If you’ve been around for a while, you know that I’ve read a few kinky romance books. My journey started with Layne Daniels’ “Vices and Vows” series. And then, I picked up Raleigh Damson’s Bandit Brothers series. Which has led us to now: where I’m reviewing the third in the series, Flame Again (released on July 30th, 2022)! If you’re interested, you can read my reviews for: Flame For You, and Flame For Two on this blog!
Ivy (no, not me, our lady-lead) is the quintessential boss babe. She’s in control of everything. Except for what happens in the bedroom. She shares a D/s relationship with her partner, Gabe, who is hesitant to carry their lifestyle into places other than the bedroom. We get to watch as their relationship disintegrates and is then reforged through their D/s bond.
I would love to get into more detail, but I do not want to ruin the emotional rollercoaster for anyone else joining me on this feels trip.
I have to start with the most obvious praise: this is the best thing Raleigh has written. The writing in this book was clean and a joy to read. The storytelling was magnificent. The character development and dialogue were polished. And most importantly, the characters felt real.
I’m not going to lie; this book was a bit difficult for me, personally. It was a lot heavier than I was expecting it to be. The relationship between Ivy and Gabe is harrowing, to say the least. I wanted to grab them both by the neck more than a few times. Being someone who is sensitive to toxic character dynamics, I’m not sure that this is something I would have picked up/continued reading on my own. I read romance purely for escapism purposes, and when things feel “too real” or “too owie” (the exact verbiage I used to express my feelings to my partner) I tend to just get sad — but, again, that’s just based on personal preference. This book is wholly deserving of five stars and will definitely make the reader feel their feelings. It certainly did for me!
Congratulations on another stunning release, Raleigh! I can’t wait to see what you come up with next!
You can find Raleigh Damson: books2read, Goodreads, Instagram, and their newsletter!
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