Hunter Mitchell is convinced that he will never find a woman with whom he can share his interests in sensual bondage. But when he meets Stephanie Lynch, a brilliant and beautiful astronomer, he hopes fervently that his search is over. As they explore their relationship, they are both delighted that Hunter’s desire to tie her up is something that Stephanie is very eager to explore.
Just as they are starting to learn about everything that bondage and restraint can offer, Stephanie is rocked to her core when she receives terrible news that Hunter is not the wonderful man that he seems to be. Only after she abandons him and the relationship does she discover the horrible mistake she’s made. She wants to fix things, but Hunter, angry and hurt, now wants nothing more to do with her.
Can they reconcile their differences and resume the relationship that has stoked their passions?
I found this book just a bit slow at the beginning but that did change. There was a lot of technical information about astronomy, but given Stephanie has her doctorate in that field and is a professor at the college I guess it was somewhat necessary.
Hunter on the other hand is a technical writer in finance. He has a couple of hobbies a Hockey league for one, plus fishing and astronomy. A public event at the observatory is how he meets Stephanie.
I really liked the way the relationship developed with unique dates over the course of a few weeks. The excerpt below is a favorite scene after their first date.
The way Hunter is reluctant to reveal his kink and how Stephanie handles it was fun and sensual.
There is a twist that took me totally by surprise. One that I wasn’t sure how it could possibly be resolved.
I laughed, held my breath and bit my nails a bit. I also learned a lot about astronomy, not something I expect in a romance novel.
I did find a couple of editing errors but not ones big enough to pop me out of the story.
4 Contented Purrs for Jamie!
Stephanie’s Monday morning disposition was legendary among her co-workers. Even the most hardcore of the academic team dragged their asses just a little bit down the halls of the university as they faced the prospect of a long work week, but Stephanie never, ever failed to have a disgustingly fresh face and a pleasant grin at the ready. Some of them admired her for it, some hated her, and most were envious.
But even those accustomed to such bliss took an extra second to stare at her today. She looked radiant. The more perceptive women noticed that, although she had on very little makeup, her skin seemed to glow. The men, especially those whose social skills had suffered from years of Spartan scientific pursuit, wondered yet again if her friendly acknowledgment was an invitation to ask her out. Of course, none of them would. Stephanie was, at least in their eyes, quite unattainable.
She reached her cluttered office and noticed that she had a voice mail. It was not unusual. Her graduate students seemed to panic about a paper or a lab assignment somewhere around four in the morning. These messages were often quite humorous, as desperate, sleep-deprived students on deadlines came up with the oddest concerns. She could laugh at them because she had been there many times herself.
She pushed the button on her phone.
“Hi, it’s Hunter. I just wanted to let you know that Saturday night was great fun, in spite of all my wise-ass remarks. I like spending time with you, and a haunted house was definitely a different experience for me. I have a funny feeling there might be more odd destinations if I keep letting you pick where we go on our dates.
Oh, yeah…Theodore says you’re a good sport and he’s sure you’ll get me back sooner or later.
Anyway, I’ll catch up with you soon. You can call if you’d like, of course. See ya.”
Stephanie noted that he had left the message before 7 a.m., meaning he’d had the presence of mind to take a moment out of his morning routine to do so. She pressed the message button again, wondering why she felt the need to hear Hunter’s voice again. Then a third time. And again. With her focus fully on his words she didn’t notice Brenda standing in her doorway. “How many times are you going to play it?” she asked, making Stephanie jump in surprise.
“Geez, Bren! How long were you standing there?”
“Long enough to see you play it twice and hear it once more when I was walking up. Who’s Theodore?”
Stephanie explained the extensive joke to Brenda, who laughed. “That’s pretty creative for spur of the moment,” she said.
“Yeah, I was totally freaked out until he admitted it, and then it was funny.”
“I’ll bet,” Brenda replied, entering her office fully and closing the door. “So, what else happened?”
Stephanie explained his other actions in the haunted house. When she relayed how Hunter had purposefully derailed their sexual liaison and his reason for doing so, Brenda looked puzzled, much as Stephanie believed she had looked on Saturday.
“Do you believe him?”
“Yeah,” Stephanie said. “I mean, he has to be serious. What kind of guy stops things right at the brink of having sex, especially for the first time with a new woman?”
“The gay kind,” Brenda said, raising her eyebrows.
“I thought about that,” she replied, “and I even kind of alluded to it with him by making a joke.”
“How did he respond? Was he defensive?”
“No, he laughed it off. It just doesn’t fit. He was turned on, as much as I was. I guess it’s possible he has some sort of sexual dysfunction, or some kind of phobia about sex, but I’m quite certain he likes women.”
“I hope you’re right.”
“I am,” Stephanie said, confident in her opinion. “You know, as odd as it sounds, maybe he’s just an honest and romantic guy. I think women get conditioned to look for the hidden meanings in what men say. What if we’re looking for a curve ball when all he’s doing is throwing a strike right down the middle?”
“I am a bit of a cynic sometimes, aren’t I?”
“We all are a little bit,” Stephanie answered.
“True. I think I have to meet him in person. Then I can give you a much better assessment. You know—to see if he’s a ‘man’s man!’” They both laughed.
“OK, I’ll set something up soon. Promise.”
“Cool. I have to go, we’ve both got stuff to do.” Brenda made to leave the office, but stopped. “I hope, for your sake, that you’ve got a good read on this guy. But just remember, if you are waiting for him to throw a strike, and that ball curves even a little bit, your home run swing won’t be anything more than a big ‘whiff.’”
I write because I have to. I’m the type of person that needs to get information out of my head, and since my friends don’t want to hear me talking all the time, I have to write it down.
I’ve thought about writing in one capacity or another since I was in the fourth grade, when I won a creative writing contest. I don’t remember the topic, but I clearly remember thinking it was fun to create stories.
Ever since then, I’ve been writing something, usually something to which I could relate. When I was younger, it was stories about me – usually performing heroic and noble feats. Later, I started writing newspaper articles, technical documentation, short stories for myself, or anything that I felt needed a few words – like this section.
Now I’m a romance novelist. It’s honestly the last genre I expected to write, but when I took a stab at it, the words just flowed onto the page – at least at the beginning. Sure, there were (and will be) times when I struggled to make things flow, but my first novel – Captured Hunter – is the result.
I plan and hope that others will follow soon.