Author: Charlotte E. Hart
Genre: BDSM, Erotic Suspense
Purchase link: http://amzn.to/2gKBC5o
My rating: 5 out of 5
Blurb: Alexander White, the wealthy business man with looks to die for. Just like the other colours you’d think… but no.
He came from a very different place and made some of his money a very different way. And he keeps it well hidden because the truth would destroy everything he has. All that he’s worked for would be gone in an instant if they ever found out what he’s capable of, or what he really did and who he did it for. So he keeps people far away with metaphorical games and walls to deceive and confuse.
He doesn’t do relationships, he doesn’t do emotions and he certainly doesn’t do love… whatever the hell that might be. He does money. Making it, manipulating it and spending it whist he plays with women who know what they’re signing up for when they walk in the room.
Three people shaped who he is today. One damaged him beyond repair, another taught him to control the rage, and a decent one helps him to consider his options more appropriately than his own head might allow. But be under no illusions ladies, Mr White has not been a nice man, and he will probably never be a decent man but as long as he keeps up his image, and nothing gets through his barriers, no one will ever see the truth.
Life’s good for Elizabeth Scott, successful business, happy kitchen and a great sister who deals with all the expensive people so she doesn’t have to. She just cooks, bakes and smiles her way through each day……well most of the time anyway, that is when her great sister isn’t pushing her to, “get out there a bit more,” or “sort her shit out.”
Then the biggest contract of their lives comes up… And the ever useless London tube, with her sister in it, catastrophically breaks down. Unfortunately that means only one thing, she’ll have to deal with some of that wealth herself and that means the devastating Mr Alexander White in all his glory.
Life suddenly couldn’t get worse, regardless of his unfairly gorgeous backside.
She has no idea what the hell she’s doing.
Review: Everyone who knows me well knows they shouldn’t even think of mentioning Fifty Shades of Grey in my presence unless they want to hear a minimum half an hour of a rant. In general, I’m not too crazy about billionaire romance with a BDSM twist. In 90% of the cases, we have a lousy excuse for a story. The hero is an older, unreasonably wealthy super duper Alpha Dog Top Male with billions in his bank account, a body of a fitness guru and looks to die for, more of a shopping list of an ideal man rather than an actual character. The heroine, on the other hand, tends to be so bland, average and nondescript that if we change her name and looks with [INSERT YOUR NAME/DESCRIPTION HERE] it wouldn’t make a difference to the story. There is also luxury beyond your wildest dreams, fancy holidays, private jets. In three words, pure wish fulfillment.
Now, I understand that many readers are fans of this genre because of the escapism it offers. However, it quickly gets boring, especially when the writer doesn’t have much skill, to begin with.
Charlotte E. Hart’s Seeing White has many of the above-mentioned tropes.
An absolute dream man with troubled past who can have any woman but chooses the heroine? Check.
A billionaire sweeping her off her feet in a world she never even dreamed of? Check.
A young, inexperienced woman who doesn’t know much about passion and kink? Check.
Wealth, designer clothes, private cars and jets, huge mansions, high-level BDSM clubs? You bet.
Usually, such a plot would make me roll my eyes and not buy the book at all. However, I’ve read some erotic and very intense excerpts of Ms. Hart’s work that provoked my interest and decided to give it a try.
I don’t regret it. I’d even say I absolutely loved that book. So, what makes it different?
First, the characters. At first, I thought that Alex White would be everything I’d absolutely hate in a man. He was smug, arrogant, absolutely certain he could get everything and anything just because he can. However, he was also charming, intelligent and well familiar with human psychology, always knowing what buttons to push to get the result he wanted. Alex was dark indeed, the author captured that inner darkness, violence and drive who made him who he was as a Dom and a businessman. I had no doubt that he was a dangerous man to cross, a wild animal with a civilized side to himself or a man who was keeping the beast within him on a leash. There were moments when he was surprisingly vulnerable and that felt genuine, not some artificial attempt at showing the tender side of a supposedly hard and rough man. No matter how much he has achieved in life and how far he had gone Alex has a hard time escaping from himself, his past, the dark urges, and sadism. He was also a captive of his own fears, insecurities, and paranoia that end up hurting and damaging him even further. I didn’t expect to like him much at the beginning, even if I felt some grudging respect for his mind and authority. In the process of the book as we learn more about him, experience his good and bad sides, I actually grew to care for him as a human being with some major flaws and issues. It was truly well-done character development.
Elizabeth could easily be your stereotypical too stupid to live Mary Sue. One of the most difficult characters to write about are the introverted, insecure characters. It is so hard to make them relatable or at least likable. It is even easier to create another annoying, self-pitying creature with passive aggressive obnoxiousness, secretly confident she is so much better than all those fake bimbos the hero surrounds himself with. She was nothing like those heroines I hate, though. I loved her character and could identify with her struggles to keep her head up, face the world and its challenges and not hide in the kitchen where she designs the food for her catering business. She went through a lot in Book 1 and all the sudden changes and new experiences helped her show her true colors, that of the smart and witty woman who finds more confidence through her sexual submission. At times, during some of the hottest sex scenes, we catch some glimpses of dominance. I really hope that this will be explored further in the next parts of the trilogy.
I loved the friendship bond and awesome relationship with both her sister Belle and their co-worker Theresa. It felt good to read about female friendship and 100% support, minus the catty competition. I’d probably have left the book unread if Belle or Theresa have gone green with envy that Beth has landed the mysterious Mr. White.
That brings me to another favorite part. In most billionaire romances all the other women are trash who would go to great lengths to snatch the dream man from the hands of the heroine. There were plenty of jealous women in Seeing White, corrupted, vicious creatures we were meant to dislike. However, it had a lot more to do with their environment, that highly competitive world of wealth that has tainted them. Everyone in this sophisticated jungle, man or woman, was a predator ready to sink their teeth in the unsuspecting, innocent prey, regardless of their gender. It was a dangerous place for our doe-eyed Beth who has gotten more than she can handle. The question is if she’d completely be stripped of her innocence, will she be tainted or will she save Alex from himself?
The writing is exquisite, the sex scenes, especially those revolving around rope bondage, are fantastic as if the reader could experience them along with the characters. Perhaps the only criticism I have is that at times it gets a bit too verbose. Sometimes both Alex and Beth had the same thoughts running through their mind as if they were in a loop. Still, that didn’t stop me from enjoying the hell out of the book.
The characters often ended up pissing me off with their choices but I can’t deny the inner logic that drove them down their path. I’m not sure whether that trilogy would have the classic happy ending but what I have read so far makes me want to go further into the crazy world Ms. Hart created.
Seeing White is perfect for people who enjoy billionaire romances, hot BDSM sex and are sick of all the good old cliches that genre is overpopulated with. If you enjoy truly dark Alpha males, sassy and strong female characters, good plot and creative kink this trilogy is for you. I look forward to the next two books and Ms. Hart’s other work.
5 Dark Stars.
You can read Charlotte E. Hart’s spotlight, interview, and work showcase in here.