Begging For It (Asking For It #2) by Lilah Pace #BookReview #GTBA15
*** This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence! ***
Fans of Lilah Pace’s Asking For It will be begging to get their hands on this second installment in the series that has the internet all a-twitter about that fine line between the fantasy of non-consensual sex and the harsh reality of rape. In the first chapter of the story, Ms. Pace briefly touches on a topic which has recently seen a flurry of criticism:
The world spends too much time telling women how not to be raped—more time than it spends telling men not to rape.
Many romance authors seem to dream up an unlikely, unbearably sexy man and then set out to convince readers to worship at the alter of his perfection along with the heroine. Jonah Marks—while, yes, he does display some of those popular attractive traits (built, tall, commanding, rich)—is not the primary lure of this story. Instead, his edgy, conflicted relationship with Vivienne takes center stage.
One man realized exactly what I wanted, and how I wanted it.
Jonah Marks understood because he wanted it too.
We began a sexual relationship built on our shared secret. At first we tried to remain unknown to each other, coming together only as strangers, to intensify the fantasy. Jonah understood what I needed and how to give it to me. He let me become a victim; I let him become a monster. And yet we always stayed within the limits we’d set. He understood how to walk the line that let me feel scared and safe at once.
They are both emotionally vulnerable and wading through a minefield of psychological trauma together, and their shared kink sheds light on a controversial subject: rape fantasies as titillation. If you’ve read Asking For It, or my review of the book, you know Ms. Pace beautifully balances the characters’ precautions, deliberate planning, and total communication with the illusion of violence, manipulation, and force. They also share a fragile love for each other that is rooted in the mutual shame of their desires. Begging For It delivers all the emotional angst of a new adult book without any of the annoyingly bad life choices or irritatingly fluffy characterizations. It’s edgy romance for a discriminating, mature audience.
Why would I wish for something so hurtful? Would I desire someone who really tried to harm me? That was the part that haunted me the night I met Jonah. Well, now I have the answer. No. I wouldn’t desire that. I would in fact beat the living hell out of anyone who attempted it.
Begging For It is more tender and romantic than Asking For It, but also more intimately brutal. As Vivienne and Jonah’s romantic relationship progresses, the intensity of their games does as well. The contrast between the ferocity of their scenes and the tenderness of their love is an interesting dichotomy that settles into the story very organically and makes it feel real. Even though these two damaged people love and need each other, they still bear the scars of their past. Ms. Pace has crafted a unique, gripping story for a couple who have battled their demons of shame and guilt since childhood.
Begging For It ends just as it should, wrapping up all the necessary plot points and conflicts while still leaving a few threads for Jonah and Vivienne to explore later. I don’t know if Ms. Pace plans for this to be the last in the series, but whether or not we get to see these two again, their immediate story has realistic closure and gives hope. So no cliffhangers here and no frustrations about waiting for the next book, which makes me happy and also a little sad that we may not get to see these two again, because DAY-UM are they hot together!
Did you miss Asking For It? You definitely need to read that one first if you’re thinking of diving into Jonah and Vivienne’s story. Check out my review of Asking For It here.
Snag your copy of Begging For It on Amazon here!* (GT affiliate link)