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Awakening

By Elene Sallinger

Awakening
Paperback, 224 pages paperback Online Price:
£9.99
ISBN: 9781908766717
Format: 198mm x 129mm
Imprint: Xcite Books
Published: 14th December 2012

EPUB, 222 pages ebook Online Price:
£0.30
ISBN: 9781908766724
Imprint: Xcite Books
Published: 6th December 2012

Category: BDSM / Fetish, Erotic Novels
Series: The Chrysalis Series

Rating: 4.6 / 5 stars - 8 vote(s).



This is the story of Claire Ryan and Evan Lang. 35-year-old Claire joins a local book club for romance readers in order to get over the breakdown of her 10-year relationship, there she meets book shop owner Evan, a dominant man who has never recovered from the sudden death of his submissive wife.
As their relationship develops and they embark on the path of Claire’s submission, it becomes harder and harder for Evan to keep his emotional distance. Claire is open and responsive and he wants her badly, but refuses to let himself go.
As Claire falls deeper in love with Evan, she realises that he is holding back and decides to end their relationship, forcing Evan to confront his own past and his feelings in order to save his new love.
Winner of the New Writing Competition at the Festival of Romance 2011

Claire Ryan pushed open the door to Bibliophile and struggled to calm her racing heart. Once inside, she rushed over to a large, square table covered in the newest bestsellers and leant heavily against it as she struggled to regain her balance. Closing her eyes tightly, she breathed deeply and silently chanted “In two, three, four. Out two, three, four. In two, three, four. Out two, three, four”. She continued the breathing exercises she’d read about in her latest Zen book as she fought the panic rushing through her veins.

Fifteen years. That’s how long it had been since she’d done anything social by herself, and she wasn’t sure if she was going to be able to do this. She’d waffled all day about whether or not to come before finally becoming thoroughly sick of herself. It was just a goddamn book club meeting. It wasn’t like she was running the gauntlet. Well, not literally.

The last year had been spent in near isolation with only Chester, her Pitbull, for company. She had no friends, she was estranged from her family, and her relationship of 14 years had ended, leaving her alone. Claire had been determined to take the time to figure out what she was doing with her life, and the last year had been spent laying the foundation for living. For the first few months, she’d fooled herself into believing that she was actually living. She worked, she ate, she read, she went to sleep and she took care of Chester. That was it. That was the sum total of Claire’s life for the last 365 days. Today was the anniversary of her break-up with Charlie. It was no coincidence that she’d chosen it to re-enter the living world.

Slowly, Claire felt her chest loosen and her breathing slow to normal. Once she was certain she wasn’t going to pass out, she stood and smoothed her sweater down over her hips before standing straight and taking one last deep breath. On the exhale, she finally took a look around the store. Bibliophile was a small, local bookstore that catered to hardcore readers. It offered services for locating hard to find and out-of-print books and held regular readings, book clubs, and author events. For over ten years, Claire had walked by the store, but never once been inside. She’d done all of her shopping at the local Barnes & Noble, online, or simply checked books out at the library.

The store was actually a converted townhouse in the growing urban district of River Rock, Vermont. It was cosy, with row upon row of shelves housing books of every genre. The front of the building was dominated by a huge bay window with a clever display of books set up like a house of cards next to a sign announcing the store’s monthly event calendar. Perpendicular to the window was the checkout counter, which held a smattering of pens and bookmarks along with a Dell flat screen monitor and computer. The counter was neat and free of the usual clutter one tended to find in such places. In fact, as Claire scanned the entire store, searching out the club meeting, it was neat as a pin. The floors were oak done in a parquet style where the grain alternated direction. Cheery yellow paint covered the walls, which were lined with classic movie posters and playbills. The overall effect was modern vintage.

Hearing voices coming from the back, Claire headed in that direction. Just as she stepped into the aisle between New Releases and Popular Fiction, the single most gorgeous man she had ever seen stepped out of the row closest to the register and walked behind the counter. That fast she lost her breath all over again.

He was tall, well over six feet, with close-cropped, black hair that showed just a hint of grey at the temples. His face was almost harsh, with a strong chin and straight nose. Given the heavy shadow he was sporting at just past 6 p.m., Claire guessed he probably had to shave twice a day if he really wanted to stay smooth. He was older, probably in his late 40s, but extremely fit. His lean firm body was accentuated by the black T-shirt and black jeans he wore. The T-shirt lovingly accentuated his broad shoulders and narrow waist. Rugged. That was it. If she had to find one word to describe him, it was rugged. He had her body tightening in places she’d forgotten about.

