Sweet Persuasion (Sweet Series #2)by Maya Banks, Caroline Wintour (Narrated by)
In book two of the Sweet series by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Maya Banks, Serena seeks out Damon Roche, the owner of an exclusive sex club, to fulfill her deepest desires. Contains mature themes.
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In book two of the Sweet series by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Maya Banks, Serena seeks out Damon Roche, the owner of an exclusive sex club, to fulfill her deepest desires. Contains mature themes.
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PRAISE FOR THE NOVELS OF
“A must-read author . . . her [stories] are always full of emotional situations, lovable characters and kick-butt story lines.”
“Definitely a recommended read . . . filled with friendship, passion and, most of all, a love that grows beyond just being friends.”
—Fallen Angel Reviews
“Grabbed me from page one and refused to let go until I read the last word . . . When a book still affects me hours after reading it, I can’t help but Joyfully Recommend it!”—Joyfully Reviewed
“I guarantee I will reread this book many times over, and will derive as much pleasure as I did in the first reading each and every subsequent time.”—Novelspot
“An excellent read that I simply did not put down . . . a fantastic adventure . . . covers all the emotional range.”
—The Road to Romance
“Searingly sexy and highly believable.”—Romantic Times
Berkley Heat titles by Maya Banks
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
Copyright © 2009 by Sharon Long.
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Heat trade paperback edition / June 2009
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1. Sexual dominance and submission—Fiction. I. Title.
“Do you know of anyone who fulfills sexual fantasies?” Serena James asked.
Quiet descended. The hands massaging her tense shoulders stopped. Serena cracked one eye open to glance over at Faith Malone, who was lying on the next massage table, and then she craned her head to look over her shoulder at her masseuse, Julie Stanford, who owned the all-inclusive beauty salon Serena and Faith went to on a weekly basis.
“Uh, honey, you’re the fantasy fulfiller,” Julie remarked in a dry voice. “And do you have to talk about sexual fantasies while I’m giving you a rubdown?”
“Quit your bitching and keep massaging,” Serena grumbled.
She closed her eyes and relaxed back onto the table. She should have known better than to bring up what was occupying her mind lately. A quiet sigh escaped her lips when Julie began kneading her muscles again.
“The time to talk sexual fantasies is when I’m giving Nathan Tucker a massage,” Julie said in a dreamy tone.
Faith laughed next to Serena. “Is he a regular now?”
“Yep. Twice a month,” Julie said cheerfully. “Now that is a job I’d do for free. I have to be careful not to drool on his back.”
“Not the front?” Serena mumbled.
Julie chuckled. “He only lets me do his back. Pity. I’d pay him to massage that chest.”
“Only his chest, huh?” Faith said.
“Why only his back?” Serena asked.
Julie’s hands shook as she laughed. “He’s embarrassed, I think. Doesn’t want me to see his hard-on.”
Her hands moved more firmly over Serena’s back, and Serena groaned in pleasure.
“But enough about my obsession with Nathan Tucker. I want to know why you’re asking about sexual fantasies.”
“Yeah, me too,” Faith piped up. “Thinking of expanding Fantasy Incorporated?”
Serena chuckled. “Uh, no. Paying people to fulfill other people’s sexual fantasies is called prostitution, no?”
“Then why do you want to know about it?” Julie persisted. She patted Serena’s shoulder to let her know she was finished and then moved over to Faith.
Serena sat up and reached for a bathrobe, wrapping it around herself as she perched on the edge of the massage table. She stared over at Faith as Julie started her massage. Why was she asking about it?
It was a slip of the tongue, one made by her ever increasing frustration that her life’s work was all about fulfilling other people’s fantasies—some frivolous, some the culmination of lifetimes of hope.
She was proud of her work. She made other people happy. And maybe that was why she was frustrated by her own lack of contentment.
“Maybe I just need to get laid,” Serena muttered.
An amused grin split Julie’s lips. “Don’t we all. Well, except Faith here. I’m sure Gray is giving her all she needs in that quarter.”
“Hey, no hating,” Faith protested. “I can’t help it if I’m irresistible.”
Serena threw a hand towel at Faith’s head, and Faith reached up, snagged it from her hair and threw it back.
