A copy of this book was provided by the author for an honest review at The Romance Evangelist.
REQUESTED SURRENDER is the fourth book in Riley Murphy’s TRUST IN ME series, and while you don’t need to have read the first three books in the series, you should read A DATE WITH A DOM (Trust in Me #3.5) before you read this book. A DATE WITH A DOM is available at Amazon for 99 cents (free read with Prime), but portions of it can also be read for free at Author Riley Murphy. You could be lost at the beginning of REQUESTED SURRENDER if you do not read this short prequel.
I’ve been enjoying Riley Murphy’s Trust in Me series at Ellora’s Cave for a few years now, but hadn’t seen a new book since early 2013, so I was pleased to learn that she would be self-publishing the next book in the series this year. I’m pleased to say that REQUESTED SURRENDER is just as good as the books which preceded it, and happy that self-publishing has rescued a series I’ve always loved.
David Hollan is one of several Doms who co-own The Carlyn, an exclusive resort with a BDSM flair. We’ve seen in the past two books how he’s been trying to get closer to Lacy Pembrook, a woman he finds equally attractive and frustrating. It seems to David that Lacy is always playing a version of herself, one who never takes anything seriously even to the detriment of her own happiness, and he wants to know why. Because David suspects the real Lacy is the woman who can be the submissive he needs, even as she clearly needs him to keep her safe and happy and loved.
Lacy does appear to be a scatterbrained happy-go-lucky type of woman who runs away when things get difficult. She starts all kinds of plans, but never fully follows through. She’s a gifted artist, but never really did anything with her obvious talent, instead choosing to attend veterinary school to please her father. Yet even with her successfully completed degree, she still hasn’t managed to open her own practice. And even though she and David have been dating seriously for a while, Lacy still hasn’t let him know that the “Jo” she still spends time with in her house is actually “Joe” the hunky contractor with whom Lacy had briefly toyed before David came into her life. Now the revelation about Joe has finally pushed David into confronting Lacy with a plan to show her how she needs him in her life to provide structure and guidance, and help her embrace her true submissive self.
Although I was happy to return to the Trust In Me series, I’ll admit I was as all over the place as much as Lacy was, at least at first. REQUESTED SURRENDER began right as David’s discovered Lacy’s major lie of omission and moved forward immediately into what David did to keep Lacy from running away when he confronted her about it. Even as David and Lacy grew closer in their new D/s relationship, it became clear that neither one of them was quite ready to commit to another person, thanks to their individual past experiences with people who had betrayed them. David’s issue with trust stemmed from the only other woman he’d ever loved, and how her addictions had ultimately forced him to kick her out. Her ability to constantly mislead led him to be overzealous in his protectiveness of Lacy, which has then goaded Lacy into deliberately defying him at every turn. Lacy’s problems were more deeply hidden, and even I had no idea what could be causing her to throw her happiness away with both hands even as she acknowledged how important David was to her.
It wasn’t until all of Lacy’s past history was revealed in the face of David’s confrontation with those who hurt her that REQUESTED SURRENDER finally came together for me. Only then did I truly understand what made Lacy tick and how David’s patience was the key to happiness for both of them. Their romance was a long time coming in this series, and its satisfying ending bodes well for book 5, REPUTED SURRENDER. Its hero, Michael Kavanaugh, has been waiting for his own true love since the very first book in the series, when he attempted to come between a married couple trying to find their way back to each other. I can’t wait to read his story next.