Claire watched as he set down the stack of books he was carrying and reached for the mouse. She felt rooted to the spot. She knew better than to gawk, but he was stunning. She could stand there and watch him for ever. He moved with an unconscious grace that was almost erotic. His fingers were long and his hands were large yet surprisingly deft as he moved the mouse, clicking every now and then. From her angle, Claire could see that his eyes were a dark brown and she bet that if she got close, she’d probably have a hard time discerning the iris from the pupil. He mesmerised her. She couldn’t remember ever being so taken aback by a man. Not even Charlie, and he was the best looking man she’d ever dated.

Pain stabbed through her at the thought of Charlie. She had no right to stand there and ogle this man. After what she’d done, she knew better than to indulge in such a pointless endeavour. In obvious approval of her decision, a wave of cool air swept across Claire as a bell rung and another patron entered. The breeze fluttered her hair and pushed her gently toward the back. Taking it as a sign, Claire scurried into the stacks to find her club meeting. 

Five star Must read

I really enjoyed Awakening, I love romance novels with an extra added spice and this was perfect for me. Both Claire and Evan were grieving, Claire from her relationship break-up and Evan due to his wife dying. Evan really fell for Claire but refuses to get over his dead wife, there was a lot of emotional baggage on both sides.

I liked that Claire and Evan got to know each other a lot first and that for those contemplating BDSM, with trust building too. I would imagine if you do not trust the other person completely that the whole scene would be very scary.

I liked that Awakening was written with compassion and there is a good story to it and not just about sex, Obviously there was some BDSM and sex in the book but not too much to detract from the main story.

This is the first book I have read from the author Elene Sallinger and I thoroughly enjoyed it and will look out for more of her work. She is a fantastic author.

- Blogger Rachel Simons http://StressedRach.co.uk

 ‘Awakening was one of many entries which explored BDSM and relationships involving male domination and female submission but it stood out not only because of the quality of writing, but because it was by far the most romantic entry. I was gripped by the conflicted attraction of the hero and heroine, and found myself longing to know what happens as the story progresses. I'm sure it will be a perfect addition to Xcite's range of books.’

- Festival of Romance Competition Judge Elizabeth Coldwell said,

 If Fifty Shades of Grey intrigued you, Awakening will take you to a whole new level of desire, submission and unforgettable romance’.

- Festival of Romance Judge

Rating: 5 Cups

Claire Ryan knows something must be wrong with her. Pushing her longtime boyfriend into hating her is bad enough. Pushing him to abuse her so she can find some sort of release makes her feel as if she is worthless.

From the first moment he sees her, Evan Lang knows he is in trouble. The vulnerable, fragile-looking woman who walks into his bookstore screams to the Dom in him that has been dormant since his wife’s passing.

Claire finds herself instantly attracted to Evan, but he wants nothing to do with her until, after many nights of building sexual tension, it all explodes, and both find themselves entangled in each other’s arms. Not ready to give his heart away but willing to explore the BDSM side his body craves, Evan agrees to teach Claire about the world and why he thinks it is what she has been craving all this time. He knows she is going to learn things about herself that will scare her and have her run from the truth. He just does not expect to find himself facing a truth about himself that will have him questioning whether he should run away or not.

I have always enjoyed a good BDSM novel. There is something about this genre that has to be written a certain way. Too much information in a scene and you feel like you are reading a manual about bondage. Not enough information and you find yourself being disconnected from the storyline and the characters. Ms. Sallinger has the perfect combination to make this tale exquisitely beautiful, touchingly heart-wrenching and hedonistic enough to keep your body on fire. Awakening shows Claire as she grows from being a woman who questions everything about herself into a person who is comfortable with expecting the respect she deserves. On top of this revelation, we have Evan, the proverbial tortured hero who struggles throughout the story to fight the very nature that calls to every BDSM bone in his body. What an outstanding work by an author I have not read before. You can bet I will be looking for books from Ms. Sallinger in the future!

