive, The Deep End is the first book in a sensational new series from bestselling author Kristen Ashley.

    THE DEEP END - Tour teaser 1  

My Review:

This I know is going to be a challenging time for Kristen Ashley because she has gone completely out of what we have come to expect as her 'realm', her 'norm', she's going to have a lot of readers who aren't interested in this genre of book and you know what that's okay.  If this genre isn't your thing than let me tell you now, this isn't the book for you.  Not only is this a BDSM book it is a BDSM with a bit of a twist and if you wouldn't read a BDSM to begin with don't start here.  Just because you are a Kristen Ashley fan doesn't mean you HAVE to pick this up to read if you would have never picked it up from another author.  I know you are wondering why I am saying this but it's clear this has been a polarizing book for Kristen and I want to make sure you know what you are getting into before you get there.  Don't 'hurt' the author or other possible readers by picking up a book you never would have read in the first place and then hating on it because it isn't your thing.

Now that we have that all out of the way let's talk about the book.  Honestly I feel like my review should consist solely of 6 words:  OH MY GOD, SHE DID IT!

I mean even the most dedicated of Krsiten Ashley fans (and I always feel like I am one of those) was sitting back in their arm chair saying:

"There's no way she can pull this off.  Kristen writes the Alpahest of Alpha hero's.  What the hell is an Alpha - Sub anyway?  This is never going to work and our worlds are going to come crashing down around us."

We should have all known that we had nothing to worry about.  That Kristen Ashley would:

1. Put in the research. 
2. Give us the beautiful love stories we have come to expect.
3. Give us a strong, capable, independent Heroine.
4. Give us an Alpha to swoon over.
5. Turn our careful constructed ideas about BDSM based novels on it's head.
6. Have us craving more before we have even closed the back cover.

The book isn't perfect, there are few that are, the heroine can be hard to like at first.  She's aloof and cold at times, she's so prim and proper it's difficult to understand her, to see her as a 'normal' person.  She doesn't lend to connecting with the reader at first, but if you let yourself get pulled into the story, if you allow your mind to open and to understand that not all heroines need to be your best friend, like not all heroes need to be Alpha Males, if you come to understand that we are all products of our lives then she will begin to grow on you.  You will see her tenderness, you will see the care she takes with those she loves, you will see that in her setting and with Olivier she is able to let go.  It is hard with BDSM reads to sometimes connect with the Dom, but I think as a female reader it is even harder to connect with a Domme.  With a Dom we see that hard, strong, demanding part of their personalties and we immediately call it that ever loved 'Alpha Male Syndrome' but with a Domme what do we see?  We see a hard woman, a woman who seemingly has no feelings, a woman that 'you' may call a B*t*h.  Why is that?  Why don't we see her as an Alpha Female, a trait to be desired?  It's society creeping in on our beliefs of what/who a woman should be. It's an idea that women should be pliant and soft and we need to get past that. We need to recognize that women and men are many things and not always what the general consensus believes.  

Another challenging part for me and one that seems silly but threw me off repeatedly, taking me out of the books world, are the characters's names.  I Know, I know, stop laughing, but I spent so much time trying to determine exactly how to pronounce their names and then make sure that each time I said it correctly that it became frustrating.  I was constantly wishing that Kristen had just given the nicknames and made it so my reading flow wasn't thrown off every time their names were written on the page.  

What did I like?  There are a lot of things to like.  There is the suspense aspect that Kristen puts in every book, there is the strong friendships, the beautiful love story.  There is the strong female character and the alpha males we have come to love.  Olivier is a beautifully written hero.  He's had in terms of a lot of Kristen characters an easy and happy life.  His parents had a wonderful marriage, he is close to his father, he has the job he wants and is good at it, but there has always been a piece of him missing and not understanding or knowing how to live with that missing piece he's become a bit broken.  His life has been happy but he has never truly been fulfilled.  I loved he was willing to search for what he needs, that he was willing to be open and to try.  I love that being the Alpha that he is that he found a place where he could let go, where he could put his trust in someone else's hands. I loved that underneath his caveman veneer there is a sensitive guy who struggles with who he is and what he wants.  I loved that he can set aside preconceived ideas of what/who he should be and open up to others that need to know 'it's okay to be who you are and to find what you need'.

This book is not for everyone, but I think that if you can step away from your expectations, if you know what you are going into before you get there, if you have a genuine desire to read this type of book that you will find it intriguing and enjoyable.  It's different but remember different isn't bad, different just gives us a new way to look at the world!  


THE DEEP END - Tour teaser 2


She slid out of the booth with murmurings of “good night” and “have fun,” taking her stiletto-heeled-sandal-shod feet with the will of steel her mother had begun the process of instilling in her and her training as a Domme had completed.

She could not have her legs give out on her and she could not expose her nervous anticipation.

And she wouldn’t.

But, God, she had not felt like this in years. That sub she’d spied or she’d had who was so promising or such a transcendent experience to play with that she could barely control her own reactions to exploring that promise or again feeling the wholeness, togetherness, oneness with another. 

She moved in his direction, no game playing. She didn’t even glance at Stellan in his booth. 

Amélie didn’t participate in those games, not ever. There was no reason for her to be coy with a sub. 

And she moved with the gait and bearing that it was solely her mother who’d ingrained in her in the sporadic times they’d had together, doing it with an unrelenting fervor that it would take the threat of death to force her to move any other way. 

