Review: Luke and Bella by Pandora Spocks


Author: Pandora Spocks

Genre: Erotic Romance, Adventure

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My rating: 5 out of 5

Blurb: Strong-willed ginger Bella Grant is a take-charge television journalist with an appetite for adventure. Handsome and sexy Luke McGillicutty is a world-weary photographer coaxed out of premature retirement with the promise of traveling the world with a smart, spunky redhead. They’ve been paired up to create a new brand of television travel program.

Traveling to romantic destinations, staying in first-class hotels, finding adventure at every turn, it’s not surprising that the two fall in love. Luke is stunned to realize that Bella is the woman he’s looked for his whole life. She’s beautiful, smart, funny, and courageous.

The only thing is, Luke hasn’t been completely up front with her. He hasn’t told her that he’s into BDSM. He could play it safe, keep the relationship going exactly the way it is. But Luke wants more. As a Dominant, he craves the intimacy that a Dom/sub relationship provides. And he knows without a doubt that Bella is the perfect submissive. How will she react if he approaches her about submitting to him as a Dominant? Maybe she’d be intrigued by the idea. On the other hand, he could lose her forever.

Life on the road working with Bella is great. Nights spent in Bella’s arms are amazing. Should Luke just be satisfied with the way things are? Or should he risk everything on the chance that they could have it all?

Review: I’ve loved Pandora Spocks’ style ever since I read the first of her Rannigan trilogy. She writes smart, contemporary fiction with erotic and kinky elements, great characters, witty dialogue and immersive plots. Luke and Bella is one such fine example mixing a travel romance, adventure, fascinating world destinations and one of the sweetest D/s couplings I’ve encountered in erotic romance lately.

This novel is focused what is probably one of the most awesome jobs one could ever land. Luke and Bella are hired to make a different travel show with a limitless budget and they choose to focus on the lives of people and their stories rather than the monuments and sight sightseeing. Each of their destination was written in a careful detail. The author definitely has done her research and added a unique allure to Luke and Bella’s locations.

However, the travel fiction never overwhelmed the main story of the slowly growing romantic connection between the two characters. They both have had their share of past suffering, career struggles, failed relationship and that takes a toll on them. Neither of them was naive or innocent and that was one of the things I loved most about them.We get to know pretty well the background of the sassy, ginger journalist who can make a story even out of the most trivial conversation and her photographer who has seen some of the worst of human nature during his time as a military correspondent. Their insecurities about direct communication of their fears and desires were so human that they felt like real people we have had the chance to get to know. Their lust for life, adventure, and sexual appetite were a great balance to the angsty parts of their relationship and mutual work.

Bella is probably my favorite of Ms. Spocks’ heroines (and that is a difficult choice to make since they are all so easy to love). At times she was a total brat with the spicy temper of a dragon, then she’d become a lost girl in need of guidance and some knee time at the feet of a man strong enough to handle her. Above all, she was smart, empathetic and with some killer witty comebacks (her verbal sparring with her prim and proper sister-in-law were hilarious). Luke, the salt-and-pepper Dominant with dreamy brown eyes, was just the strong man Bella needed and who matched her dynamic nature. His past made him embrace a somehow cynical view on life and yet his passion and tenderness were showing well through his interactions with our feisty ginger. I really loved the subtle signs of his dominant inclinations, which served as enough foreshadowing but without hitting us over the head that he is in BDSM. In a genre that is overfilled with macho Alpha males who get what they want his approach to Bella and attitude to D/s was refreshing.

Their relationship, especially with the added kink factor, was beautifully developed. He respected her will and determination and gave her the quiet time she needed to adjust her intense mind. She struggled with the idea of being obedient, especially when she had been a rebel all her life. Eventually, Bella wraps her mind around the fact that submission is not degradation (or it doesn’t have to be), encouraged by Luke’s kindness, some Internet research and one great quote by Anais Nin.

She also gets to see the allure of spanking, blindfolds, not wearing panties in public, discipline and surrendering her pleasure to Luke. Their scenes were just the right amount of sweet, romantic, with a heavy side of naughty.

Apart from her fascinating leads, Pandora also has a gift for creating great secondary characters that add to the plot and are interesting enough on their own. Luke and Bella’s grumpy producer Charlie, Bella’s family and Luke’s best friend from Scotland were a pleasure to read about. I also really enjoyed the subplot of T-Nathan, Bella’s nephew, and the “girl with a dragon tattoo” Morgan. I hope that eventually Ms. Spocks will make a spin off and write a novella or novel on their relationship.

There was enough suspense in Luke and Bella’s journey to keep the blood pumping and make the reader flip page after page with fear of what’s to come next. I won’t give away any spoilers but the Sicily trip had more than one test for our TV couple. The ending left me with a sense of fulfillment and truly happy about the characters and how their life turned out.

So, if you want a trip around the world but you don’t have the money get your copy of Luke and Bella. Have some green cakes at Amsterdam, get wasted in Scotland, experience the sun in Greece, do a few dance numbers in India and experience a whirlwind D/s romance. A truly lovely escapism book.

Five Sparkling Stars.


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