“When are you getting married anyway?” Serena asked Faith.
“Oh, no, you don’t,” Faith said as she cracked her eyes open to stare at Serena. “We were talking about your sexual fantasy question.”
“Yeah, we were,” Julie said pointedly.
Serena let out an exasperated breath. “You two are worse than a dog with a bone.”
“Yep,” Julie said with a grin. “I have no life, remember? I have to live vicariously through my clients. Now spill.”
Serena bit her bottom lip then shrugged her shoulders. What the hell. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
“I have some pretty . . . interesting fantasies.”
Julie snorted. “Don’t we all.”
Serena could see Faith’s blush start at her feet and creep up her body. She grinned. “Apparently Faith does, judging by that blush.”
Faith gave a mortified squeak and hid her face. “We’re not talking about me,” she said in a muffled voice.
“No, but I wish we were,” Julie muttered. “I bet that sweet, innocent exterior shields a twisted mind.”
“Serena. We’re talking about Serena,” Faith pointed out.
Julie turned back to look at Serena. “So spill, honey. What’s so interesting about your sexual fantasies, and why would you want to know if someone we knew could fulfill them? As gorgeous as you are, you wouldn’t have to walk far to find any number of men more than willing to take directions.”
Serena gave her a dark look. “I haven’t told you what my fantasies are.”
“Ooohhh,” Faith exclaimed. “Hurry up, Julie. This sounds like it’ll be good.”
“My magic hands are being dumped for her demented fantasies?” Julie asked in an exaggerated hurt tone.
“Like you aren’t every bit as eager to hear as she is,” Serena drawled.
Julie grinned. “True. Okay, Faith, all done. Better get dressed. You have no idea what Serena’s fantasies involve, and I have to think Gray would object to a lesbian threesome.”
Faith blushed bright red, and it looked like her insides were squeezed to the bursting point.
Serena rolled her eyes. “You’re way too easy, Faith.”
“You only think I’m all sweet and innocent,” Faith mumbled as she pulled on a robe.
“What was that?” Julie asked, pouncing on Faith’s statement.
“Serena. We’re talking about Serena. Remember?”
The phone rang, and Julie held up a finger for them to wait as she walked over to answer. Serena sat there with her feet dangling down the side of the table. In the weeks the women had been meeting for massages and then lunch, they’d discussed a lot of outlandish topics, but never had those included the personal details of Serena’s deep, dark fantasies, and she honestly wasn’t sure she was prepared to unveil them. Even to her two closest friends.
But if not them, then who?
She sighed. Maybe she should just forget about them and continue on fulfilling other people’s hokey fantasies.
Julie returned, a look of apology darkening her pretty features. “I’m sorry, guys. I can’t do lunch today. That was one of my clients in need of an emergency overhaul.”
“That’s too bad,” Faith said with an unhappy grimace.
“Overhaul? That doesn’t sound good,” Serena remarked.
Julie grinned. “It’s her own fault. She went to another stylist to get her hair done, and now she’s ten sorts of sorry and is crawling back to me.”
“Just like you like them,” Faith said as she hopped off the table.
“You two go on without me. But,” she said, pinning them both with a glare, “I’ll expect a full report later. As in nothing left out. Don’t make me hurt you.”
Serena rolled her eyes and got down off the table to go dress. “Trust me. It’s not that juicy, Julie. As if anything in my boring-ass life would be.”
Julie studied her with a speculative stare. “Oh, I don’t know, Serena. It’s always the boring ones who turn out to have the most shocking secrets.”
Again, a rosy blush stained Faith’s face, and Serena and Julie both burst out laughing.
“Obviously we haven’t been pressing Faith enough for hers,” Serena said dryly.
“Make her tell you at lunch,” Julie suggested. “Then you can call me later with the dirt.”
“Oh, she won’t do that,” Faith said innocently. “Because then I’d have to give you the dirt on her.”
“Somebody had better give me the scoop on both you deviants,” Julie warned. “I’ll withhold all services until I get it. And you, my dear, are due for a wax soon.”
“Crap,” Faith grumbled.
Serena linked her arms through Faith’s and started to drag her toward the dressing room. “We could always find a new salon, you know.”
