cover image Bound Beneath His Pain

Bound Beneath His Pain

Stacey Kennedy. Loveswept, $3.99 e-book (275p) ISBN 978-1-101-88256-6

Kennedy’s by-the-numbers erotic workplace romance set in present-day San Francisco begins a series exploring the rich, powerful men of the dramatically named Dominants’ Council. Kennedy diligently parades a series of standard tropes past the reader. Billionaire businessman Micah and real estate agent Allie are instantly, viscerally attracted to each other but keep multiple important secrets, including Micah’s undercover ownership of a sex club. Self-involved Micah sees no barrier to a sexual relationship with Allie, even though she’s his employee; career-minded Allie briefly worries about tabloid fame if she agrees to date him, but is ultimately swayed after briefly witnessing Micah’s softer side. Micah’s self-hatred soon dominates their relationship until Allie accidentally uncovers his deepest secret. Her understanding and research are luckily sufficient to entice Micah into sharing his true desires and saving their bond. The kink isn’t particularly intense—and why mention a sex club if it barely features in the story?—but fans of mild erotica will find this story reasonably satisfying. [em]Agent: Jessica Alvarez, Bookends. (July) [/em]