Sourcebooks Casablanca / February 5, 2013 / $13.99 print, $7.39 digital
There are things in bassist Jace Seymour’s past that he is unwilling to share with anyone. To cover his guilt and anguish, he seeks dominatrix Mistress V (Aggie) to temporarily placate his inner turmoil.
Aggie doesn’t have much use for men–besides the power rush she gets when they’re begging for mercy at her feet–but Jace isn’t like her usual clients. His cool defiance and unexpected dominance in the bedroom drives her to distraction and quickly steals her heart.
When circumstances threaten Jace’s position in Sinners, Aggie must help him regain his rightful place in the band while showing him that time and love can heal all wounds.
We first met Olivia Cunning’s dark and sexy Sinners in Backstage Pass. The Sinners are a rock band whose secrets and lifestyle choices have made for some very interesting and very erotic reading. Each book gives us insight into one band member while advancing the overall arc. Sex, drugs, and rock and roll all led us on a long, hot, and erotic journey into the world of a band whose lives are balancing on a precipice and the fall could either destroy them or save them.
Hot Ticket is Jace’s story. Jace Seymour is the Sinners's bassist, and he has an as-yet-unrevealed dark past. Jace is a secretive, somewhat sensitive
man with the face of an angel and a body that cries sinful thoughts. Don't let that angelic face fool you, though. He carries a chip the size of Texas on his shoulder. Pain is his only escape from the overwhelming onslaught of feelings he carries within him.
Hurt me. Take the pain away. Hurt me.
When Jace see’s Aggie at a strip club, playing to the audience with her bullwhip and leather Domme outfit, Jace is drawn to her as a moth to a flame. Aggie is a Domme who takes on private clients and “whips” them into submission. Jace schedules a visit with Aggie (Mistress V), and soon both of them embark on a path of heartbreak, loss, love, and redemption as they each find the pieces of their missing hearts in one another.
The core of this story is relationships and how events, though seemingly random, can come full circle. Jace still feels like an outsider in the band, though he has been with them for years.
He'd been with them for almost three years and they felt like strangers.
We learn why he doesn't trust easy and what makes him need the pain to keep his demons looked up tight. His relationship with the other band members comes under scrutiny. Aggie’s relationship issues are also addressed, and we see how her family and past has helped mold her into the person she is now. While this is somewhat more serious than the other three installments, there is a thick vein of humor that works well with the story.
“God I want you. You’re so sexy when you play onstage.” She released a breathless gasp as she gazed at him.
“Oh yeah.” She offered him her come hither smile.
Was his sudden urge to shove hundred dollar bills down her shirt wrong?
Cunning does a fantastic job of using the different personas of Aggie/ Mistress V to slowly break through the wall Jace has erected and excise the crux of the pain and worthlessness that resides in him. Though I am not a fan of BDSM being used as therapeutic “fix all” and pain as an escape from reality, Cunning makes it less about the lifestyle and more of an emotional connection between two people who have what the other needs.
“You're not unwanted. I want you, Jace.”
While the sex scenes are an erotic wet dream as always, Aggie does more than merely be available physically for Jace. She sees him, all of him, and she gives him everything she has to help heal him. She sticks close, even as Jace’s insecurities attempt to drive them apart.
I loved that even if she and Jace were not to make it, her gifts to him come from her heart and she will never regret giving them to him. Her devotion to him, both physically and emotionally, is a gift that makes her a unique heroine in this series.
What starts out as merely a means to an end turns into an emotional journey that takes our two lovers on a heartfelt journey that teaches them that in order to move forward, we must embrace and forgive the past.