Because You Are Mine, Part VIII: Because I Am Yours
InterMix (Penguin) / September 18, 2012 / $1.99 digital
From the moment Ian and Francesca first met, the attraction was mutual—a purely, exquisitely physical charge that ignited between them. It couldn’t be ignored—only indulged, evolving into a bond of pleasurable subjugation. But Francesca’s open sensuality left her wanting more. Getting it from a man as mysterious and resolute as Ian was a challenge she never anticipated.
Francesca knows there's only one way for them to move forward—to follow Ian to London and show him that she doesn't want him to suffer alone. But when Ian's past and inner torment is revealed, he experiences a nearly unbearable volcanic mix of emotions for the woman who has dared to love him, despite his inner demons. After exposing Francesca to the limits of his anguish, he wonders if he's lost her forever. Can he bend enough to compromise to true intimacy...and something called love?
Beth Kery is already one of my go-to authors for great erotic romance. Her writing is smart, sexy, and incredibly engaging, and Addicted to You is one of my favorite erotic romances in general.
Because You Are Mine is an interesting read because it was released in serial form; this is the eighth, and final, book in the series. At first, its being a serial was a negative, because I'm impatient, and like knowing everything right now. But the shorter format was fun, and it was also fun to anticipate the next few chapters.
The series is similar to a few other erotic romances that are big right now: An enigmatic incredibly sexy billion(trillion?)aire, and a young heroine. Generally naive. It's like a well written Harlequin Presents category romance, but with a lot more explicit sex.
At first it might appear that Because You Are Mine is erotica, rather than an erotic romance. Francesca is a fascinating heroine. She's a grad student, and an incredibly talented artist. That's something that she and Ian instantly connect over. In fact, Francesca's art is what attracts Ian to her in the first place. The actual first meeting cements it. Francesca is refreshingly different. She's gauche, yet strong, a little clueless, but also steadfast. I wondered if Francesca was being swept along with Ian, and her purported emotions (although I guess I shouldn't have assumed or thought the heroine didn't know her own mind.) She simply seems to be a bit...removed, or clueless. Not stupid or anything, just...unaware of herself as a person, and as a woman, in a way. Or, that's what the implication is from Ian's perspective.
Ian comes on rather like a freight train. It seems he doesn't like Francesca, but is all over her. There are numerous times he says he can't control himself, or he doesn't understand why he's reacting this way. The implication is that his emotions are involved, but he never comes out to say it, or show it until the end. In fact, I wondered if Ian wasn't telling the truth that he really wouldn't, and didn't give Francesca anything beyond the physical.
I say this because, it's all about sex. For awhile, Francesca isn't even sure how she feels about Ian, or if she even really likes him, much less love him. Then there's how Ian straight up tells her he only wants sex, with no entanglements or emotions from the start, although that is the obligatory hero speechin the most popular books these days. What helps though, is that Ian himself says he treats Francesca differently. He's not quite sure why, but in general romance hero fashion, he's emotionally stunted. He has the feelings but doesn't know how to place them, or deal with them. It's the fact that he wants Francesca to be happy though, and cares about her in his own way.
As to the physicality, there is a lot of it. Beyond this being an erotic romance, it's heavily into BDSM. There were some scenes with such intricate sexual choreography I couldn't even picture it. A sex swing, where Ian spins Francesca around so that she analogizes it to a XXX Cirque du Soleil. There are toys, and stimulants, and other props, enough to make any girl's head spin, and especially Francesca's. Another “twist” is that she's a virgin. That might bother some people, but that seems to fit her character. It's also very believable considering her background.
I had my worries from part six and seven to whether this was going to end up being a romance or not—or with the mushy emotional relationship aspects being rushed in the end. What cemented the story, and Francesca knowing her mind for me though, was a scene after Ian has been an incredible hurtful ass to her, and instructed her to go into the bedroom for sex. This is how Francesca responds:
“All right. But I'm only doing it because I really have fallen in love with you. And I'm not a naive little girl. I think you love me in return and are just too proud and stubborn—and hurt about what happened with your mother today—to have recognized it.”
It's been clear throughout the story that Francesca has been coming into her own, both with Ian's encouragement and guidance, and just her own initiative. What's also good is that Francesca does have her own mind, and stands up to Ian. She submits in the bedroom and sexually, but not other aspects of her life. And she tells him that.
The end does tie more things together, with Ian making an incredible effort to show Francesca how he feels. And he finally does communicate his love to her. It's nontraditional, but works here. The ending is abrupt, but Ms. Kery has indicated that there will be more of Ian and Francesca in the future. I'd love to see how Ian and Francesca's relationship develops though, and how Francesca handles herself now that she's gained confidence and polish. I also know, however, that she will remain herself.
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