Julie snorted. “Sure, if you want to look like a scarecrow.”
“She’s arrogant, isn’t she?” Serena said in a loud whisper as they exited the room.
Julie’s laughter followed them into the changing area.
Serena veered off into her cubicle to dress, and a few minutes later she met Faith out front where Julie was already soothing her distraught client. As Serena and Faith headed for the door, Julie caught their gaze and rolled her eyes heavenward. Serena blew her a kiss.
“The usual?” Serena asked as she and Faith walked out to the parking lot.
Faith shook her head. “If we’re going to have a down and dirty conversation, I don’t want to go to Cattleman’s.”
Serena lifted her brow. “Why not?”
“Because any one of the guys might be there,” Faith said.
“Good point,” Serena mumbled. The men that Faith worked with, gorgeous specimens of men all of them, regularly haunted Cattleman’s, a local pub and grill. The last thing Serena wanted was an audience. Although if one of them wanted to step up and volunteer to man her fantasies, she wouldn’t complain.
“Where to, then?” she asked as they stopped at their cars.
“How about my apartment?” Faith suggested. “It isn’t far, and I can warm up some leftovers.”
Serena sighed. “And there’s plenty of privacy for the juicy conversation you’re going to make me have.”
Faith grinned impishly. “Exactly.”
Serena followed Faith into her apartment. She’d only been inside Faith’s home once before, right after Faith’s fiancé, Gray Montgomery, had moved the majority of his things in.
“Excuse the mess,” Faith said as she stepped around a box on the floor.
“Moving?” Serena asked.
Faith’s smile lit up her entire face. “Gray and I are buying a house. We hope to move in as soon as we get married.”
“Julie is still mortally offended that you aren’t having a huge church wedding so she can make you look like a million dollars for the occasion,” Serena said as she settled onto a stool at the bar in the kitchen.
Faith made a face. “Neither Gray nor I was crazy about a big fuss. Not after everything that happened.” Her smile faltered as pain flitted across her brow. “Pop wanted a big wedding too so he could give me away, but honestly, Gray and I just want to be together. The sooner, the better.”
Serena smiled. “I think that’s great, Faith. You deserve to be happy after all you went through.”
“Enough about me,” Faith said brightly as she began taking containers out of the refrigerator. “We’re here to talk about you and these deviant fantasies of yours.”
Serena groaned. “Who the hell says they’re deviant?”
Faith chuckled. “The best ones always are. So what gives, Serena?” Faith’s expression became more somber as she gazed at her friend. “You haven’t been yourself lately. You seem withdrawn, like you’re unhappy about something.”
Serena plunked her elbows on the counter and cupped her jaw in her palm. “I’ve just been doing a lot of thinking.”
“The fact that I put so much time and effort into making other people’s fantasies come to life, but I ignore my own. And then I realized that I wouldn’t have the first clue how to make them come true anyway. Other people’s fantasies are so . . . normal compared to mine. My mother would have heart failure if she knew the girl she’d raised to be a self-sufficient, depend-on-no-man-for-your-security, successful businesswoman secretly fantasized about being a man’s sex slave.”
Faith choked then coughed delicately to mask her reaction. “Sex slave?” she squeaked.
“Yeah, knew you’d get a real kick out of that one,” Serena said glumly.
“Uh, no. I mean it’s just that’s the last thing I expected you to say.”
“Go ahead and say it. I’m crazy as a bat.”
Faith set a plate of lasagna in front of Serena then settled onto the stool across the bar. “You’re not crazy, Serena,” she said calmly. “But sex slave? Are you talking one night of hot sex where you play the slave to the master, or is this something else entirely?”
Serena felt warmth invade her cheeks. Damn it. Unlike Faith, she was not a blusher.
“Well, preferably it would be longer than one night, but not permanent or anything. I mean, I think I’d like it. The idea turns me on, but I might hate it too.”
Faith was silent for a long moment, and Serena fidgeted uncomfortably as she picked at her food.
“You’re wondering where on earth I came up with this, aren’t you?” Serena mumbled.
“Quit being defensive, and don’t apologize for your desires,” Faith scolded. “God, don’t women do that enough? I’m just trying to figure out how serious you are about this. I mean if you just want to play out a fantasy, you could always hire a . . . What do they call a male prostitute anyway?” Faith asked with a giggle.
