The Dom Project by Solace Ames & Heloise Belleau
By day, Robin Lessing has a successful career as a university archivist. By night, she blogs about her less-than-successful search for Mr. Tall, Dark and Dominant. Living up to her handle “The Picky Submissive,” she’s on the verge of giving up and settling for vanilla with a side of fuzzy handcuffs when she discovers her best friend and colleague has a kinky side, too.
Sexy, tattooed techie John Sun is an experienced Dom who never lacks for playmates, male or female. If he can’t satisfy Robin’s cravings, maybe no one can—after all, he knows her better than anyone. So he offers to help her master the art of submission for one month.
Robin eagerly agrees to John’s terms, even the pesky little rule forbidding any friendship-ruining sex. But rules are made to be broken, and once they begin their stimulating sessions, it’s not long before she’s ready to beg him for more—much more…
This wasn’t her area, but Robin could still see that the comps in the appraisal were ridiculous. She scribbled corrections in the margins in between sips of her tea.
“It’s the A/V guy!”
The students at the table next to her were poking each other and trying not to stare. People tended to remember John. There weren’t many built, six-foot-tall Asian men with full-sleeve tattoos and close-cropped hair ambling around campus in work shirts, black jeans and motorcycle boots.
Not even Berkeley was colorful enough to have an army of Johns.
“Hey, pixie.” He took a seat across from her.
“Don’t call me that.” She hated that name. Hated any nickname or reference to her small stature, really. See also the “I Am Not Your Baby Doll” tag on her blog.
Thirty-two years old and her body was much the same as it was at fifteen. She didn’t complain in public—oh no I’m too thin and slender and delicate sounded insufferable—and she had learned a few tricks. The hidden platform heels. Penciling depth to her eyebrows for a stronger, less ingenue look. They helped get her taken seriously at work, but the daddy-kink doms still swooped around her like moths to the flame, vultures to the roadkill, flies to the—damn, she was getting cynical.
“Aw…” John’s brow crumpled. “Hey, don’t be like that. I’m sorry.”
“I know you’re just—” She and John always teased each other, but now, for the first time, the problems with her sex life were spilling over into their friendship. “I’m on edge about something else.”
“Is it the collection?” He leaned back in his seat and shifted his legs. The corner table had about as much room as an airplane seat, nowhere near John-sized, so she didn’t blame him for the invasion. She shifted her knees out of the way, her calf glancing across the leather of his outstretched boot before she tucked both feet underneath her chair, trying to ignore how uncomfortable the position was.
“No. I’m excited about the collection. Apparently it’s her nephew, who inherited a case of letters and photographs and negatives. He’s not doing too well, healthwise—that’s the grim side of our field, we deal with a lot of dying and desperate people—and he called in an antiques dealer for an appraisal. This guy had no idea what he was doing, or else he’s a lowballing sleaze. One of the two. The nephew was so angry he threw the appraisal on the ground and walked away. This was at a public sale, and Julio happened to be there.”
“That’s some cloak-and-dagger shit. I’m impressed.” The lazy smile he usually wore did seem more…appreciative. Sincere. When he put his arms on the table, she tried not to let the searing colors and writhing patterns on his right arm distract her.
She looked right in his eyes. “So this is really delicate and time-sensitive, and you can’t tell anyone else. I have to get to him. I have to convince him that Saylor University Special Collections is where the collection needs to be. Sometimes it’s not about money as much as legacy. Although the money’s obviously a factor.”
John nodded, but his eyes had glazed over again. Too much academic jargon. Not enough sexy scandal.
“The appraisal mentions something called insertion images,” she added, keeping her voice cool and disaffected.
He blinked and sucked in a breath.
“And pearl rope bondage. Or maybe it was rope pearl bondage?” It was getting to be more of an effort staying cool than she’d imagined. Oh well. John would assume her excitement was due to the rarity, not the special aspects of the collection. “And something about a silver circle—a napkin ring maybe?—held in her mouth in the same style as a modern-day, umm, let me check—” She’d always been good at pretending ignorance; it was a skill that came in handy when she found something valuable but vastly underpriced at a flea market or estate sale and didn’t want to see that number go up. And now, apparently, when she didn’t want to let her best friend know too much about her sexual proclivities.
“Ring gag. A 1930s ring gag.”
Her face flared with heat, hearing him talk like that, so matter-of-factly. “So you know the right words.” Wait, did she want him to answer that? What was that, an accusation? A question? Was she implying something? About John?
Q: Romance readers have a lot of choices these days. What makes The Dom Project stand out in the crowd?
A: It’s a BDSM erotic romance that breaks most of the rules. The Dom Project doesn’t skimp on the kinky sex, but it’s also a funny and heart-warming friends-to-lovers story.
Q: We like to include our favorite quote in our reviews of the books we read. What is your favorite quote from The Dom Project?
A: My favorite quote from The Dom Project is:
John smiled as he ran his fingertips along the string of pearls, so lightly, and she shivered as if he were touching her skin. But of course, he wasn’t. No touching skin to skin, unless it was to position her. No caresses. No kisses. No openhanded slaps. No fingertips digging into her hips as he pounded into her from behind—
She forced herself to look him in the eye, and let the steady concentration of his gaze ground her again.
About Solace Ames & Heloise Belleau
Solace Ames has roots in the Southeast US, although her heart lives somewhere along the Pacific coast of Mexico. She’s worked in restaurants, strip clubs, academia and the corporate world, and studied everything from the philosophy of science to queer theory to medieval Spanish literature. Rejecting neat categories, her writing sprawls across genres and genders. Along with writing, education and political activism are her passions. Family takes up most of her time, but she loves to keep learning.
Enter here to win a cultured baroque grey pearl matching necklace and bracelet set! The necklace length is 17″ while the bracelet measures 7.5″. Both pieces close with a sterling silver lobster claw and eyelet.
Solace Ames & Heloise Belleau are the giveaway sponsors. Fiction Vixen will not be choosing or announcing a winner.