“This is who I am. This is what I want. Now I need a man dangerous enough to give it to me.”
Graduate student Vivienne Charles is afraid of her own desires—ashamed to admit that she fantasizes about being taken by force, by a man who will claim her completely and without mercy. When the magnetic, mysterious Jonah Marks learns her secret, he makes an offer that stuns her: they will remain near-strangers to each other, and meet in secret so that he can fulfill her fantasy.
Their arrangement is twisted. The sex is incredible. And—despite their attempts to stay apart—soon their emotions are bound together as tightly as the rope around Vivienne’s wrists. But the secrets in their pasts threaten to turn their affair even darker...
Reader Advisory: Asking for It deals explicitly with fantasies of non-consensual sex. Readers sensitive to portrayals of non-consensual sex should be advised.
I was really nervous about this book. I don’t mind a good, dark book every now and then, but I feared the topic of non-consensual sex fantasies might be too much for even me. I’m really glad I gave it a chance though. It definitely won’t be for everyone, but I loved it. It was a powerful read about a woman who, while ashamed of her sexual fantasies, finally took a chance and embraced them.
I loved the characters in this book. Vivienne was a great heroine. This book was so well-written that I felt all of her emotions. Her shame and desire, and the conflict between the two, came through on every page. Her inner dialogue was fantastic. I liked how she developed over the course of the book, too. Not everyone would work to put her past behind her and exhibit that much trust, all the while embracing this dark part of her that she’s coming to terms with. Jonah was amazing. I couldn’t get over the juxtaposition of his soft, caring side and the primal side he unleashes during their fantasy playtimes. It was hard, at times, to imagine these two personalities residing in one body. Jonah’s own past is dark and his own fantasies have undoubtedly been shaped by it.
I loved the way these two characters came together to embrace their desires and ultimately grow as a result of them. Both of them had a lot to lose if their agreement was discovered by anyone else, but the trust they shared ensured neither of them was at any real risk. They were safe to explore these darker sides together. And, if I’m honest, it was incredibly hot when they did. (Which seems like a strange sentence to type because rape fantasy… but I can’t deny it.) Without running the risk of getting too spoilery, I should tell you not to expect a lot of romance from this book. Vivienne and Jonah have a connection, undoubtedly, and even share some tenderness at times, but this is definitely not your typical “agreement turns into romance” book. Don’t look for that here. Yet anyhow. I have my own ideas about how the sequel will change things between them.
This was an eye-opening book for me. I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I finished it. Talk about a book hangover. It’s really tough to even put into words how this book affected me. But, it definitely did. The writing and character development was incredible. It was a raw, real and honest look into Vivienne’s psyche and her past. It’s not a happy book, but it’s not TOO dark either. (Again, strange because rape fantasies.) I think it was because Vivienne lives a normal life with a network of close friends and we see that. Her friends just don’t know everything about her.
If I’m honest, I was a bit taken aback by the ending because I wasn’t aware this was part of a series. I can’t say there’s a true cliffhanger, but if you enjoy this first book, you will definitely want the sequel, Begging for It, sooner rather than later. Thankfully it will be released in September, so that’s not TOO long to wait.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.