Vanessa Fewings – Enthrall (Review, Excerpt, Interview, & Giveaway)

Enthrall by Vanessa Fewings

Series: Enthrall Sessions #1
Source: Review by Request
Copy Provided by the Author
My Rating 4.5 of 5 Stars

Mia Lauren is a single, twenty-one-year old working in a West Hollywood art store who dreams of one day becoming a fashion designer. When an unexpected offer arises to work at Enthrall, L.A.’s premier fetish club for the wealthy, Mia accepts. It’s a salary beyond her wildest imagination.

Mia becomes the secretary to the club’s assistant director, blond and broody Richard Booth. Richard is not only one of L.A.’s most beautiful and wealthiest men, he is also the club’s senior dominant. Mia is both drawn and terrified when he reveals flashes of his white-hot passion, threatening an unbound pleasure like no other. She knows her attraction may be her undoing, but the spellbinding feelings render her powerless to resist his advances.

What Mia cannot know is that Enthrall’s dashing director, thirty-year-old Cameron Cole, who is also the club’s psychiatrist, has lured Mia to save his best friend and patient Richard from his obsession with thrill seeking. Cameron masterfully sets up sexy scenarios to ensure the collision of Richard and Mia, hoping that love will save him.

However, despite Cameron’s noble intentions, he also finds himself enticed by Mia’s haunting innocence. Passion and pleasure stir, forming a dangerous love triangle.

This is the world of the forbidden. This is the embrace of Enthrall.

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Thought provoking and sweetly kinky with a dash of coming of age…

“There’s something very therapeutic about facing off with fear,” he said. “Challenging life back.”

This book really took me by surprise. I thought we were traveling in one direction with it, and I wound up being surprised and delighted with how the story evolved!

I had my moments of worry as the book opened up with an innocent virgin interviewing to be the secretary at a BDSM club. We recently posted the Top 5 things we’re tired of reading in Erotic Fiction. Within the first 30% or so, this book was checking things off that list like it was mission critical.

I am so pleased to say that the story evolved into something glorious, entertaining, and utterly unique.

Enthrall is not your average BDSM Club.
It’s not a sex club with a D/s slant…
It’s something much different…

“People who don’t respond to conventional therapy use this place as a last resort. […] It’s a lifestyle choice. Some people choose to drink every day despite what it does to their liver, some smoke, some overeat.” He shrugged. “Inevitably we all use a crutch.”

Enthrall believes in rebirth and revitalization through BDSM. Fighting pain with pain, so to speak.

Mia is not permitted to travel down the elevator at Enthrall and see the mysterious rooms where this alternative form of therapy is carried out on clients which return from their sessions utterly blissed out. She has nothing but her imagination to guide her… And her imagination is running wild…

Mia Lauren

Although I’d had some idea of where my career may lead, this was way off. I never imagined I’d end up in some crazy work environment where the usual boundaries were not so much lacking as nonexistent.

Mia has the sole POV of this book. Her employment at Enthrall is critical. She’s been working two jobs and struggling to pay her step-mothers medical bills. She’s wasting away in a studio apartment in LA. The salary at Enthrall will ensure she has room to breathe.

Unfortunately, she has to fight to keep her position. She’s an innocent, her very presence stirs the clientele. She knows nothing about sex and even less about BDSM. She’s working (and bonding with) three dominatrixes, her boss Richard is mysterious and captivating, and Cameron… Well, he’s just dangerous.

Richard Booth

“There’s something beautiful about a broken man, don’t you think? Maybe it’s some unspoken promise he’ll become more than he is because of it.”

Richard is Assistant Director at Enthrall, and had no say in the matter when sweet little Mia was hired as his secretary. He’s one of those “I’m going to push you away, but I really want to pull you closer” types. The ultimate Dom, the complete gentleman, the untouchable epitome of masculinity.

Of course Mia falls for him almost instantly.
But there’s another player in this game…

Cameron Cole

“No one understands the delicate blossoming of a bud more than Cameron.” She stroked my cheek with curled fingers. “My sweet butterfly, draw in your wings when near Richard. He has a penchant for singeing them.”

Cameron is Richard’s best friend, the Club’s psychiatrist, and he can’t seem to stop luring Mia into uncomfortable situations. He enjoys the thrill of the hunt, he’s a master manipulator, devilishly handsome, and he oozes sex.

It soon becomes clear that Cameron is pushing Mia and Richard together, but Richard is only pushing back. Both men are hanging on by a thread and Mia’s innocence is drawing each of them in.

This isn’t your average love triangle, and I’m quite curious to see how this story evolves in the next few books.

