Title: The Ex(The Boss #4)
Author: Abigail Barnette
Genre: Romance, Erotica, BDSM, Contemporary, Adult, Fiction
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services (I.e. Self-Published)
Published: November 22, 2014
Page Amount: 284 pages
Blurb From Goodreads: Magazine editor-in-chief, bride-to-be, and soon-to-be-step-grandmother at twenty-six, Sophie Scaife is looking forward to married life with her fiancé and Dom, wickedly sadistic billionaire Neil Elwood. As they enter unexplored sensual territory, Neil leads Sophie to the very edge between pain and pleasure—and she discovers a surprising new side to her sexuality. While Sophie balances her hectic work routine with her devotion to her unconventional family, Neil has to adjust to life as a retired mogul. With their big day drawing nearer, they have to forge through pre-wedding jitters, personal crises, and an unexpected houseguest to get to their kinky ever after. But a decades old trauma still haunts Neil. When the private details draw public interest, Sophie learns that the scars of his past are greater than he let on—and he’ll need all of her love to heal them…
Why Read: Sex. Can I just be bold enough and say that I’m reading this for sex scenes? After explaining myself for the three other books, I think it’s reasonable to get straight to the point. Finding well-written erotic romance novels are hard enough, but finding well-written sex scenes is even more of a challenge. No Shame Ever.
Review: After the last book lulled us readers into a bit of rut with Sophie and Neil, they are back and more riled up than ever. Ta-da! Our favorite pair is finally engaged and after the tease of the third book, the wedding is finally on the way. As a reader, I was ready for the wedding jitters, the dramatics of potentially leaving one another at the alter… I was not ready for rape to come into the picture. I didn’t realize that a small plot line that came up twice or so in the previous books would come to blow up in the way that it does in the fourth book in the series.
It is surprises like this that come completely out of the blue which truly make these books so special. I say I read them for the sex, and that’s not completely wrong. Where I sometimes deviate from that line comes in these moments. Barnette doesn’t hesitate to address issues like a dominant who rapes a submissive, when BDSM goes horribly wrong. She alternates between these very serious issues while leading the reader on a terrible journey of persistent wedding horrors with a side stop in Friendship-Death-ville. In a way, it’s like getting sucker punching multiple times – each in a different muscle group so that you never quite recover.
Reading so far into a series makes the character development all the more satisfying, and this book is probably one of the best examples of that I’ve read in the recent year. From the first book, you watch Sophie grow from uncertain and pushed-around office girl to confident magazine editor and growing socialite. That doesn’t mean she isn’t immature in other areas, and you, as the reader, can watch her grow through them. Her sexuality is one of those issues. As Neil and her explore different depths in more ways than one, Sophie has to deal with reclassifying herself and learning that perhaps there is more to her sexuality than meets the eye. As per her usual self, she doesn’t take it “exceedingly” well. Neil’s own issues with his past rape dominate other parts of the book, and it’s only with all of the restraint that I don’t email Abigail Barnette and demand transcripts of Neil Elwood’s therapy sessions.
The scenes that you’re all thinking of? Oh they are there, don’t you worry. Our favorite BDSM couple goes deeper (get it?) than before, and definitely explore uncharted territories that were not on the original ship manifesto. Somehow it doesn’t seem to matter what places Barnette takes them, because it is too hot to even care. Bring out the fans, readers – you will need them in this book.
Per usual, The Ex is trying to knock you out by mixing that heavy-laden mixture of real-life issues and overly sensual and well-written sex. Spoiler alert? They will suceed.
Rating: 5/5 Stars