“The game is very simple. I ask you to do something and you do it.”
Karina is an Art History graduate student without a firm goal as to what to do with her education. Against the backdrop of the last concert of a legendary musical performer’s career, she meets the mysterious male protagonist while temporarily filling in at a restaurant her sister manages. The night’s tribulations also include her new thesis advisor and a man with whom she recently had a job interview. While avoiding the other two men downstairs, the handsome, lone man upstairs begins a kinky flirtation. From there, an unconventional relationship forms and builds right alongside the other big deal in Karina’s life, graduation.
Even though I’m a fan of this author since her Blue Moon/Masquerade days as well as a religious reader of her web serial Daron’s Guitar Chronicles, I wasn’t sure what to expect when she announced this project. This genre has resulted in a few gems and many duds. In human history, completely new storytelling ended thousands of years ago. Instead, writers build and re-tool tales of those who came before. If you are going to complain about originality, get in line behind the hausfrau who gave the Brothers Grimm Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. The protagonist’s secret identity was obvious to me early on; I think, more from a familiarity with her work and not a shortfall in foreshadowing.
Two things I really did not like: first, everyone, including the female protagonist blames her for the aftermath when she demands honesty. Oh he’s so fragile, bull! She is an underemployed graduate student trying to get her act together, he knows everything about her and possesses, literally everything including access to therapy. The second thing I didn’t like is that the sequel does not come out for a year! Highly recommended.