Friday, February 27, 2015

Blog Tour Review ~ Libertine Awakenings: A Psychosexual Odyssey by Cat Ravenelle

Libertine Awakenings: A Psychosexual Odyssey

by Cat Ravenelle

Alexis Downing is beautiful, smart, and focused on her master’s thesis. She seems to have it all, but the secrets of her past have left her broken and devoid of feeling. As a result, she regards men and sex as necessary inconveniences until she meets Justin Simmons, a handsome scientist from Chicago. He invites her to engage in a one-night stand. No strings. She just needs to do what he says and relinquish her control.
Intrigued, Alexis decides to take a risk.
Through Justin’s guidance, she experiments with bondage and submission. It’s her first time and the liaison leaves her wanting more. An agreement is made and Justin takes her on a journey of pleasure and pain that leaves her breathless, yet stronger than ever before. In each lesson, she learns about trust and humility. In each session, her emotional self emerges a bit more. They explore every aspect of her evolving sexuality. As she awakens to pleasure she’s never experienced, her boundaries expand. She begins to understand that submission brings power. Power that she will cling to as the secrets of her past are revealed.
Libertine Awakenings is the psychosexual odyssey of Alexis Downing. Filled with smoldering, graphic sex, mystery, and romance, Libertine Awakenings is bound to please and entice—even without a safe word.

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Justin placed his hands on her slip and hiked it up, exposing her panties. Jim leaned in for a shot. Justin then pulled the top of her corset down, exposing her nipples. He walked away. Jim came in closer for a picture. He reached to pull her top down a little more.
"Don’t touch her without my permission," he snapped. "She’s mine!"
Holy shit!
Justin came up with a black scarf. He pressed his finger on her lips, and Alexis opened her mouth. He gagged her with the scarf. She obediently held her head forward so that he could tie the gag tight.
Justin motioned to Jim.
"Take pictures of this. I want lots of pictures of this, Jimbo."
Alexis sat there. She couldn’t move. Her breasts cascaded over the edge of the corset, and her legs were spread wide apart. Jim continued taking pictures of her. She felt sexy yet submissive. The act of the restraining made her hot.
Justin rubbed her erect nipples between his fingers, pinching them lightly. She felt a cool piece of metal touch her nipple. She gasped. An intense, stinging feeling coursed through her as the clamp bit down on her erect nipple. It was a confusing mixture of pleasure and pain. Alexis looked down at her breast, staring at the clip pinching her ripple.
He stimulated her other nipped and attached the clamp. She moaned, seizing up as the clamp bit down on her erect nipple. She grunted and bit down on the gag. Alexis stared her breasts, the black-rubber-tipped metal looked menacing against her reddening nipples.
Justin played with her nipple clamps and tugged upward on the metal chain. Alexis groaned in pleasure. Justin adjusted one side of the clamp and made it a little tighter, making her moan and shake her head. The pain seared through her body, and she squirmed. Justin grabbed her other breast and did the same. It hurt. She shook her head. The pain was too much.
Justin tugged on the chain, bringing tears to her eyes.
"It’s pain, but it is your pain. Just go with it," Justin said, pulling the chain with his finger, watching her reaction.
Alexis shook her head back and forth and moaned. The pinching of her nipples was intense. Justin leaned into her and whispered in her ear.
"Bad girl."
Alexis nodded. Justin sat back and watched her. She rode with the sensation. The intensity of the nipple clamp was making her dizzy. She felt a sense of arousal that went deep inside. He came up and tugged on the chain, reactivating the searing pain-and-pleasure mix. She cried out. He reached under her panties and felt her pussy. She was so wet that his fingers slid around her easily. He pulled his hand out and wiped his hand off on her chest.
"You like this, don’t you, whore?" Justin pulled on the chain again.
She tried to move but couldn’t. The pain was beginning to peak. She started sweating. She wasn’t sure how much more she could take. She remembered their signal to end the game. She was about to use it when Justin came up and took the first nipple clamp off. A sharp pain raced through her breast, and he put his mouth on her nipple to soothe her. He removed the other one and did the same. He kissed her nipples gently.
She felt dizzy. The room was spinning. She bit down on her gag and strained against her bonds. The pain followed by the pleasure made her confused. She forgot about Jim. She forgot about Sage. She was drifting. She leaned her head back and stopped struggling, feeling the pulsation of her nipples beginning to subside.
Justin started stroking Alexis’s pussy on the outside of the panties. She jumped at his touch, as she was lost in her own world. She wanted to come so badly. She moaned and tried to arch her pelvis toward him. He reached under her panties and played with her clit. She rolled her head back and forth. She was so excited and aroused. She was on the brink of coming. Justin fingered her and rubbed her clit. She shook and moaned. She was on the edge. Justin stopped and reached under her slip to pull her panties down. They got stuck, as her legs were spread and tied to the chair.
"Take a picture of this," Justin ordered.
Jim complied. Justin pulled the panties down and leaned in. Alexis sighed. Her pubic hair and inner thighs glistened with her wetness.
"Jim, come here. Hold her panties down for me. I can’t reach her clit," Justin said.
Jim stood there, stunned.
"Do it!" Justin ordered.
Jim hurried over and pulled on Alexis’s panties while Justin spread her lips and aggressively licked her clitoris.
Alexis was excited over the fact that two men were involved in her pleasure. It was new to her, and she liked it. She got caught up in the fact that she felt Jim’s hand on her leg, pulling on her panties while Justin licked her clit. She secretly wished for a little more. Justin found the right spot, and she came.
She moaned wordless under her gag. She couldn’t move and had to let the orgasm happen. She couldn’t shift her body, her legs, or her pelvis. Nothing. It was complete surrender.

