Title: The Light of the World
Author: Randi Black
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance 18+
Cover by: Maei Design
Publisher: Self-published under the Name Withheld imprint
Publication Date: June 27, 2014
Event Organized By: Literati Author Services, Inc.
SynopsisIt was 1995 in the Southern California wasteland. I was barely legal and far from innocent. I loved The Gun Club more than I loved Walter, my high school sweetheart. He was the only person who knew why I stopped singing and playing guitar after what happened to me when I was 16. But even an engagement ring couldn’t save us after what he did to me that one afternoon. I used to worry that college would come between us, but I never thought it would happen on move-in day. That was the day I met Franz : a tall, handsome 23-year-old ex-jock from Germany. He was so not my type, but the more I got to know him, the more I knew he was the right guy for me. And after Walter betrayed me for the last time, it was time for me to break up with him and be with Franz for good. I never thought he’d be a safe place for me to explore my darkest sexual fantasies. Nor that he’d be a kindred spirit who knew exactly what it felt like when someone ridiculed your musical aspirations. We gonna start playing music together and be who we were meant to be. Nothing and no one was gonna stop us. Not even Walter. Note: This is the standalone sequel to Miss World, which was self-published in 2011, and takes place a month later.
The Light of the World by Randi Black
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Kimmy starts college after some pretty traumatic stuff happened her during her high school years. She was sexually assaulted, sought revenge against her rapist in a public format, and is trapped in an engagement with her high school boyfriend who still has a year left of high school. In college she meets an older student from Germany and they quickly realize their attraction towards one another and Kimmy realizes that she has a compatibility with Franz that was not there with Walter. She begins to discover things about herself and let herself be interested in and explore things that she used to care about before her life was shaken up.
Kimmy and Franz have intense chemistry and they are obviously very sexually compatible. I liked seeing Franz being patient and kind with Kimmy as she allowed herself to explore different facets of her sexuality in a way that made her feel safe. I will mention that I didn't read the book that came before this one (Miss World), so I don't have a history with Walter that might serve to give me any first-hand positive experiences with him. Based on just learning about him in this book, I can easily say that I don't like him. On the one hand, I felt that a lot of the behaviors and dysfunctional ways that he and Kimmy interacted were a little crazy. On the other hand, I think this makes the book feel a little more real since teenagers in real life don't make good healthy choices all the time. Especially when trauma, and strong cultural parental expectations are thrown into the mix.
I went through both high school and college in the 90's, so there were a lot of nostalgic triggers for me in this book. I found some of the writing a little choppy at times, but not to an extent that it disengaged me from the story. All in all, I enjoyed that there were some really unique characters and situations presented in this book. The characters were complex and interesting and made both good and bad choices for themselves just like people do in life as they are coping, growing, and experiencing. In a genre where a lot of characters and story lines are very similar, this one stood out. I would read more by this author in the future
*An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review
ExcerptOn the walk back to campus, I continued to tease Franz and rack up more spankings, adrenaline coursing through my veins, my skin flushed beneath my skintight black dress and black leather jacket. Part of me was scared, but it wasn’t like my death march to room 216 at the Motel 6 in Downtown San Dimas, where I dragged my feet and Kevin kept turning around to ask if I were coming. I had never volunteered to get spanked before, and my mind was racing with so many questions: how badly was it gonna hurt? Was he gonna use his hand, or did he have a collection of paddles and riding crops hidden under his bed? Or maybe he’d go the efficient route and just use his belt? What if I freaked out and wanted him to stop? What if I liked it too much? No matter how apprehensive the questions, my feet kept moving us back toward Franz’s residence hall, the Phantom Guitarist’s swampy melody cutting through the brisk night. Anticipation rumbling in my bones. I took unhurried, exaggerated steps upstairs to his room. Smiled at him over my shoulder, tossing my hair. He stood two steps below me, at eye level with my ass. I could hear him breathing. Thinking. Right when we were at the bottom of the third floor, his hand slid up my dress and beneath my panties, warm roughness on my right buttock. His grip firm. I turned, already wet from his touch. His eyes told me I was gonna get punished and I’d love every minute of it. Fair enough. My knees weakened as I gripped the railing. He took his hand away and we forced ourselves to continue. All the doors in his suite were closed. Conversations, music, and pornos muffled. The soles of my feet tingled as his key card entered the lock. Green light. Click. The door closed behind us as he switched on the lights and we tossed our backpacks onto the floor. Without another word, he sat on the bed and placed his hands on my side, then spun me around on my feet before lifting me onto his lap. I was breathless, scared, aroused. His strong thighs anchored my pelvis. The mattress cushioned my forehead and calves, reeked of sex. A heady scent that triggered my entire body to tense in anticipation. And it was a convenient position he had put me in, because my ass was practically in his face. He yanked my dress up to my waist, pulled my panties toward my knees. I wriggled and moaned as he squeezed and rubbed me. But then he took his hand away. My muscles contracted and… Crack! Stinging skin. Flailing legs. A squeal ripped from my throat and bounced off the walls. I had no idea how good the pain felt until that moment, when every knot in me had come apart and it was the most satisfying release I’d ever had in my short, sad life, like my body floated away in the liquid warmth. Nothing was more honest, more pure than my weightless body draped over his lap, so vulnerable and trusting as his palm caressed my burning flesh. Before Franz, the idea of getting spanked made me laugh my ass off. Walter and I used to peruse pictorial evidence of erotic spankings at Tower Records and mocked Bettie Page’s facial expressions. We wondered how the hell people got turned on by something that looked so fucking silly. But now I knew. It was about relinquishing control. Finding pleasure in pain. And the release. Especially the release. Franz rubbed my sore ass and I purred from his touch. “You have six more.” “Really, Franzster?” My ass rose to meet his palm. “Only six?” “I will give you ten, then.” Crack! He used a little more force on my other cheek. My face temporarily frozen in a scream from the impact, then the pain turned into another endorphin shot into my vein as I shamelessly ground my crotch into his lap while he rubbed my ass. Smiling at dinosaur and band posters on the walls. Imagining Ted and Jeremy looking at each other and chuckling as they got high across the hall. But then Franz’s palm came down hard on my ass again. And again. And again. Pain built upon existing pain. His fingers dipped slightly lower, a throat murmur of approval when he discovered how wet I was, my entire body gasping when his fingertip brushed my clit. And my cruel lover took his hand from between my legs and Crack! My neck snapped forward. My skin hot and raw. Crack! Crack! Crack! “Have you learned your lesson?” “Yes, Franzster.” “I did not hear that.” He nudged me. “Sit across my lap.” I inhaled through my teeth before maneuvering onto him, thighs wrapped around his waist. The pain on my backside was so intense that I held him tightly, my back arching as my tits pressed into his chest. “Like this, Franzster?” “Ja, Kimmy Lee.” He smiled, almost bashful. His kiss simultaneously ignited my heart and cunt. “Do you trust me?” he murmured, cupping my chin in his hand. “What are you gonna do?” “If you get onto your hands and knees, I promise I’ll make you feel very good.” “You’re not gonna try to sneak your dick up my ass, are you?” He shook his head. “No, no.” He looked into my eyes, traced his finger down the side of my neck. “I’d never do that to a girl. Especially Meine Freundin.” I kissed him, then pulled away. “What are you gonna do, then?” “Eat your ass.”
About the AuthorRandi Black has worked as a phone sex operator, cashier, writing tutor, and librarian. She holds an MFA and an MSLIS, and is responsible for the controversial debut novel, Miss World. For now, she lives in Chicago with her long-suffering partner and spoiled cat.
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