Natalie Bowen is a successful and gorgeous career woman, and from a distance it looks like she has everything… but then why is she unable to keep a partner from leaving? Natalie thinks she will never find real happiness.
Then she hears about a place called, The Haven, an exclusive retreat for those looking to spice up their sex lives. The very idea is shocking, and yet Natalie feels herself drawn to the possibilities it could provide.
Especially when her instructor is the enigmatic Simon, a man used to getting what he wants. The closer Natalie becomes to him, the more she starts to wonder… just what does he want?
Haven of Obedience by Marina Anderson brings together a clash of wills; two people who need to learn to how loosen the reigns and give into the pleasures of temptation.
Since the release of Fifty Shades of Grey there has been a spotlight on erotic fiction, with many fans coming out of the shadows to share their love of the genre and more authors, and publishers looking towards it as a visible and profitable sector in the industry.
It is surely no coincidence that the re-release of Haven of Obedience arrives right during a time when the erotic fiction market is at it’s peak, allowing Anderson access and exposure to a new audience.
Erotic fiction in general is not really my area of expertise, but it is a very hot topic at the moment, so with an open mind I dip into Anderson’s novel.
From the very beginning, readers are introduced into a world of sex and promiscuity. It soon becomes clear what the main focus of this book is, and whether intentional or not, the storyline and the characters take a backseat to the acts and passions of those at The Haven.
Natalie is a control freak, always needing to be in command. Meanwhile, Simon is stern and aloof; a man who finds himself devoting a lot of time to giving her personal instruction, even though he knows this isn’t the place for her.
In theory the two are a good mix, and they do have their moments, but there needs to be a little more connection to them and the readers.
Providing plenty of visualisations and spicy scenes, we are able to follow Natalie’s journey into a new way of life, but there are also times where the characters feel a little flat and the story skims in effort to keep up with the novel’s thrills.
Perhaps further background about the characters would help them to appear more real or even some added insight into their lives outside of the retreat; as when Natalie returns home after her first weekend at The Haven, it is a little jolting to be thrown into her normal life, because we have no real familiarity or context to build from prior to her arrival.
And it might be easier to create a solid impression of Simon, outside of what we’re being told: he is loyal to The Haven and a struggling writer, if we were able to see more of who he is.
But having said that the novel is still a consistently paced, entertaining and easy read, which delves into the sexual relations of strangers, including plenty of dominant and submissive interactions.
Haven of Obedience is often graphic, leaving little to the imagination, and yet it is filled with the very real appetites of people looking for another avenue for expressing their passion for love, lust and life.
Available now: Hachette RRP$17.99