A Shot in the Dark

Long Shots, #2

Paige Long and her siblings, Sadie and Ian, own a coffee shop. Paige works the front counter and does paperwork. She enjoys her job and the hours that she puts in to make it a success. She hasn’t had a regular boyfriend for quite a while, ever since she got rid of him after he’s abusive behavior became too much. Paige isn’t looking for another relationship, much less one with a BDSM Dom so when this cute guy comes in with a bunch of friends, Paige tries to ignore the attraction she feels. But, when he comes in the next day in his fireman uniform, Paige wonders if she should take the chance.

Carter is definitely attracted to the cute woman behind the coffee counter, so attracted he drags a friend across town to meet her while he’s on duty. He’s thrilled when Paige finally agrees to meet with him to talk though the venue isn’t what he expected, Mavericks is a nearby sex club.

Paige feels safe in Mavericks even though she hasn’t been there in years. Josh, the owner, is a friend of the family and she knows he will watch over her. What Paige and Carter don’t expect is for their “getting know each other” meeting to evolve into some play time.

Paige is scared of finding herself in another abusive relationship but Carter seems to be putting her needs before his own. Can she take the chance?

This is the second book in Christine d’Abo’s Long Shots series. It’s not necessary to read the first book to thoroughly enjoy this one. While Sadie and Paul from the first book are briefly in this one, they do not play a major part. This story is definitely about Paige and Carter.

The characters are terrific. Paige is a submissive but when she got into the lifestyle she did it without much knowledge. She thought her boyfriend had the right to abuse her and didn’t have a safe word. When she ended up in the hospital, she knew he had stepped over a line. Now, with some knowledge, she’s willing to try another relationship but her past keeps intruding. Carter has no problem taking care of Paige’s needs and he quickly realizes that she has some issues that they need to work out. Carter comes across as a caring Dom who has the patience Paige needs, if they can take the time to work things through. Ian, while not a primary character, continues to generate interest as he checks out a customer.

The settings are perfect. From the coffee shop to Mavericks to the fire house, every setting is done so you can visualize where the characters are. Things are described with enough detail so you feel as if you are there but no so much as to bog down the story.

This story brings an important issue to the forefront. Most BDSM play has physical contact that can cause pain. At what point does it move from play to abuse? How does a sub recognize it and what safe guards should be use? If it’s consensual, is it abuse? Paige had to confront these thoughts before she could realize that though she is submissive that doesn’t mean her Dom can do things to her that she hasn’t agreed to. She has the right to call a halt to play and draw hard limits. Just because reading about something and it sounding like something you want to try doesn’t mean you are going to like it or enjoy it.

I couldn’t wait to read this story after falling in love with the first story in this series. However, within a couple of pages, I knew that this story was not going to be like the first one. That is not to say that this one was better or worse, just different. It needed to be different to fit these very different characters. The first book had a more humorous touch to it while this one is more serious but this one also is dealing with more serious topics than the first one. However, like the first story, I was quickly drawn in and couldn’t put this story down.

Enough with the comparisons! A Shot in the Dark is well able to stand on its own.

This story takes its readers on a fantastic journey and ends up in a wonderful place. Between desire and communication, Paige and Carter go from strangers to lovers quickly but not without outside influences shaping their responses. Hot sex and emotional pulls keep you glued to the pages as this story comes alive.

And, as an added bonus, Ian’s story begins to take shape and let’s you know that his story will be just as good as his sisters’ stories.

Book Blurb for A Shot in the Dark

Carter is one of the hottest men ever to walk into Paige Long's coffee shop. The attraction is mutual, and when Carter reveals himself to be a Dom, the submissive in Paige is aroused. Yet she brushes him off—her last relationship was abusive and she's unwilling to get involved with another Dom.

But when Carter returns the next day—in his firefighter uniform—Paige's fantasies really heat up. She can't resist his offer to get to know him over a drink at Mavericks, a local sex club. Their conversation quickly escalates to a session in one of the private rooms, and Paige is both thoroughly satisfied by Carter's skills in domination, and impressed with his selflessness as a lover.

Paige is ready to move on with her life. But can she trust in herself and submit to happiness?

Night Owl Reviews May, 2012 4.00