3 ½ -Sexual Awakenings- Stars
~this review may contain minor spoilers~

She was stepping out of her comfort zone.
More like jumping out of an airplane.

It was only supposed to be one night, one night of life-altering sex with a near stranger. That one night lead to a sexual awakening she never saw coming, changed her life in ways she never expected and altered who she was on a basic level. Follow Alexis on her journey from an emotionally damaged prude to a vixen who owns her sexual cravings.

Alexis, you're a lotus unfolding in the morning sun. The act of submission teaches you deference and trust. But you are more powerful in that moment of humility than you realize. Your passion, your sexual energy is very powerful, and once you can harness it, your whole perspective will shift.”

This is gonna be a tough review so just bare with me here. I liked the book, the story was fascinating and it was loaded with some pretty damn hott sex-but... It took me a really long time to connect with the characters. From the beginning we jump right into the sex-the kind of sex Alexis has never ventured into before-with a guy she barely knows-with no back story as to how she ended up there. We eventually learn how she meet Justin, how they made it into bed and what made her decide to step so far outside her comfort zone-but we get it through flashbacks long after they first hookup. I think that may be what caused me a little bit of a disconnect with the characters. I just didn't understand their motives, getting thrown right into the fire without warning was a bit jarring. And the fact that is was all told from Lex's POV didn't help me where Justin was concerned either. I just felt like I started behind the line and spent a lot of time trying to catch up. It took awhile but I eventually got into the story and that's when I started to really enjoy it. It's hard to explain. Watching Lex learn about herself and exploring things she never even conceived of before was captivating, there was plenty of unexpected surprises and twists I never would have expected, and the journey was certainly sexy-I just never got completely lost in the book and that's something I look forward to. But hey-this is just my opinion about the way the story affected me personally, this will not be the case with everyone. The book still held my attention enough that I would recommend it to anyone who likes their romances a bit on the unconventional side like I do. Just go into this with an open mind. Overall, it was a pretty solid debut for Cat Ravenelle and I can't wait to see what she brings us next.

Sometimes you must learn to surrender in order to understand power.”
“Are you talking about power and control?”
Just take it for what it is, Alexis. Just trust me. Do you trust me?”
“Yes, I do. Strangely enough, I do.”

Cat Ravenelle has been spinning erotic stories much to her mother's chagrin since she was a young girl. A graduate of the Women's Studies program at the University of Colorado-Boulder, Cat worked for a small newspaper covering the judicial system. She had several articles published on topics relating to victim and women's rights and had aspired to attend law school. The call for adventure was too much to resist and Cat spent time traveling to Europe and spending lost weekends in Las Vegas. The arrival of her son settled her down and now she has found her true dharma, spinning erotic stories, much to the chagrin of her teenage boy.
Cat loves all things pin-up/retro. Vinyl over downloads, a book versus a Kindle...the perfect date is a leisurely afternoon browsing bookstores, having some wine and warming up after being caught in the rain. She loves red lipstick, red wine, heels with an ankle strap, a good scotch and pretty dresses. You will never find her camping but you might find her at the ballgame, watching the Cubs lose.

Granted the designation of Editor’s Choice for Libertine Awakenings in 2014.
Granted the designation of Rising Star by iUniverse Publishing for Libertine Awakenings in 2014.

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