Review: Perfect Temptation by K.B. Alan (2021)

Perfect Fit, Book #4

Review of Perfect Fit, Book # 3

Heat Factor: Well, they explore a lot of kinky play, but it’s not the same as a book that is aiming for titillating kink. If that makes sense.

Character Chemistry: The trust comes fast but the emotion builds slow

Plot: Nathalie had a bad Dom and decided BDSM wasn’t for her, but when she discusses her history with a good Dom, she realizes she might be able to safely explore her fantasies again. 

Overall: This is an example of when really spicy content doesn’t feel spicy because it’s so thoughtful

There are books that make the reader think, “Well, that’s not my kink, but I’m happy you’re happy!” and then those that really allow the reader to understand the minds and desires of the protagonists, even if the kinks are not shared. And then there are the books that are titillatingly naughty and seem like they’re mostly about the kink and sure there’s also a story there. 

This book is weird, and I’ll try to articulate my thoughts clearly. 

The story begins with Nathalie having a really terrible, upsetting, abusive interaction with her Dom, her best friend, and her best friend’s Dom when both of the women (subs) were in college. Because she was all of 22, instead of having the knowledge and experience under her belt to understand that the situation was super not what BDSM is supposed to be, she felt like she got herself all wrong, her fantasies didn’t meet reality, and the lifestyle just wasn’t for her. Five years later, one thing leads to another, and she learns that her best friend’s brother’s best friend (that’s a mouthful), Noah, is a Dom, and she trusts him enough to tell him about her experience. 

Off Noah and Nathalie go to a cabin in the woods for a weekend so Noah, who is a dungeon monitor and mentor at his club, can mentor her and work through various scenes with her so she can decide if she wants to pursue BDSM with the new knowledge she possesses. They just can’t fall in love because Noah takes this mentoring thing seriously, and that puts a unique power dynamic in play. For her part, Nathalie might be attracted to Noah, but she doesn’t know if she’s into the same kinks as him, and throwing feelings into the mix when she’s trying to figure out her sex life is a recipe for Complications. 

Of course they both catch feelings.

So far, this doesn’t sound all that weird. And the narrative isn’t, really. It was really sweet and thoughtful and romantic. What I found myself wondering as I read was: Who is this book for? 

The vast majority of the book takes place at the cabin, and nearly every book scene is constructed of one of Nathalie and Noah’s BDSM scenes. (They do have some very hot, collar-off, vanilla sex, too.) But when the book is composed of scenes that are meant to allow Nathalie to explore what does or doesn’t work for her… It puts the reader in a strange headspace because it’s not like reading a scene that the author has written to demonstrate that the protagonists are totally into it. (Off the top of my head, if you’re looking for an example of what I’m talking about, read our reviews of Katee Robert’s A Touch of Taboo series.) When the author makes it clear that the protagonists are totally into it, even if “it’s not my kink,” the reader can still get ramped up with the protagonists because the excitement boils over. That didn’t really happen with this book, because as the reader, I was with Nathalie as she navigated each new experience with some uncertainty or thoughtfulness. That headspace doesn’t really lend itself to sex that one is totally into

This is not to say that there were not moments when I was aware that Nathalie and Noah were totally into it, and absolutely there was no question that consent was present (so many careful check-ins!), it’s just that the overall tone or mood of the book was significantly different than every other kinky book I’ve ever read. Which is kind of awesome.

It also brings me back to the question of, “Who is this book for?” I was charmed by the romance, but because the sex included many different kinky interactions I wasn’t all hopped up on the sex. So is this for readers who are actively and happily kinky? Would that reader feel seen or get really into the scenes? Is it for readers who are BDSM curious? Would those readers feel like there’s a writer out there acknowledging the mingled trepidation and hopefulness that they might feel as they begin their explorations of the lifestyle? Or is it for readers who say “that’s not my kink” but who might now better understand a lifestyle that is not for them? 

Maybe it’s for all the readers, and it’s simply a thoughtful romance that explores how fears can hold people back from exploring their fantasies, finding partners they can trust, and embracing their happiness… set against a backdrop of the BDSM lifestyle. I really liked this one.

I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.

Buy Now: Amazon | Bookshop

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