Serena closed her eyes. “I’m not hiring a damn gigolo. I want someone halfway normal. Preferably someone who hasn’t already made it with half the women in Houston. And I’d like more than one night. I don’t know, maybe a month. I won’t be able to discover anything about the reality if it’s only one night.”
Faith gave her a thoughtful look. “I know someone who might be able to help you.”
Serena’s mouth gaped open. “You?”
Faith stuck her tongue out and scowled. “I’m not as innocent as you and Julie like to think.”
Serena laughed. “Oh, I know, girlfriend. It’s always the sweet, shy ones who are the real dirty birds.”
“Dirty birds?” Faith sputtered. “Need I remind you of who is plotting to become a sex slave?”
Serena grinned. “It has such a forbidden quality, doesn’t it?” She put a forkful of lasagna in her mouth and closed her eyes. “You’re a wonderful cook, you know? I can’t even boil water. I bet Gray thinks he’s in heaven.”
“He’s not marrying me for my cooking,” Faith said dryly.
“Admit it. You’re a total dirty bird,” Serena coaxed.
Faith flashed an unrepentant smile. “I can give you Damon Roche’s phone number.”
“Damon Roche? Is he the guy you think can turn me into a sex slave?”
“Not him personally,” Faith corrected. “But he owns a . . . hell, I’m still not sure what to call it. I suspect Damon wouldn’t appreciate me calling it a sex club.”
“Sex club?” Serena raised one brow and stared at Faith in surprise. “What the hell are you doing hanging out in a sex club?”
“It was only once,” Faith muttered.
“Clearly you’ve been holding out on me.”
“It didn’t exactly come up in conversation,” Faith said with a laugh. “Anyway, back to Damon. If you called him and told him what you wanted, I bet he could help. There seems to be something for everyone at his . . . establishment.”
“Is it safe?” Serena asked doubtfully.
“Extremely. Damon has very tight security, and he screens his members very thoroughly.”
“Does Gray know about this Damon guy?” Serena asked, more to make Faith blush than any real curiosity.
Instead of blushing, Faith smiled broadly. “Gray knows all about Damon. Damon is flying us to our honeymoon on his private jet.”
“The sex club business must be lucrative,” Serena murmured.
“Oh, The House is a side diversion. Damon’s a business-man.” Faith frowned. “You know, I don’t think he’s ever told me what it is exactly that he does.”
“Oh, great. He’s probably a drug dealer.”
“He’s not a drug dealer,” Faith said in exasperation. “Call him. Tell him what you want. He’s very easy to talk to.”
“You’re not going to try and talk me out of my insanity?”
Serena asked. “You’re my friend. You’re supposed to be mean and give me lectures so that later we can go on Oprah and talk about what soul sisters we are.”
“Or I could go on America’s Most Wanted after I kill you and dump your body in the gulf,” Faith muttered.
What People are Saying About This
Meet the Author
Maya Banks is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty novels, including Hidden Away, No Place to Run, The Darkest Hour, and Sweet Seduction.
Caroline Wintour is a classically trained actress who has appeared on stage, film, and television. She works as a voice-over artist and audiobook narrator.
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I enjoyed the previous book, but truly loved this one. The BDSM scenes are heavy, so if that scene is not your cup of tea, you'll want to pass on this one. It's rare for heavy BDSM and romance to mix well, stories usually end up being light on one or the other. But not this one! The romance was wonderful and even though Damon isn't my type (Mr. GQ and all), he was wonderful. The conflict was very believable. I also enjoyed the banter between the three women friends, it also felt authentic. This one is a keeper for me (and my shelf space is limited).
If you read the precursor to this book then you NEED to read this book. The characters you met in Sweet Surrender are back and better than ever. The hero and heroine have to work together to deal with their inner most desires enable to build their future. Packed with passionate love scenes and hot characters you never lose interest in a single word. If you haven't read the first story I recommend you make a weekend out of it and start there before moving on to this book, though this one more than holds its own. Maya Banks has done it again!!! If you like erotic romance with offbeat or unconvential relationships you'll love Maya Banks!!
