Surrender Book Cover Surrender
Melody Anne
Erotic Romance
Gossamer Publishing
2013
Ebook

SYNOPSIS: Raffaello (Rafe) Palazzo takes what he wants with no regrets. Arianna (Ari) Lynn Harlow has led a charmed life until tragedy strikes her family. He’s looking for a no-emotions attached mistress, she’s looking for redemption. They are not a pair that should ever work, but undeniable attraction and devastating tragedies bring them together in the city by the bay where he fights to keep their relationship nothing more than an enjoyable way to meet his needs, and she battles to not lose herself in him. Spending time with Ari starts cracking the hard shell that Rafe has built around his heart, but he denies the effect she has on him until it’s too late to stop the inevitable conclusion that their relationship is headed for. Rafe once believed in happily ever after, coming from a large Italian family. He’s got the Midas touch, since every endeavor he tries turns to gold. That all ends when his wife walks out the door and leaves him blindsided. His devastation quickly turns to steel when he decides no woman will fool him again. From that point on he treats relationships as nothing more than business transactions where both party’s come out mutually benefited. Just when Ari has sunk to the lowest she’s ever been she finds an ad in the paper announcing a job that’s too good to be true. It turns out she’s right. She makes it through the intense rounds of interviews only to find out the job is for a mistress to the powerful Rafe Palazzo, owner of Palazzo Enterprises. Rafe gives her a day to think about whether she wants the position or not, and she’s sent on her way, only to find out her mother’s near-terminal position has taken a turn for the worse. Her mom’s only in the hospital because Ari messed up, and her mother’s the one who paid the price. Is Rafe her savior, or will he take her with him straight to the depths of hell?

(for strong sexual content, including scenes of BDSM and strong language

OVERALL THOUGHTS: A friend recommended this book to me, so I thought for those of you who loved 50 Shades of Grey I’d pass it along because you’ll definitely love Melody Anne’s Surrender. How can I say that with so much confidence? Well, because though this book was well written, it is essentially 50 Shades of Grey but with tiny little twists.

THE LOWDOWN: Even interviews aren’t always what they seem. In 50 Shades it was a journalistic interview. In Surrender it was a job interview. Both books begin with a question and answer process that culminates in the bedroom. Rafi and Ari’s situation is a bit different from Christian and Anastasia’s though. Ari has some huge personal hurdles she’s trying to work through and Rafi wants to help her through them, whereas Christian wanted to fulfill a nagging sexual desire for a woman that he thought never should have caught his eye in the first place.

Surrender definitely has a plot line that will call to readers. It’s about more than sex and learning the ways of BDSM, which was refreshing, unlike 50 Shades of Grey. Not that there’s anything wrong with a book about sex. It’s just that it’s nice to have some details other than the ripping of foil wrappers to go along with it. In Surrender you get to go through the emotional battle that is raging in Ari, an emotional battle that has next to nothing to do with Rafi.

There were other obvious similarities between the books. Rafi and Christian do their best to control the women in their lives: they both end up owning the companies that Anastasia and Ari work for, but Rafi has a plane instead of a helicopter. He wants to give Ari an apartment; Christian wants to give Anastasia a car. The list goes on. Melody Anne was definitely less repetitive than E.L. James and the sex scenes are further apart, there are no foil wrappers (thankfully) and there was no non-stop emails and messages. Rafi at least allowed Ari the illusion of living her own life.

FINAL THOUGHTS: The bottom line is this: if you’re a fan of 50 Shades of Grey this may be your next favorite book. I liked it. It had just enough sex to be called Erotica and it had a plot that felt close to real life, or at least semi-plausible. Overall a good read just not so original.

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