by Charlotte Stein
Imagination is the ultimate aphrodisiac. Molly's imagination is more active than most. When she receives a email noting that the author would be "deliciously pleased" if she would comply with a work-related request, she can't help wondering whether this is some sort of sexual innuendo – especially since rather than identifying himself, he signs his message "Ever Unknown". She pens a subtly provocative reply. Almost immediately she is drawn into an escalating series of sexual adventures that simultaneously shock and arouse her.
Unlike a textbook dominant, Ever Unknown does not order her to perform the various naughty actions he proposes in his emails; he merely suggests that it would please him. But it seems he has the ability to read Molly's mind. She finds herself unable to resist complying, even as the suggestions grow riskier and more outrageous. As long as her clever partner remains anonymous, Molly can pretend the whole thing is just an exquisitely exciting game. When Ever Unknown finally removes his mask, though, she must face reality. Will she be disappointed when she discovers his identity? Will the intoxicating suspense of their shared kinkiness evaporate? Or is their incredible sexual communication a sign of a deeper connection?
Charlotte Stein's enticing tale had me squirming (in a good way!) from the very first page. Her casual, breathless prose pulls you into the story, into Molly's mind - and body. You experience Molly's lust, doubt and confusion with an intensity heightened by Ms. Stein's choice of first person present POV for her incendiary narrative.
Ever Unknown violates most of the conventions of the BDSM genre and yet is true to the spirit of dominance and submission. It focuses on the seductive thrill of playing out complementary fantasies, the excitement of exploring and overcoming one's limits. I'm a BDSM afficionado; I found the story incredibly hot. In short, I loved this book, especially the conclusion, which shatters romance stereotypes while delivering a satisfying and surprisingly realistic happy ending.
If you like BDSM romance - or even if you don't - I highly recommend you get yourself a copy of Ever Unknown. Trust me, you'll be "deliciously pleased".