I spent a fair amount of this book blushing furiously from the heat that Daren and Cassandra generate together. Even before they got to the actual act of sex, Daren's flirtatious tone (and inner possessive thoughts) and Cassandra's half-flirty/half what the heck is going on here attitude set the tone of the story quite well.
The beginning of the story is kind of rushed. We jump from Daren is Cassandra's unattainable dream to Daren wants Cassandra to lay over his knees and moan in pleasure pretty quickly. The pace worked, only because Cassandra felt as swept away as the reader feels, but the effect initially left me feeling as if I had missed about fifty pages of the story.
As I said Daren and Cassandra light up the page easily and during even the most innocent of things. Not that a whole lot of the story is spent on innocent things. Out in public, back at her flat, in the car...if they aren't doing X-rated things, one or both of them was thinking about how they could be doing X-rated things. As far as character development is concerned its squished into the moments when either of them is feeling introspective.
Daren, being the Dominant, makes up his mind and feelings a whole lot quicker than Cassandra does. His concerns were justified in my opinion--whereas Cassandra was exhibiting interest, and certainly an aptitude for his sexual games, there was no guarantee that she would continue to enjoy such things. So he was hesitating in consciously admitting his feelings.
Cassandra on the other hand swayed back and forth between wanting nothing more than hot, wild sex with Daren whenever she could, to wanting to leave him before her heart broke into a million tiny pieces. Whenever Daren showed the least bit of 'forever' kind of commitments feelings, she blew him off assuming he just wanted to get her into bed more often. It was more frustrating to see her act so ignorantly then anything else in the story put together.
The end ties things up and overall this was a hot read worth investing some time into. The D/s relationship was treated respectfully, as far as I could tell, and Daren was quite likeable. I had qualms with Cassandra, but she managed to make the right decision in the end. Also Daren's job is probably one of the more unique jobs I've seen in a romance in a while...and made him more attractive to my way of thinking.
Birthday wishes really can come true—just make a wish and blow.
Daren Hughes has been tortured by his desire to have hot, kinky, wild sex with his best friend, Cassandra. So when he turns her across his knee for a bare-handed birthday spanking, she squirms but doesn’t demand that he stop, awakening his darkest desires. Daren hopes that by introducing Cassandra to bondage and spanking, she will embrace her submissive side and satisfy his Dominant hunger. But Daren never expects Cassandra's sexual appetite to match his own.
Cassandra Wright has been in love with Daren forever. So when he proposes they be "friends with benefits" and plans a weekend to explore their sexual attraction, how can Cassandra refuse? Even if he can’t give her the happily-ever-after-love she craves. But will Cassandra and Daren’s weekend of sexual bliss destroy the one thing that means the most to them…their friendship? Page Count 202