Haven (Beards & Bondage #1) Book Review

Haven (Beards & Bondage #1) by Rebekah Weatherspoon

Publication: April 25th, 2017

Genre: Romance BDSM

Rating: fivestars-02

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A week-long getaway…
City girl Claudia Cade’s carefree life is plunged into chaos when a camping trip with her brother in the national forests of Northern California turns into a deadly dash for her survival. A solitary world turned upside down…Nature photographer Shepard Olsen has resigned himself to a quiet existence, with only his dog by his side, until a woman in need of his protection shows up on his doorstep and throws his universe into disarray. Two lives linked by tragedy…Claudia is desperate to heal from her traumatic loss, but can’t stop thinking about her run-in with evil….or the grizzled mountain man whose quick thinking and good aim saved her life. When she shows up on Shep’s doorstep again, she finds she isn’t the only one who can’t move on.…saved by bliss. The two begin an intense, passionate relationship of Dominance and submission, pleasure and pain, but with dark memories haunting them and decisions about the future rapidly approaching, Claudia can’t help but wonder…how long can they be each other’s haven?

Add on: Goodreads

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Plot

Haven is such a lovely book. That is a weird description for BDSM but it’s ok lol. I love this book and all it deals with. I love the characters and the plot and the subplots. The author did a fantastic job with this story and really had me invested. I finished this in like two days because it was easy to read and fun/sexy. 

Shepard is going about his business in his mountain home when he hears a girl screaming in the middle of the night and banging on his door. When he sees her she is bloody and dirty and begging him to save her and claiming her brother was killed. The man who was pursuing her appears and in the end, Shepard shoots the man dead and he rushes Claudia to the hospital. After the police are dealt with and they talk these two are now connected by this one moment. She goes back to her life in the city and he goes back to life on the mountain but they will never forget that night or each other. Months later fate brings them back together and they know they have to deal with what happened but they are drawn to each other and start something intense. As they grow closer Claudia and Shepard learn a lot about each other and themselves. They can’t stay on this path forever because they are polar opposites and they have decisions to make about their futures.

Characters

Claudia saw her brother murdered in front of her and was almost murdered herself. She is a city girl who is not too fond of the outdoor secluded lifestyle. So this traumatic event really changed her whole life and so did the mountain man who saved her life from her pursuer. She is a girl who knows what she wants but at the same time didn’t really know in my opinion. Her whole life was turned upside down and she needed a fresh start. I love how her character was written because sometimes this is the approach people take. Some people make rash decisions (not that it is bad) when something happens and just need a new slate while others may curl in on themselves. Everyone has their own way of dealing with grief. She has wonderful development as she learns who she is after the events that happened to her months ago and learns where she wants to take her life.

Shepard is a secluded mountain man in a small town. He lives up in the mountains but he loves his little town. He has a dog and the great outdoors. Every year for one week he heads to California to spend time at an exclusive BDSM club and the rest of the year he is single. He was burned by an ex who spoke badly about him to his townspeople about his desires so he no longer takes permanent partners and prefers his club with people who get him. After he kills a man to protect a woman who showed up traumatized and running for her life his life is no longer the same. It’s not easy to kill someone even if it is to save a life. He doesn’t know how to deal with that in his mind and when Claudia comes back he doesn’t know how to deal with her. His development is more subtle but still there because he learns how to trust and open up more.  

Writing/Romance

I am so happy that one of my romance buddies introduced me to Weatherspoon’s writing and novels. This is only the first one I have read and I am so in love with her work already. It’s sexy and fun but also doesn’t lack in depth or development of plot and characters. I used to have such a misconception about romance and contemporary romance specifically. I used to think it was all lovey-dovey stuff with no plot. But authors like Talia Hibbert, KB Ritchie Weatherspoon, R. Scarlett, and others really proved me wrong. Especially when they do what this author did. The traumatic event that Shepard and Claudia faced really is the point of this novel and how they tried to use sexual gratification and human contact to save themselves when it was not what they needed. We learn that sure it was great and they clearly are a great couple but they had to work through those inner issues. The author wove this intricate story about these two polar opposites while giving us some wicked sexiness in between it all. 

The BDSM was done so well you can tell Weatherspoon put thought and time into her research to get it right. There are wrong and abusive people that try to claim they are dominant but that is NOT what BDSM is about. It is between two consenting adults who both know what they want and don’t want and how to act out scenes. Some people are heavily into it and live the life day to day while others are lower on the spectrum and keep it only in the bedroom. The author did a great job of showing a couple who are more in the bedroom. The writing was authentic and felt fresh. I 100% want a Shepard Olsen in my life. 

Favorite Quotes
“I know we just met, but do you want me to hold you? I’ll do it, happily. I’m only asking ’cause I want it to be your choice. I figure you might do with some comforting,” I say. “Please.”
Love always, and I mean always. I’m naming a child or a really cute dog after you.
You. Seeing you, touching you, claiming you in a very specific way, I want to say, but I can’t.
“Then let’s make one more deal. Tonight you hold me and then tomorrow, after I’ve gotten some sleep and a chance to stretch, you dominate me.”
“I want you wet for me all the time. I want you nearly naked all the time.”
“Tits out again,” I say. “I want to look at them while I eat. You were saying.”
I want him to show me what he needs, especially since he’s already giving me exactly what I need. Focus. Attention. A touch that isn’t hesitant and incomplete. We made a deal. He wants me on my knees. He’s got me. On my knees.
“I was just thinking that I should make you spend the rest of our meals completely naked.”
I tell her to skip the pajamas and we both strip down to nothing. I lay down on the couch and pull her whole body on top of mine. This is what I wanted the first night, every bit of her against me, skin to skin.
“You like her too don’t you, buddy.” He glances at me and then focuses his attention back on the door. We’re both pretty hopeless at this point.
I move down to her shoulders and then her back, wiping the droplets of water that are trickling their way down her amazing skin. Before I can stop myself, I bend over and catch a few drops running down her side with my tongue.
“You deserve that, Shepard. You hear me? You deserve whoever is gonna look out for you the way you look out for them. Not someone who’s going to turn on you when you don’t see eye to eye. You deserve someone who’s gonna stick around for you.”
“You really think I’m going to wait another two some-odd hours before I f*** my future wife again.”
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Kathryn Calderon | 24 | Artist of many trades | Villains are my soul

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