Nicola Cameron Reviews: Slow Surrender by Cecilia Tan
The Cinderella story is a classic fairy tale that lends itself particularly well to retellings in a variety of genres; perhaps too much so, considering how many romance novels use the “poor girl meets rich man, loses him, then gains him again after a search” trope. With that in mind, Cecilia Tan takes the familiar fairy tale and turns it on its head, reimagining it as a grand, lush erotic romance set in New York that sets you on a slow, captivating burn.
Slow Surrender follows the developing relationship between Karina, an art history grad student who is more familiar with the pre-Raphaelites than what she wants from life, and James, a handsome, mysterious businessman with issues of his own and a taste for sensual BDSM. No, this is not 50 Shades Yet Again, thank Cthulhu for small favors. For one thing, Karina is intelligent, quirky, and has a backbone and no inner goddess. And James is a sexual sadist with a heart of glass and a secret past — emotionally fragile as he is intensely dominant, he’s as much the Cinderella character as Karina is. Their developing courtship is full of secrets and discoveries, and is deliciously kinky as well as emotionally satisfying. You’ll be rooting for both of them to find their happy ever after together, despite the odds.
The question is, will they? I warn you, this is a trilogy (don’t blame the author — that was a publishing decision, not hers) and ends on a cliffhanger. But with a story as captivating and well-written as Slow Surrender, you’ll love the agony of waiting for the next installment.