Saturday, October 24, 2020

REVIEW: Follow Me Darkly by Helen Hardt


I've seen Helen Hardt's novels in the years we've been blogging but for one reason or another, or none in particular, I've never gotten around to reading anything by her. So while I was cruising around NetGalley the other day, looking for something new and different, I saw Follow Me Darkly and thought, what the heck, let's see what this is all about, and requested it. The NetGalley gods were kind and before I knew it, hurricane days gave me time off work and a new book to try. 

My initial thought when I looked at the cover was that it had that old school FSOG feel to it. Are you seeing that too? So I went into the reading wondering what, if any, similarities there would be. I'm not sure if going into it with that mindset made me see various nods to that famous book, if I was imagining it, or what (so I asked Court to read to confirm or deny what I thought I was seeing) but I definitely saw some easy comparisons to FSOG. That being said, this wasn't some knock off--it definitely had it's own thing going, and it's evident that Helen Hardt has a lot of writing experience. The pacing and dialogue and building tension worked well. 

The story of Skye and Braden is one part insta-chemistry. These two feel the tingles early and often. Their sexytime starts almost instantly and is a constant. If you're looking for pages of erotica, featuring a bossy and brooding alpha male, this book has got you covered.

The story is one part push and pull--they both want a sense of control but really only one of them seems to have it at any given time. While it would seem obvious who has the ultimate control, it's never just that one person. Sure, he has money and power and a controlling demeanor, but he can't stay away from her and that makes her a pretty powerful figure, doesn't it? To be fair, she's equally addicted to him and his orgasm giving, so while she has THE say so when it comes to what he wants, she gives in freely. 

The story is one part mysterious history. He has a secret. She wants to know. Simple, right? Nope. It appears, from the ending of book 1, that it is and will be more complicated. I have a feeling we're going to think we know certain things and then we'll find out that there's a lot more to it than we suspect. 

As to the nods to FSOG, you've probably already picked up on some--he's a powerful rich dude, she's a young up and coming; he wants her to join him in a world she's unfamiliar with; there are some touching things that remind me of Christian (did you see those too, Court?); and of course, the secret, that seems to involve a certain someone, and I'm assuming some lurking danger.

All this to say that this novel was super easy to devour in an afternoon. Parts of it hit for me, parts of it seemed over the top, but true to form--I'll be reading what comes next to see how it all goes down. 



I’ve always been a control freak. But he makes me crave submission…

Working for a hotel heiress and social media influencer may not be my dream job, but at least it allows me time to do what I really love—take photographs. Pretty good for a wholesome farm girl from Kansas trying to make it in Boston. Life may not be easy working for a diva, but at least I know what to expect.

Until blue-collar billionaire Braden Black strides into the office. He’s beyond handsome and sexy, but also domineering with a definite hard edge. I’m not sure why he’s interested in me, but within a few weeks, he’s showing me a world I never knew existed.

He’s opened up a side of me I can only face in the dark, and it’s quickly becoming an obsession. How can I give up something this addictive—even if his secrets could ultimately destroy me?

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