- Danielle Coffee Time Romance & More

Elene Sallinger is a lover of all things lingual, a warrior of words, and a vixen of vocabulary. Her goal is to titillate, provoke, empower and move you with her work which ranges from the erotic to the dramatic and everything
in between.

Customer Reviews:

Reviewed by: Midnight Boudoir on 3rd March 2013 9:31PM

This is the first book I've read from this author and I love her writing style, she had me hooked from the first page.
I feel the front cover of the book and the style of the book has been compared to Fifty shades of Grey because of the dominant male character and BDSM!
This story is about 2 people with difficult heartbreaking pasts who are still getting over alot of issues and find themselves drawn to each other. Not many erotica books delve into feelings like this and the story actually moved me with the amount of detail given about their pasts; particularity Evan's absolute grief at losing his partner and soulmate adding such a compassionate touch bringing the reader closer to him. His grief at her loss was preventing him moving on, until he meets Claire.
Claire's story is also a fascinating read as she had plucked up the courage to join the book club to try and get her life back together after her abusive relationship and the guilt of her feeling turned on from the violence she received, till they eventually split after 10 years.

Claire becomes fascinated with the erotica section of the shop in particular the BDSM section; something which had not gone unnoticed by Evan and after some strategic books left out for her to read, she finds herself turned on and extremely attracted to Evan and begins to learn from these stories that she is sexually submissive. We watch as Evan begins to help guide and teach her the true meaning of BDSM, what it really means to submit completely to another person, the trust that is vital in sub/dom relationship; but things get complicated as emotions get in the way.
I loved the subtlety of them wanting each other, neither making the first move but both deliciously turned on by each other; the sexual tension growing with every meeting.

Opinion
To sum up this book it will keep you hooked till the last page wanting to know what they will do next, its a brilliantly written book which will make you fall in love with both Claire and Evan two really solid main characters. It will tug on those heart strings and some may even shed a tear at the depth of emotions within these pages which keeps you reading till the end. I loved the idea of the book club within the bookshop throwing this couple together and I found myself willing them to just go for it, they are perfect together, a wonderful sub/Dom relationship if they would let it, but can they both find life and love again?
Elene captures the true meaning of BDSM, the feelings, the emotion and of course the sex.
This is definitely not your typical BDSM style story and if your after lots of hardcore sex this isn't for you, but if you are after a compelling compassionate, sensitive read to watch the lives of 2 people unfold you will love it.
There isn't much sex within the pages, but when there is; its hot because of the sexual tension created! The odd thing is, there isn't much spanking or restraint either that are found in most BDSM novels as the book is based more on the emotions involved on both sides. Dominance and submission are explained and dealt with in a wonderfully sensitive way something not often approached with writers of erotica and that\'s what makes this book so different and a must have read.
If you love to get immersed completely into a novel you will love the Awakening; this novel is a wonderful deep emotional read.


Reviewed by: APL on 3rd February 2013 9:19AM

I enjoyed this read. Not overly sexualized, tastefully written with unexpected turns. Would definitely purchase the sequel if one were written.


Reviewed by: J Woodbridge on 28th October 2012 12:10PM

This was such a beautiful, eloquently written story of two people carrying a lot of emotional baggage - both trying to help each other heal....Claire - a woman trying to regain her self worth and her true identity and Evan - a still grief stricken widower fighting just about everything while guiding Claire to finding "herself"...Unlike most D/s stories, this one slowly developed - with Evan guiding Claire step by step by making it more of an emotional journey for her rather than sexual - Even though it was cut and VERY clear that S-E-X was on the front burner for Evan right from the start! (I wondered how long it would take him to wizen up): )---I would have liked to have found out more about Claire's abusive mother and sister...It disturbed me that a mother and sister would do what they did...I guess I'm wondering - Was the root of it Claire? Or did they cause her to become what she became? (I'm believing the latter) This story made me smile and made me sad at times---light BDSM with A LOT of emotion and passion!
You will NOT be disappointed.