There was a lot of humor which balanced the incredible heat of this book. It was beautifully written, and once it sank its hooks into me I was unable to put it down. I was impressed.

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Excerpt:

“READY?”

Asked Cameron. He arrived at Enthrall right after me and buzzed me in.

Hands shaking, heart pounding, I forced a smile. “Absolutely.”

“You’ll do great.” He led me into the elevator.

Cameron looked clean cut and had effortlessly dressed in blue jeans and a white shirt. He couldn’t even make that look casual. Despite his confident posture offering some reassurance, his close proximity made me nervous as his gaze swept up and down my short trenchcoat. His focus never wavered and it made me wonder if he ever took a day off from studying people. Stepping out, I tried to keep up with his determined pace. 

“You never gave me your car insurance yesterday,” I said.

“I’ll put it on mine,” he said. “After careful consideration, I realized it was my fault.”

 “Um…no, I think I backed into you.”

“We’ll agree to disagree. How about that?” He glanced at his watch. “I know a great body shop. I’ll have them check out your Mini while they’re working on mine. We’ll get them to fix that oil leak too. How does that sound?” He gave a nod to confirm he liked this plan and opened the door to the staff hallway, gesturing for me to go ahead.

Taken aback by his kindness, my spirit lifted and I almost forgot what I’d come here for.

Was I really going through with this?

As I passed the reception desk, it felt eerie to see no one there. That should be you sitting there, I mused, trying to distract myself from having to face Richard again and the impending drama I was about summon. Excitement mixed with trepidation spiraled tingles in my chest.

“I must warn you.” Cameron paused outside Richard’s office. “He doesn’t know about this.”

“At tennis yesterday, you didn’t mention it?”

“He wasn’t really in the mood. And you know what I thought? Hell, why not just surprise him.”

“What if he’s angry I’m back?” I covered my face with my hands.

“Something tells me he’ll be happy to see you.” Cameron reached for the handle.

I grabbed his wrist and stopped him.

He glanced at my hands. “Where’s your letter? Leave it on his desk afterwards.”

“I saw Tara last night,” I said. “She was Enthrall’s secretary before me.”

“I know Tara.”

“She told me the letter wouldn’t be enough.”

 “It’s worth a try.” He faced the door. “Speak from your heart.”

The door flew open and Richard’s stern demeanor met us.

 “Hey Richard.” Cameron took my hand and guided me past him.

Richard turned to face us. “What’s going on?”

“Please, sit down,” said Cameron.

Richard didn’t look happy and ignored his friend’s invitation to sit. 

You can do this, I told myself, rallying my courage.

What was the worst that could happen? It’s not like he could fire me. He’d already done that. Tara seemed pretty convinced this would work and she was the one to get me the job in the first place.

“Mia has something she wants to say to you,” said Cameron.

Richard strolled back to his desk and spun around to face us, leaning against it, his expression taut. He folded his arms across his chest.

Cameron frowned at him and tilted his head toward me. Richard gave Cameron a what the hell kind of look.

Back in Bailey’s apartment, going over the plan with her and Tara, this had felt doable. Madness, yes, but possible. Yet here, now, standing opposite Richard and his fierceness made me question my ability to pull this off. This had to be how it felt when a tanker truck hit your car in one of those freak accidents you see replaying on the news. The kind you think will never happen to you. Very comparable.

Cameron moved closer. “Mia, whenever you’re ready.” He gave an assured gesture to Richard. “Give her a second.”

Bailey’s words found me again. “Jump in, like you’re at a cold swimming pool and you know that once you’re swimming you’ll love it.”

Or drown,” I think I’d answered her; how apt that was.

My mind wandered further, as though trying to locate the courage I’d left back in their apartment.

These guys get up to all kinds of things, trust me,” Tara had told me. “Nothing shocks them. Think of this as speaking their language.”

“Mia,” said Cameron, shaking me from my daydream.

I rummaged inside my handbag and brought out an iPod. “Put this on, please.” I handed it over Cameron and dropped my bag onto the chair.

“Sure thing.” Cameron beamed at Richard and headed over to the sound system at the back of the room.

Masked Ball by Jocelyn Pook burst out of the surround sound speakers and filled the room with a deep bass rhythm. I unbuttoned my trenchcoat, slipped if off my shoulders, and threw it over the back of one of the leather armchairs. My short tartan skirt may have looked out of place for autumn but neither Richard or Cameron seemed to notice. Despite the coolness of the room, my boots held some warmth and gave me just enough of the edgy confidence I needed to pull this off.

My heart pounded so hard inside my chest; my breathing was just short of panicked.

