Review: Rope Burn

cover-rope burn]Title: Rope Burn
Author: Em Petrova
Series: Boot Knockers Ranch #5
Genre: Red Hot Contemporary
Length: Novel
Available: Now

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She wants to turn up the heat. He’s got the skills to whip her into a frenzy.

The Boot Knockers Ranch, Book 5

TV food show host Tabbart Tracy works hard to give viewers her best recipes. But while her fans are legion, her personal life is colder than a meat locker. Most men just want her to serve up some pie—in the nude.

One glance at her assistant’s sexy brother, though, and her body skips straight from low simmer to rolling boil. Especially when she tracks him down at a stud ranch. Where he’s the stud.

When a certain little TV foodie personally requests Stowe’s company for a week, he’s flattered as hell. She needs to give up some control, and as a sex therapist otherwise known as the “Dom from Down Under”, Stowe has the leather, rope, and paddles to do it.

Just as Tabbart melts into a puddle under Stowe’s hands, her worst fear chills her back to reality: someone recognizes her. Worse, her Master frowns on opening her checkbook to make it all go away. But trusting him means hanging onto their connection with both hands—while he takes her for the ride of her life.

Warning: This book contains a TV chef looking for some R&R (as in rough and raunchy) and a whip-wielding Aussie cowboy Dom intent on showing her she can take the heat. As hot as—and anywhere—she wants it.


Source: ARC from Samhain Publishing via NetGalley

Taking another raunchy visit to the Boot Knockers Ranch, this fifth installment in the series is every bit as hot and sexy and I’d expect, leaning heavily on the BDSM side of things this time. I did enjoy it, but I don’t know if it was just me but I found the non-sex parts more interesting – which is good in one way because it means this story is about more than sex, and yet if the sex can’t keep my interest in a book like this, something isn’t right (probably me).

However, I’m not always the biggest fan of D/s relationships – my first few reads in the sub-genre were pretty awful. This isn’t, and I really appreciated the level of care Stowe takes with Tabbart in this book, especially at first. He’s patient and careful and explains everything he can long before he pushes her for harder stuff. And yet… something didn’t quite work for me in their partnership. I think it’s possibly because Stowe is very dominant and is always aiming towards the hard stuff (despite their short time together), while for me Tabbart’s submissiveness is less of a personal preference than a way to get what she wants – Stowe. In fact, throughout their relationship, even at the end, I still felt like Tabbart is only into BDSM because that’s what Stowe likes, rather than her picking it because she wants it herself. Don’t get me wrong, she’s clearly enjoying herself and Stowe never forces her into anything she doesn’t want, but it didn’t feel entirely natural to me.

Part of this is probably due to the kind of person Tabbart is at the beginning. She’s a workaholic on the edge of burnout who has never had much time for relationships. She seeks out Stowe because she’s intrigued by him, but she doesn’t bother researching why he’s called the Dom from Down Under or what that will mean, so she’s effectively going into their time together blind. I have nothing against the idea of strong women (or men) or control freaks finding pleasure and release in giving up control in the bedroom, but again, Tabbart doesn’t seem to really need that. Yes, she works almost nonstop, but she’s actually not that in control of her TV life and career. People are always pushing at her, wanting this, wanting more, so the idea that she’d then want that from Stowe as well didn’t work so well for me. The idea of him caring for her and keeping her safe, being someone she can trust completely, I get, but again that still makes me feel like the BDSM is a means to an end for her, rather than a choice for its own sake.

Add in the fact that the sex scenes are almost a checklist of D/s progression, getting gradually harder without her ever really finding her particular preference or niche, except that Stowe likes it so “Yay! Orgasm!” and maybe that’s why I enjoyed the bits between the sex more.

However, if all of the above sounds like just your thing and you love a bit of spanking and whipping as a kink, then you’ll probably love this. Stowe is hot and dominant without being an overbearing ass and Tabbart is submissive without ever being passive or dull, and the ranch is as full of sexy shenanigans as always. If you like your cowboys scorching hot and with plenty of action throughout, as well as a bit of a storyline outside of the bedroom, then the Boot Knockers might well be for you. I certainly don’t regret reading about Stowe – and I hope we’ll see more of his little sister in future.


Rope Burn is Out Now!
Visit Em Petrova for more details.

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