Chin up. Shoulders straight and slightly back. A sway of her hips so subtle, it was elusive. Long, confident strides.

Amélie could walk a catwalk.

She could also make a specimen she was approaching get so hard his cock was aching by the time she made it to him. 

She hadn’t even gone halfway when he sensed her approach and she was gratified that his response was instantaneous.

He pushed from the wall. He turned fully to face her. And she felt his eyes drop not with the respect a sub owed a Domme, but to take her in from sandals to hair.

Then his gaze locked on hers and he didn’t look away.

He didn’t look away.

He watched her approach not like he was taking the risky liberty he was taking but like it was his God-given right.

Amélie felt her clit quiver.

She arrived at him, stopping several feet away, knowing that the minute her body language made it clear she was going in for the capture, most eyes in the room, if not all, were on her.

She did not care about this. Not that she’d ever care about this (which she wouldn’t), but because, now close to him, she found to her enchanted surprise, he was not big.

He was colossal.

A mighty beast.

A magnificent beast.


He was not six foot five. He was six-six, more likely six-seven. A mountain of compacted muscle encased in a very fine, very expensive suit.

Taking him in, in proximity, she wanted him more than she’d already wanted him. She wanted no boundaries. She wanted everything. Her diverse skill set, experience, imagination, creativity, and if it came down to it, sheer determination and grit, she’d utilize it all to wring him dry in a way he’d contemplate murder in order to have the opportunity to come back for more.

She was on the verge of speaking when he did.

His direct gaze appreciative, and arrogant smile curving his full lips, he asked, “How you doin’ sweetheart?”

She froze.

Full eye contact. Speaking without being spoken to. Using an unconsented and unearned endearment.

The already damp gusset of her panties soaked to the point her wet crept up the silk of her front and back sides.

But her brows snapped together, her censure clear, and her lips ordered, “Follow me.”




Kristin Ashley - headshotAbout Kristen Ashley: Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn't taken her first breath!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen's Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning. Nothing's changed. Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she's blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She grew up with Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched). Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up. And as she keeps growing, it keeps getting better.  




Kristen Ashley’s THE DEEP END – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:

February 27th
All Romance Reviews – Review & Excerpt
Crystals Book World – Excerpt
Foxy Blogs – Excerpt
Garden of REden – Review
Stacey is Sassy – Review
Steamy Reads – Review
February 28th
Books,Dreams,Life – Excerpt
Marieke's Books – Review & Excerpt
The Book Bellas – Review & Excerpt
March 1st
After Dark Book Lovers – Review & Excerpt
Booklovers For Life – Review
FMR Book Grind – Review
Jax's Book Magic – Excerpt
Reads All the Books – Review & Excerpt
Three Girls and a Book Obsession – Review & Excerpt
March 2nd
Agents of Romance – Review & Excerpt
Under the Covers – Review & Excerpt
Book Bitches Blog – Excerpt
Oh My Growing TBR – Review & Excerpt
Reading Keeps Me Sane – Review & Excerpt
The Review Loft – Review & Excerpt
March 3rd
Random Book Muses – Review
MEReadALOT – Review & Excerpt
Stephanie's Book Reports – Review & Excerpt
Vilma's book blog – Review & Excerpt
March 4th
Book Babes Unite – Review
Love Between the Sheets – Review & Excerpt
Vagabonda Reads – Review
March 5th
All About Romance – Review
Mustreadbooksordie – Review & Excerpt
Angie and Jessica's Dreamy Reads – Review & Excerpt
PBC – Excerpt
March 6th
About That Story – Review
Krista's Dust Jacket – Review & Excerpt
KT Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
Night Owl Reader – Review & Excerpt
Read-Love-Blog – Review
StuckInBooks – Review & Excerpt
March 7th
Shh Moms Reading – Review
Words We Love By/LucyLiciousReads – Review & Excerpt
Books to Breathe – Review & Excerpt
For The Love of Fictional Worlds – Review & Excerpt
Joyfully Reviewed – Review & Excerpt
Nose Stuck in a Book – Review & Excerpt
March 8th
Shameless Book Club – Review & Excerpt
A Fortress of Books – Excerpt
BJ's Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
Lit Slave – Review & Excerpt
March 9th
Dirty Girl Romance – Review
iScream Books – Review & Excerpt
Red Cheeks Reads – Review
Smut Book Junkie Reviews – Review & Excerpt
March 10th
Bookcrack – Review & Excerpt
Two Girls with Books – Excerpt
E-Romance News – Excerpt
Lit. 4 Ladies – Review & Excerpt
Natalie TheBiblioholi – Review & Excerpt
Once Upon A Page – Review & Excerpt
True Story Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
March 11th
Aurora B's Book Blog – Excerpt
Blushing babes are up all night – Review & Excerpt
Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents – Review & Excerpt
March 12th
Feeding My Addiction Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
I'm A Sweet And Sassy Book Whore – Review & Excerpt
March 13th
Black heart reviews – Review
Once Upon a Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
Queenzany – Review & Excerpt
Sizzling Pages Romance Reviews – Review & Excerpt
Talk Books to Me – Review
March 14th
Alpha Book Club – Review
G & T's Indie Café – Excerpt
Once Upon An Alpha – Review & Excerpt
No BS Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
The Book Whisperer – Review & Excerpt
The Escapist Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

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