Standing in the center, I steadied myself. “Richard I do belong here. You know it and I know it.”

His gaze locked on mine with an unmatched fervor.

“And I can prove it.” I glanced over at Cameron to let him know I was ready.

Cameron smiled back.

Biting my lip, I lifted my skirt, tugging it around my waist and holding it there, revealing my black stockings and lace garter belt. From Richard’s face, he’d noticed I wasn’t wearing any panties.

Richard swapped a glance with Cameron.

“Huh,” murmured Cameron.

“Master Richard, I want to apologize.” My fingers scrunched my skirt. “For that spelling mistake.” My other hand moved, ready to stroke myself just as Tara had told me to, but something flipped inside my chest and I froze. I’d come too far to go back and yet couldn’t proceed any further either. Trapped in some sensual halfway land, my cheeks burned and my breathing stifled. Aroused and yet…

Richard’s frown deepened.

Cameron neared me. “Show Richard how you’re going to do that.” Seamlessly Cameron saw where I’d planned on taking this and softened the moment with reassurance.

“Cole, let’s talk outside,” whispered Richard.

Cameron slid behind me and wrapped his left arm around my waist, hugging me back towards him. “Mia, let me touch you.”

“Yes, please,” I said, trying to control my shaking hands, grateful he’d come to my rescue, giddy with the feel of his strong arm squeezing me back into him, against his firm chest. 

Cameron moved his other hand down over my belly, and lower. “Part your legs a little.”

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 Interview with Vanessa Fewings:

Welcome to the Smutsonian! We’re in love with the Enthrall Sessions series and we’re so glad you could take the time to answer a few questions.
Thank you, Shurrn, for inviting me over to The Smutsonian! I’m thrilled to be here.

If you were to describe your book in only one word, what would it be?
Transformation.

What would you say inspired you to write it?
I enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey and felt inspired to write my own erotica romance series. I’d already published The Stone Masters Vampires Series and enjoyed imbuing those books with erotica.   Writing romance feels like such a natural evolution to my writing.

What was the source of inspiration for Mia Lauren?
Mia leads us through world. Like all my characters, she evolved as I spent time with her. Mia really has developed into one of my most beloved characters for me.

What about Richard Booth?
Richard was the first character to pop into my head when I was considering writing the series. He wowed me immediately, and there’s something quite special about him. Readers are very defensive about Richard and I find that endearing.

How about Dr. Cameron Cole?
Cameron. Wow! He was only meant to have a supporting role and he kept stealing the spotlight. Readers have told me he feels real. He has something alluring about him. There’s nothing more rewarding then hearing he’s become a new book boyfriend!

The various settings in this series are incredibly opulent – how did you find ideas for Enthrall and Chrysalis?
My writing technique is to follow characters along. So I see what they see. It feels very organic. Having been born and raised in England, and since then settled in the U.S., I’ve had the opportunity to travel widely around the globe.  So many places I’ve visited inspire me.

With the exclusive BDSM club of Enthrall and the exquisite manor Chrysalis, I just envisioned what I’d expect to see.  I threw in some research on real places like this that exist and I had what I needed to make the locations authentic.

What kind of research did you do to prepare for writing the Enthrall Sessions series?
For the more sensuous scenes, I had to go peek at some very interesting sites online. My husband caught me once and I yelled, “It’s for research!” And it really was! 😉

What is your all time favorite book?
Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire.

What made you pick that one above all others?
I bought that book when I was around the age of fourteen. It has stayed with me. I had the opportunity of meeting Anne Rice at the Vampire Ball in New Orleans, run by Suzie Quiroz. That event has to go down as one of the most wonderful highlights of my life.

Anne has been so supportive of my career and very kind to me, as she is with all writers.

What made you decide to become an Author?
Writing chose me. Writing is like breathing. I can’t live without it.

Would you say becoming an author has changed you? In what way?
Writing forces you to look within. It has always been a powerful conduit to healing.  Writing steals oodles of time. But that’s okay as I am in love with the process.

What would you say was the toughest part?
As you know these days a writing career involves so much more than just writing a book.  There is everything from promotion to reaching out and chatting with readers. It’s all thrilling, and time management is essential. Drive. Passion. Faith in your own writing.

I feel very blessed and have no complaints.

Have you ever been hit by the infamous “writer’s block”? What did you do to escape it?
Only once, but it was more like life got in the way. My characters were so persistent it didn’t take  long to get back in the swing of things.

Was there ever a time, during your work for this book, when you felt like giving up? What made you change your mind?
With every book I write I get halfway and realize I’m being ambitious. I push on. Concentrate on each chapter as I move forward and try to break down the novel into doable pieces. I try to let go and let the book write itself.