I think Maya Banks has an exciting writing style, but she didn't quite grip me with Sweet Persuasion. The erotic elements were all there, and I love a sizzling BDSM romance, but Serena and Damon just didn't click for me. Their romantic encounters just felt a little trite and the overall story not as interesting as some of the author's earlier work.
For five years, Serena James has filled other people's cravings while ignoring her dreams. Running Fantasy Incorporated has been a full time job so she placed her desires on hold and fulfilled her clients' fantasies. ------------ Now she feels it is her turn to get her itch whipped. She knows whom she wants to dominate her, Damon Roche owner of an exclusive BDSM. Damon is euphoric with a chance to dominate Serena. However he also knows his lovely submissive is thinking short term; he plans on long term domination and tender caring of the woman he loves.----------- The latest "Sweet" BDSM romance (see SWEET SURRENDER) is a superb contemporary starring two fully developed lead characters whose ardent DS relationship ignites the pages. Serena is the more fascinating of the pair; as she has kept her submissive libido in check while running a fantasy business. Damon is typical of the erotic sub-genre as a strong dominant who controls his partner but makes sure she feels secure under his watch. Is it just me but do these dominants behave like some of the modern alpha werewolves who find their lifemates? Readers will relish Maya Banks' exciting erotic romance.------- Harriet Klausner
Sweet Peersuasion is a very sensual novel and extremely erotic. It really took me into an differt reality, into a different realm of fantasy. It's one of the better ones I've read.
Damon is an ass. He's taking the who Dom/sub way over the top and its not alright. Let' s peraide my women around my house while staff are working? That is degrading. I got to chapter 30 and has to stop.
Don't waste your money on this book. Reading this story made me sick to my stomach. There was no love between the male and female characters. The sex scenes were degrading. Horrible. I read the first book and even those sex scenes made me cringe at the lack of finess and love involved. I am not a prude. I have read hundreds of D/s stories, but none have driven me to write a review to hopefully stop people from wasting their money on this. No matter how sex filled a story is, it means nothing without some type of love or emotion between the main characters.
Well this book was a great follow-up from the first. If you have a dirty fanstany, you sould read this it has just about every one in it. This book will keep you reading and make you blush. Good Read!!
This book was amazing I am usually a very hard person to find a book that i enjoy as much as this one it only took me about three days to get through when book usually take me a week to a few weeks to get through. the story was so detailed and sent shivers down my spine. I cant wait for the new book to come out in october!!
The first book in this series did it better! The relationship aspect wasn't there - like some mentioned before, it seemed all wrapped up in BDSM sex instead of that simply being part of what made the couple tick. Side note - my only gripe with the sex was the public humiliation/punishment aspect. Made me really upset. So, be warned!
I love all Maya Banks books. So sweet. This book has got to be my favorite one so far out of the several that I have already read. For all of you who thrive on sexual adventures in great detail that make your own groin ache, then this book is for you. For those of you who like simple and light - then move on - this book will be too much for you to handle. Thumbs up to Maya Banks.
I loved this cover when I first saw the book. But I didn't like the story. The plot is predictable and the characters talk like they're reading a script from an adult movie. So I am sorry to say I didn't find Sweet Persuasion either sexy or romantic, just boring.
Enjoyable main characters and surrounding cast. You'll see these characters again in other Maya Banks books which I like.
Sweet Persuasion was some good, erotic reading. I really liked the story and the author's voice. It was highly erotic and a good addition to my erotica library.
This was a fun story to read. Provided very detailed steamy fantasy scences. Made me wish I could do the same...haha. This was a very exciting book to read, it became more of a challenge when Serena allowed Damon to go out of the fantasy and allow her to experience him. Highly recommend this thrilling love and sexaul relationship. Get ready to give up yourself for a man in every way possible.
This book had everything! It had humour, romance it was thrilling and I can't wait to read her next book in that series.
Loved her historicals and earlier works, but now M.B. writes trash...this is not the only trashy book either. So many other good writers have gone this route as well. When one writerhas new ideas about writing it seems so many follow suit....trash is not my thing...a sexy intriguing alpha-male who respects women especially his woman, and a woman who respects herself and her man is.