My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for an honest review at The Romance Evangelist.
COMMITTED is the first book in Sidney Bristol’s new Loveswept romance series featuring couples who find love at a private BDSM retreat known as House Surrender. This first book pairs up an obsessed DEA agent looking to bring down a dangerous drug kingpin and a high school librarian still learning to be a fully independent adult after being raised in a closely guarded commune where her immediate family still lives without her.
When Damien Moana first spots Poppy Mercer musing over a romance novel while sprawled invitingly across a sofa in the House Surrender library, it’s all he can do not to immediately make her his, even after she informs him she’s a switch, not a submissive. After they engage in a BDSM scene more intense that either has ever experienced, Damien receives a message about a new chance to capture an elusive drug lord, and chooses his quest over Poppy, leaving her angry and vowing to forget him and that night. But Damien can’t forget Poppy, tracking her down only a few weeks later and eventually convincing her to continue exploring their mutual attraction in a Dominant/submissive relationship. What follows in COMMITTED is a passionate romance between two people who must prevail over the external forces conspiring to keep them apart, not the least of which is a sociopathic criminal bent on revenge against the man he blames for the death of his wife.
Damien and Poppy were what I loved the most about COMMITTED, and every moment they were together, both in and out of the bedroom, was when I was completely happy with the story. Their sexual chemistry is both compelling and convincing, and it never wavered for me even when Poppy was finally able to turn the tables and exercise her switch option on Damien in public. I would have been blissfully happy if the book focused entirely on their romance without the added distraction of the menacing drug lord and Poppy’s severely misguided hippie mother, but that’s not what was meant to be.
For COMMITTED is a romantic suspense story with a significant amount of the plot devoted to the object of Damien’s relentless pursuit lurking around every corner, and every scene foreshadowing his inevitable attempt to get to Damien through Poppy kept drawing my attention away from the romance. I understand the need to show exactly why Damien had been so intent on getting the evil drug lord off the streets for good. I also acknowledge that being resentful of anything not related to the actual romance is a problem I have with romantic suspense not necessarily shared by other readers. But the constant focus on the evil drug lord affected my enjoyment of COMMITTED to the point that I began skimming through any scenes not directly related to the romance. Then when the peril did find Poppy as predicted, what happened next seemed so drawn out to me that I wondered when we’d ever get to their happy ending. As a fan of epilogues, I was pleased to have one here, although it was somewhat jarring to have Poppy’s months of recovery only referred to in passing when we’d previously had to see her suffer in such exacting detail. But after all they’d both been through, it was gratifying to see Poppy and Damien come out whole on the other side, and it was their romantic journey that made COMMITTED work for me.