Review: The Dark Garden by Eden Bradley

Title: The Dark Garden
Author: Eden Bradley
Publisher: Bantam Books
Published: May 29, 2007
paperback, 308 pages
ISBN: 978-0-553-58973-3
Genre: Romance
Source: Publisher

Caution: This book is recommended for +18 years of age. 
Summary (From Goodreads):
Rowan Cassidy likes to be in charge—especially in her personal life. As a mistress at Club PrivĂ©, the most exclusive bondage/S & M club on the West Coast, Rowan can live out her dominant fantasies safely, and with complete control—until the night Christian Thorne walks in. Self-confident and sophisticated, he’s a natural dominant if Rowan’s ever seen one. Yet she can’t stop thinking about him and imagining his touch.

My thoughts:
The Dark Garden by Eden Bradley a romance that tips the erotic scale. Rowan Cassidy likes to be in control. She is a dominatrix that frequents the local S & M club, Club Prive. There she meets Christian, who is another dom. He's confident, drop-dead gorgeous,  and determined. From their first meeting, Christian becomes hypnotized by Rowan. He makes her an offer she can't refuse. Christian challenges Rowan to be his submissive for thirty days. She is hesitant, but soon agrees. However it is easier said than done. Rowan has issues of her own. Something happened in her past that haunts her and drives her need to always be in charge of any situation. Thus the conflict.
The story line has positives and negatives. Rowan is strong yet vulnerable. She has issues that have shaped who she is. She feels safe when she's a dom; while being a submissive scares the hell out of her. Her deal with Christian is a way of confronting the past, and letting go.  During their 'sessions' Rowan even has moments of shear terror that makes her want to run away. This seemed very plausible to me. I could even believe that for some unknown reason, Christian wanted to help her. They had great chemistry together, but their relationship seemed rushed. The ending is one of the problems I had with the story. It seemed to tie up rather quickly into a neat little package. I'm sure great sex can solve a great many things, but somehow I think this story line needed a bit more considering the circumstances. Another problem that I had with the book, is April and Decker's story. April is a friend of Rowan's and Decker is a dom. They are both minor characters in the story and so is their story line. Their story felt like it was thrown into the book. I think it would have been better if April and Decker had their own book. Rowan and April's story line paralleled, but I felt as if more explanation was needed in their story.
Overall if you're a fan of 50 Shades of Grey, you might enjoy this book. There are things I enjoyed about this book as well as things I didn't. The writing was good, the characters were good, but the story line left me wanting. This book is recommended for mature audiences only. I would rate this book 2.5 but I'll round it up to three Willies since we don't know halvesies .

My rating:

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