How do you deal with bad reviews or acid criticism? What would you advise other authors to that effect?
I remain open minded and try and learn from everything. You really can’t please everyone and that’s okay. I’m blessed to have a loyal following of readers who get my work and take pleasure from reading it.

Without giving us spoilers (of course), what can we expect next from this series?
I’m delighted to announce I’m writing a series of four novellas in the world of the Enthrall Sessions. The first is Cameron’s Control. The other titles will be announced shortly.

What do you have stored for us in the future? What are you working on/planning on next? Aside from this series?
I am planning on writing another romantic comedy in the future. I’m also planning a spin-off series from the Enthrall Sessions.

How long did the production part take, from the moment you began working on the manuscript to when you hit ‘Publish’?
Writing each novel in the Enthrall Sessions takes about four months. A rewrite takes about a month. Editing takes about a month. I’m lucky enough to work with Louise Bohmer, an amazing editor. She sends the file back and I have two friends read the draft and do a final copyedit and then we are good to go! And the book becomes yours. x

What’s the longest time you’ve spent working on a project?
Piper Day’s Ultimate Guide to Avoiding George Clooney took me a year to write.

Did you hire professionals for editing, cover design, formatting?
Yes, Louise Bohmer who I just mentioned, is my professional editor. I design all the cover art myself.

How did you decide who to hire, if you worked with pros?
I’d had the pleasure of working with Louise Bohmer when she was editor-in-chief at an old publishing house I was with, way back when. We stayed in touch. She is fantastic to work with.

Where is your work being distributed? How did you decide which one(s) to go with?
My books are on Amazon and all of them will soon be on Smashwords, B & N, and KOBO.

Fun facts:

If you could wish for any one thing, and it would immediately come true, what would you wish for?
For the world, peace for everyone.
For myself, an extended vacation in Jamaica.

If you were stranded on an isolated island, what’s the one item you’d absolutely wish to have with you?
Fresh water. Where do I sign up?

Name your favorite fruit.
Grapes.

Favorite season?
Winter. No wait, Summer, no… spring. I love it all!

How about favorite time of the day?
Morning.

Were you a Girl Scout?
Yes. Apparently I was a very naughty girl scout.

Favorite food for breakfast?
Pancakes. I rarely eat them as they are too fattening. J

What is the latest book you’ve bought and read?
Sylvia Day’s Captivated by You.

What was the last book you absolutely fell in love with?
I love anything by Sylvia Day or Anne Rice.

Is there a book you keep meaning to read, but haven’t gotten around to it? Don’t worry, we all have ridiculously long TBRs!
There are so many on my TBR list.

Do you recall the first piece of Erotica you ever read? (Please give us the tile and author)
I can’t remember the first. But I read and loved Anne Rice’s Sleepy Beauty Series.

Do you collect things, like stamps, or key chains, or shoes?
No, I don’t collect anything. Though I have developed a thing for chandeliers lately.

Favorite color, you know you want to tell us!
Dark Blue.

Coffee or tea?
Tea.

Sweet or salty?
Sweet.

Drama or comedy?
Drama.

Cats or dogs?
Dogs.

Do you have a favorite quote or personal motto?
“God sees the truth but waits.” – Tolstoy

Dinner by candlelight or a night out clubbing?
Dinner by candlelight.

Do you have a favorite Book Boyfriend/Girlfriend? Please give us the character(s) & Book(s)
Am I allowed to say Cameron Cole?

Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Cameron Cole.
Can’t argue with that. Cameron Cole is officially on The Smutsonian’s Book Boyfriend list!

Favorite Swear Word?
Fuck, fuckerty, fuckerty fuck.

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Giveaway!

  

Vanessa Fewings has graciously offered to giveaway eBook copies of all three Enthrall Sessions novels to TWO lucky Smutsonian readers! Click here to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author:

Website | GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Google +tsū

Vanessa Fewings is the bestselling author of the highly acclaimed erotic Enthrall Sessions.

Vanessa is also the author of The Stone Masters Vampire Series. Her romantic comedy Piper Day’s Ultimate Guide to Avoiding George Clooney, has already garnered a buzz of excitement from readers around the world. Prior to publishing, Vanessa worked as a registered nurse and midwife. She holds a Masters Degree in Psychology. She has traveled extensively throughout the world and has lived in Germany, Hong Kong, and Cyprus.

Born and raised in England, Vanessa now proudly calls herself an American and resides in California with her husband.

Literary Manager: Amy Schiffman at IPG

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