Vanilla by Megan Hart

vanillaBook: Vanilla

Author: Megan Hart

Publisher: MIRA

Review by: Onnica

Basic story: Elise likes to be in charge. She owns it, isn’t ashamed of it and even her family (including an overbearing mother) knows it. She models for her friend occasionally and is proud of the work and the light it shines on aspects of bdsm. The problem? She doesn’t want random assignations anymore. Esteban, one of her ‘boys’ is very exciting and they provide each other with mutual pleasure. The issue is she wants someone she can build a life with, do the shopping with and chat to about anything. And someone who can accept her lifestyle too.

When she meets her brother’s colleague Niall, she’s taken aback by how open he is. He’s sensitive and clearly interested, yet seems to have some misconceptions about her lifestyle choices. Elise has no interest in whips, chains and other paraphernalia, but convincing Niall will be one of many challenges she’ll need to resolve. Will she continue to pine for the one that got away, the sub who needs her but cannot commit, or Niall: possibly perfect, but as vanilla as they come?

Why you should read this: If you read a lot of Megan Hart books, you’ll be pleased to see the return of some well-loved characters. Alex Kennedy anyone? He’s Elise’s business partner and it was great to see him again. The book has a lot of depth to it – the story is bittersweet and full of self-acceptance and self-discovery. The sex scenes are hot but don’t feel gratuitous – they do move the story and the relationships along. The banter between Niall and Elise is on the button and the way Elise deals with her family is great. I’d love to be able to speak to my family like that!

What you might hate: Ok, now for the not-so-good points in the book. I really liked Elise’s character – but like most people, she was full of contradictions. She’s a strong person, but is weak in the face of her former-lover, George. She keeps messaging him, knowing he won’t reply, but putting herself through it anyway. It drove me crazy! Also, the relationship between her and Niall was perfect up to a certain point and then suddenly it wasn’t. It felt a little jarring and maybe that was the intention, but I don’t know, something felt like it was missing.

Rating: 3/5 – for a story full of pathos, some interestingly complex characters. It didn’t tick all my boxes like Megan’s previous reads, but it’s still a good read nonetheless.

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