Contains light bondage & ménage M/F/M
Allison is an art dealer from a wealthy Texan family. She’s is on her way to Venice to be a maid of honour at her friend’s wedding. At the airport she is greeted by one of the groom’s cousins, Nico. He is also an art dealer, a successful business man and a recent widower. He is immediately attracted to Allison and together they are one of those picture-perfect, front-cover type couples: beautiful, rich and young. What stands in the way of their eternal happiness is the arrival of Allison’s ex-boyfriend, a charismatic rodeo cowboy and the best man at the upcoming wedding. He was the first man to awaken her womanhood and to exploit her need for sexual dominance. She is his ideal bed partner: submissive, beautiful and giving. His seductive power over her and her willing response were always the catalyst for an explosive relationship. However, regardless of how passionate the sex got between them, Allison has always understood that her love will never be reciprocated and that Cole will never be able to commit to her fully. So when he turns up in Venice proclaiming love and promising future together Allison eagerly steps back into his arms against all reason. And she should have known better because Cole has something special planned for the after wedding celebrations.
The plot is simple enough and exploits the popular triangle of woman sandwiched between two man, her past and (possible) future. What I found interesting was that the story is narrated by all three characters, Alison, Nico and Cole, hence giving it a much more complex structure and a deeper voice. Even though I was not particularly fond of Allison finding her whimsical and rather uninteresting, I believe that she portrays, sadly, a very common type of a relationship between a woman for whom the man was her first lover who awaken her desires, the first one to show her the darker side of sexual interplay and, because of his fear of commitments, ultimately bonded her to himself in a very toxic and twisted way. She was coming back to him over and over again to experience the overwhelming passion of their intercourses, just to be shunned away the next minute and wake up to an empty bed. When she meets Nico she understands that that’s not the only way a relationship between a man and a woman can look like. However, it’s too late because Cole has already drawn her back into his seducing embrace and using Nico’s attraction to Alison, drawing him as well into his wicked fantasies.
I must admit that I was a bit disappointed that the Author decided to use an easy exit from this potentially multi-layered situation, to allow Alison and Nico to have their “happily ever after” after all. And, in all fairness, they probably deserve it. However, the language was something that I found slightly lacking especially in the second part of the book. It seems as if the Author stopped paying attention when things got a bit darker and the atmosphere, more sexually charged, as if the Reader was distracted enough to overlook it. Also the repetitive use of words like “breasts” was somewhat distracting. Or perhaps I have been reading too much erotica in the last month…
Concluding, I believe that Venetian Love Knots would be a very enjoyable read for someone who enjoys a Mills & Boons style of writing and storytelling. It’ll be a great introduction to the world of sexual domination, bondage and ménage and an adventure to test the limits of your sexual curiosity. And just in time for the Valentine’s Day.