When Matthew Logan offers a homeless young woman a bed for a few nights, he expects the girl to eat, sleep, recover from the flu, and then move on. Instead, in no time at all eighteen-year-old Beth Harte has captured his affections completely. Though Matt wants only to protect her and has no intention of sleeping with her, Beth has other ideas, and she proves to be very persuasive.
But after Beth is attacked by a friend of Matt’s and subsequently learns for the first time that Matt is an experienced dominant, she is unable to separate the man she is growing to care about from her hateful memories of previous exploitation. Confused and frightened, she runs away.
Almost six years pass before Matt sees Beth again, and in that time his vulnerable little waif has reinvented herself as an artist. Now she has a stunning proposition for him and his environmental engineering company: to collaborate on a project fusing art and science to promote one of the most prestigious sporting events in the world. But when Matt demands to know what went wrong before, she tells him the truth, both about her childhood and about his friend’s actions.
Matt is determined to make Beth’s abusers pay for their crimes, but he’s also not about to let her run away from him again. Can Beth bring herself to trust Matt despite her fears and give him the chance to love her and show her the pleasures of being his submissive, or will the wounds of her past keep her from trusting anyone ever again?
Publisher’s Note: Spirit is an erotic romance novel that includes spankings, sexual scenes, anal play, BDSM content, and more. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.
Author: Ashe Barker
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: The Darkening, Darkening, Darker, Darkest
Published: April 2nd 2015
Genres: Erotic Contemporary Romance
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Visit the Author's Website
I read Spirit without reading the blurb at all so I had no idea what I was going to be experiencing here. Once I finished and checked the blurb, and compared it to my mental notes I got it. Actually, I’m glad I didn’t read the blurb first. All those little angle mentioned I would have been waiting for to happen and that mental checklist would have detracted from my enjoyment of the story.
There’s a real nice build up to the story. For me it started out very emotional as Beth is struggling to survive living ‘rough’. Her first encounter with Matt was quite the scary YIKES! but quickly settled into not a creeper. I found him very sweet, quite the gentleman with a hint of steely strength. Beth I found to be innocent and not quite impulsive for dumb reasons but more for survival. Jump forward six years later, and she still has a hint of that innocence and impulsive actions but not tied so much to fear this time around. This new Beth I enjoyed much better although I found Matt to be much the same. Their interactions and building of relationship is what really had me excited. There was this honest feel to it, a general interest in each other that had nothing to do with between the sheets although when they finally got ‘there’, oh yes! Sweet, sweet hotness!
Having devoured quite a few of Ashe Barker’s books, I almost feel Spirit is a bit of a departure from her normal books. It’s not that it is lacking anything, instead I feel it has a bit of an element that I find a bit more enticing. There’s a gentleness to this story, a building of a relationship that I fell in love with. Not to say her other books don’t build a relationships, but the other titles feel like the story revolves around BDSM, which is usually front and center. Instead, in Spirit, the BDSM is taking a back seat to the story itself. Also, the BDSM is less GRRR! and more playful. Matt is less of a uber Dom and shows more of a caring side. Equally, I felt Beth was less subservient in her submission. I liked it…they felt more like couple than a power play.
Of all titles by Ms. Barker, this would be the title I would recommend as a first read. It makes a great introduction to her works. Definitely a book for anyone who wants to read BDSM without it over-running the story. I give Spirit two thumbs up.