Title: Designs of Desire
Series: Desires Entwined #1
Author: Tempest O’Riley
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Heat Level: Explicit
Blurb: Artist James Bryant has forearm crutches in every color from rainbow for fun to sleek black for business. He even has a pair with more paint splatters than metal. After his family’s rejection and abuse from a man he thought loved him, James only just gets through the day by painting. He lives in constant fear that he’s not worthy of anything, let alone love.
As CEO of his company, Carrington Enterprises, Seth Burns is a take-charge kind of guy, and he is instantly smitten by the artist helping with his newest project. When he witnesses James, suffer a panic attack, a protective instinct he never knew he had kicks in. He truly believes nothing is unobtainable—including James—if he’s willing to put in the time and effort.
James is shy and confused by Seth’s interest in him as a person. With Seth’s support, can he work through his fears to finally find the true love he deserves, or will someone finally land the crushing blow he won’t survive?
*M/M Contemporary Romance w/ (lite) BDSM elements*
Madison’s Review: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts
Despite his physical disability, James is a strong, self-sufficient individual. After surviving a great deal of physical and emotional abuse, he understandably has difficulty trusting people, and he tends to limit his social encounters to spending time with his best friend, Chase.
When he meets Seth, there’s an instant attraction, but James hesitates to get involved with someone for fear that he’ll get hurt again. Seth sees through James’s defenses, though, and gently but firmly plants himself in James’s life. I love how understanding Seth is and how in tune he is with James’s needs.
There are some elements of BDSM in the story, with James being the more submissive partner. Seth comes across as a loving and gentle dom who is sensitive to James’s needs and who comes up with some creative workarounds given James’s physical and emotional limitations. Seth is also very giving, both in and out of the bedroom, which I loved.
The story is well written and definitely threw some unexpected twists at me! I love that James got the family life he so wanted by the end. I know they’ll be very happy together!
Thommie’s Review: ♥ 1 Heart
Just how much is too much?
This was the main question popping in my mind while reading this book. I did not like this at all. The overbearing plot that was suffocated with so many elements and incidents, so much hate attacks onto one single person was plain and simple unreal.
We get to witness a most non-realistic relationship blooming seemingly out of nowhere. Seth and James met and in a matter of – God I don’t even know how much time passed as the concept of time was a blur and you could never really get a grasp of it – a heartbeat they became not only a couple, but a family, with a child in the ready and a happily ever after that was more than Godsend. The premises of their relationship were non-existent, the BDSM element that came with it as a non-negotiable fact was ludicrous, and I had no idea how the “Sir” calling on James’ behalf came about? Especially since James was, so hell bound on not having a “kinky” relationship to begin with. The obsessive and controlling behavior on Seth’s part was quite surreal, so much so that had me cringing and questioning the sanity of that character. James’ reaction to him came awfully near to a person suffering from Stockholm syndrome. They simply did not make sense. Nothing they did really made sense.
And as for the abuse, James suffered from practically everybody in this damned story that was just too painful to read. And again, I come to ask myself; just how much is too much? Because what I read surpassed even that.
I made notes on thing I came across that were out of context or lacked credibility or out of the sphere of reality altogether. But as I reviewed them in order to get my wits about and write this review so it could be constructive, I saw they were too much and sorting them out and writing them, down would make this review an essay on this book.
So I’m not going to dwell and linger on them. For me this book was not good and required a serious case of revision before it went out on the shelves, because while the idea was enticing, everything failed to make it an enjoyable read.