Reviewed by: Gadget Girls Reviews on 26th April 2013 1:58PM

This is the first book I've read from this author and I love her writing style, she had me hooked from the first page.
I feel the front cover of the book and the style of the book has been compared to Fifty shades of Grey because of the dominant male character and BDSM!
This story is about 2 people with difficult heartbreaking pasts who are still getting over alot of issues and find themselves drawn to each other. Not many erotica books delve into feelings like this and the story actually moved me with the amount of detail given about their pasts; particularity Evan\'s absolute grief at losing his partner and soulmate adding such a compassionate touch bringing the reader closer to him. His grief at her loss was preventing him moving on, until he meets Claire.
Claire\'s story is also a fascinating read as she had plucked up the courage to join the book club to try and get her life back together after her abusive relationship and the guilt of her feeling turned on from the violence she received, till they eventually split after 10 years.

Claire becomes fascinated with the erotica section of the shop in particular the BDSM section; something which had not gone unnoticed by Evan and after some strategic books left out for her to read, she finds herself turned on and extremely attracted to Evan and begins to learn from these stories that she is sexually submissive. We watch as Evan begins to help guide and teach her the true meaning of BDSM, what it really means to submit completely to another person, the trust that is vital in sub/dom relationship; but things get complicated as emotions get in the way.
I loved the subtlety of them wanting each other, neither making the first move but both deliciously turned on by each other; the sexual tension growing with every meeting.

Opinion
To sum up this book it will keep you hooked till the last page wanting to know what they will do next, its a brilliantly written book which will make you fall in love with both Claire and Evan two really solid main characters. It will tug on those heart strings and some may even shed a tear at the depth of emotions within these pages which keeps you reading till the end. I loved the idea of the book club within the bookshop throwing this couple together and I found myself willing them to just go for it, they are perfect together, a wonderful sub/Dom relationship if they would let it, but can they both find life and love again?
Elene captures the true meaning of BDSM, the feelings, the emotion and of course the sex.
This is definitely not your typical BDSM style story and if your after lots of hardcore sex this isn't for you, but if you are after a compelling compassionate, sensitive read to watch the lives of 2 people unfold you will love it.
There isn't much sex within the pages, but when there is; its hot because of the sexual tension created! The odd thing is, there isn't much spanking or restraint either that are found in most BDSM novels as the book is based more on the emotions involved on both sides. Dominance and submission are explained and dealt with in a wonderfully sensitive way something not often approached with writers of erotica and that's what makes this book so different and a must have read.
If you love to get immersed completely into a novel you will love the Awakening; this novel is a wonderful deep emotional read.


Reviewed by: Piggies Heaven on 25th September 2012 7:52PM

I have read a few BDSM books, but this one was different. There was some BDSM, but it was light. The main story is about Evan and Claire who both have difficult pasts and need to come to terms with them and move on;
The writing was very good and at one point I was in tears.
Really enjoyed this book and will look out for other books by the same author


Reviewed by: Bobbie Wray on 18th January 2013 2:23PM

Omg! Hot! Really gets your attention. If you like 50 shades read this. Their romance is so enticing. Read it today!


Reviewed by: StressedRach on 10th January 2013 9:05AM

I really enjoyed Awakening, I love romance novels with an extra added spice and this was perfect for me. Both Claire and Evan were grieving, Claire from her relationship break-up and Evan due to his wife dying. Evan really fell for Claire but refuses to get over his dead wife, there was a lot of emotional baggage on both sides.

I liked that Claire and Evan got to know each other a lot first and that for those contemplating BDSM, with trust building too. I would imagine if you do not trust the other person completely that the whole scene would be very scary.

I liked that Awakening was written with compassion and there is a good story to it and not just about sex, Obviously there was some BDSM and sex in the book but not too much to detract from the main story.

This is the first book I have read from the author Elene Sallinger and I thoroughly enjoyed it and will look out for more of her work. She is a fantastic author.


Reviewed by: ebook fan on 10th December 2012 4:34PM

Loved this book! The H is an alpha dom who is a widower who was very much in love with his wife/sub who died of cancer. He owns a bookstore where the h comes to attend a book club meeting. She is very lonely and is suffering from anxiety b/c she has not been outside her home for a year after breaking up from a 14 year relationship and she is emotionally scarred from her childhood treatment by her parents. Hero is very nice and friendly to everyone but her because he is fighting his feelings for her. He sees she has interest in submission when he notices her reading books on dom/sub topics. Very good read that pulls you in and makes you feel what they are going through as their acquaintance grows. It was nice to actually read a full length erotic book with a story behind it. Please write more like this Ms.Sallinger.



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