I received this book for free from NetGalley.com . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Companion Contract on February 9, 2015
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Control. Submission. Power.
Amy Mendoza knew she'd never have a Cinderella story. She walked away from the ashes of her childhood on her own, and signed her first porn contract the day she turned eighteen. The money's been good, but it's time to walk away again before the life drags her down. When a mysterious stranger offers her an unusual contract—sexual companion to a recently relapsed rock star—she accepts.
Amy quickly and gratefully falls into an easy rhythm of control and submission—but it's not her client who keeps her up at night. Emanuel, lead guitarist and the man who hired her, occupies her thoughts—and soon, her bed. Their connection is intense, and although Amy knows sleeping with Emanuel isn't what she's there for—isn't what she's being paid for—what's between them is too strong to ignore. But there's more to Emanuel than Amy knows, and submitting to him might come at too high a price…
Wow… This was something unexpected that made me very happy as a reader. The subject material isn’t fluffy and the heroine is definitely not the normal type but she’s very honest and open with her flaws/strengths. I enjoyed reading the nuances and relationships that are in flux throughout this story but also enjoyed the threads that weave through the characters showing how lives evolve over a period of months. I think what struck me most was the fact that Solace is not afraid to show you the dregs and low points but also makes the high points realistic for the characters. There is not a perfect happy ending for all of the characters but there is an ending for them that shows they are on the path to being fulfilled. There is no magic bullet that makes everything better but hard work and some pain can make it possible for you to find what you need.
Amy was a very strong character who is at a crossroads in her life. She isn’t completely fond of being a porn star but hey it pays the bills and honestly her issues aren’t with the sex but that she’s feeling a bit burnt out. She’s approached by someone she has idolized from afar to be a sober companion for a band member but this isn’t a “Hey let’s keep you on the straight and narrow” type companion… This is a keep him sexed up and happy so he stays off drugs companion. She’s happy to be used in this manner but she also does her part to be the other type companion. I liked her no nonsense approach but loved seeing her internal struggle with what she wants from her idol and what she thinks is going on. She’s smart as hell and extremely practical but is incredibly vulnerable behind her walls. As she gets involved with our hero we get to see more of this vulnerability but strength.
Emmanuel is something else. He isn’t easy to read but you can sense his enjoyment of Amy even as she was fulfilling the contract. Their relationship actually builds nicely thru the story. We get to see them interacting outside of the bedroom before they actually have sex which builds the tension. Sure she gives him a blowjob really early in the book but most of the book is them building up to their eventual pairing and not of them being paired from moment one. I enjoyed that buildup as we get to really see what makes them tick apart and together which made the final outcome very worth the wait. He’s very complicated but for Amy he just is someone who also has flaws but deserves adoration and love.
I am going to have to get the rest of the stories out today by Solace and keep my eyes open for more. This was a very well done story of recovery and owning one’s self no matter what your life’s path is…