What Happens After Dark [DeKnight #2] by Jasmine Haynes

Publication Date: November 1st, 2011
Format: Paperback, 337 pages
RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars
By day she’s a mild-mannered accountant, but after dark she’s a willing slave to his wildest fantasies…
Bree Mason longs to be a successful career woman, but secrets keep her chained to the past, afraid to take that next step. At night, her frustrations are released by the domineering Luke Raven, who gives her what she asks for and more in a sensuous game of master and slave.
But to take control of her life, Bree will have to look within and face the demons of her childhood. Luke knows the ins and outs of Bree’s body, knows what makes her gasp and sigh and beg. Now he’s willing to push their relationship to the limit, to stand by her side in the light of day and take the greatest risk of all…for love. 

It’s a little bit hard to rate this book; I went with four because readability wise, I was so caught up with it. Bree Mason is one of those characters that would take an open mind and an open heart for you to actually like. On the one hand, you want to sympathize with her on the basis of what she’d had to endure. And on the other, you have to fight off the urge to slap her silly and tell her she needs therapy. But then again…she might like the slapping a bit too much.

Bree Mason is a slave – a slave to Luke Raven, a slave to her job and a slave to her past. The degradation that she craves from Luke is a salve to a painful past that has kept her imprisoned for most of her life. At times, I want to understand her but most of the times, I am completely aghast by what she forces Luke to do. Luke is what you could call as a reluctant Dominant. He only indulges Bree’s need for abuse because she thinks she needs it and deserves it. The girl is a complete basket case in the head. What she doesn’t know is that his fantasies include a normal date, and her formally meeting his two daughters but she’s adamant to keep their farce of a relationship under the master/slave code.

This book is so twisted. While the author will make you think that Luke has all the control in the relationship, she also doesn’t really hide the fact that it’s actually the contrary. I’ve never heard of a submissive who actually controls the Dom. And it couldn’t be truer in Bree’s case. She pretty much dictates when and where and how often.

I haven’t read much BDSM books but I think this is the first time when each sex-play has a deeper meaning. It’s painful to watch Bree disintegrates into a person of no value by her choice. And at the same time, I think Luke could’ve been more open about what he wanted from Bree. But I also get his reservations to do exactly that. After all, it’s hard to decipher the difference between a request and an order from a man of his stature in their relationship.

VERDICT: Disturbing. Not for the weak of the stomach and the faint of heart. Why did I like this enough to give it a four star? I think it’s the idea that a dominant can be manipulated by his/her sub and not all BDSM stories are alike. Again, Jasmine Haynes shows that she’s got more to offer than just titillating scenes to sate your erotica fancy. This novel tackled the nightmare of child abuse that unfortunately shaped the character of the abused long into adulthood. Her wounds didn’t heal; they just festered over the years.

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