Valerian’s Root café is owned and run by two sisters, Ariel and Alayna. Alayna does the paperwork while Ariel is the chef. Both are well known and liked by their customers. Alayna has accepted the invitation to learn about her inner sub at a local mansion that trains subs in D/s relationships. Ariel encouraged her sister to explore that side of herself but can’t believe that she accepted this invitation and will be gone for 30 days. Ariel doesn’t do well with change.
Alayna isn’t leaving Ariel in the lurch. She arranged for Master Dane to come over to the café to do the paperwork. Ariel is livid. She doesn’t want Dane in her café, in her paperwork and she wants her sister back home. She’s going to do everything she can to get rid of Dane and then maybe her sister will leave that place early and come back to where she belongs.
When Dane gives his word, he follows through even when a stubborn little sprit of a woman is going to make his life hell. Besides all her pranks to get rid of him, Dane has another problem. He’s attracted to Ariel and she wants nothing to do with him. Dane’s positive that Ariel is a submissive though she’s just as positive that she’s not. Does he really want to take her on or just get through these 30 days?
Sparks are going to fly regardless of what Dane chooses to do. Ariel is determined to do things her way. After a few days of struggle, a compromise is made. The kitchen is Ariel’s domain and Dane must do as she asks, the office is Dane’s domain and Ariel must do as he asks but the dining room is neutral ground and either can say no to the other’s requests. How far will they push each other before they either kill each other or one gives in to the other?
This is obviously a companion book to Alayna’s story but you don’t need to read it to enjoy this one. Ariel’s story can stand on its own, just like Ariel.
The characters are given lives that they actually live. Dane has more to do than the paperwork for Valerian’s Root. He has his own business and clients that he needs to take care of. He also has friends and employees that he must interact with. Ariel’s past is discussed as it affects her present. She also has a life and employees to deal with. By letting Dane and Ariel continue to live their lives instead of just focusing on their relationship gives them more depth.
With luck no one from the health department saw all the going on at the café. Ariel and Alayna would have surely had their inspection certificate pulled. Ariel had a unique way to teach Dane about the different types of chocolate and the main lesson had nothing to do with tasting the chocolate! The toys found in the office were put to good use as were the tables and chairs in the dining room. If the customers only knew!
I really liked Ariel and Dane’s story. Each is a strong determined character that had to work things out in their own way. There were no easy and quick fixes. Things didn’t suddenly become wonderful. The conflict lasted almost the entire length of the book yet it wasn’t tedious. This relationship, as most, was constantly changing as they learned more about each other and themselves. This added interest to the characters and the story.
The sex while graphic was also well done. The BDSM theme is throughout the entire story so if that offends you, you’re warned.
Ariel Valerian knew cooking techniques and recipes, but a Dominant like Dane Reese had her more hot and bothered than a dozen hours slaving in a steamy kitchen. And 'slaving' is just what she intends to teach her blond-haired, blue-eyed, oh so yummy surfer boy. He might be helping at the family café as a favor to her sister, but there was no way she was giving him an opportunity to play Dom with her.
For Dane Reese, Ariel Valerian is a full-figured pixie -- a life-size, blue-haired Tinkerbell in a chef's coat surrounded by the scent of chocolate and cinnamon and an aura of mind-blowing, sweaty sex. Too bad she's driving him insane with her determination to order him around. As a Dominant and half-owner of A Master's Gift, Dane has seen his share of Dommes and submissives, and, no matter how she might deny it, Ariel is destined to call him Master.
Two powerful personalities; a contest to determine who is more adept at control; and less than thirty days to discover if Ariel will bow to Dane's commands, or if Dane will become Ariel's Pet.