Brendan’s been in love with Chloe since he met her at Marguerite and Tyler’s wedding. He’d given her his phone number and really hoped she would call but was about to give up hope when his phone finally rings and she’s on the other end of the line. Granted, she’s not calling to ask him out or confess to any lamenting desire, she called because she needed a connection – a voice to ground her – and that means the world to him.
During the course of their telephone conversation, Brendan calms her fear and even makes her laugh but underneath it all there’s a sensuality and sexual need that can’t be ignored. The phone sex is off the charts and unlocks needs in Chloe she’s long ignored, but the simple fact is she’s not a Domme and really isn’t comfortable making demands of Brendan, and as a male submissive, he craves a strong woman to make him feel secure and needed. Chloe might try to fit into the mold because she’s afraid she’ll lose Brendan otherwise, but it’s just not ‘her.’ Fortunately the BDSM lifestyle is what you make of it and something that works for one couple might not work for another – they just need to find what works for them – and they have great friends who are willing to help along the way.
Nobody writes BDSM with the same intensity Joey W. Hill has been able to display in her NATURE OF DESIRE series. Each title in this series has been a whirlwind of emotional highs, lows and everything in between that drains the reader of all preconceived notions about the characters and their relationships and then rebuilds them a little at a time. BRANDED SANCTUARY is an emotional journey that involves healing, forgiveness, acceptance, trust and lots of self-doubt. Chloe and Brendan make a wonderful couple but because of his submissiveness there are definite issues and concerns about whether they can make a relationship work long term. There’s also an issue with Marguerite being his Mistress and how Chloe will respond to that bit of news or how she’ll even feel knowing that she can never fill the spot in Brendan’s heart that belongs exclusively to Marguerite. It’s a complicated situation but through it all I rooted for Chloe and Brendan to find happiness together.
BRANDED SANCTUARY is the seventh book in Joey W. Hill’s NATURE OF DESIRE series. While this title can be read as a stand-alone, you’d get a much better feel for the characters and their unique situation if you read ICE QUEEN and MIRROR OF MY SOUL first.