“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” – Anonymous
Dr. Alexandra Blake is 37 years old, married to a man she hasn’t been intimate with in years and mother to two children she adores. With her husband and children away for a week in the Tasmanian wilderness, Alex travels to Sydney to deliver a series of lectures on her latest research into visual stimulation. After the first, very successful, lecture she meets up with Dr. Jeremy Quinn, the man she had a passionate relationship with while in university and the man who opened her eyes, heart and body to intense and exhilarating feelings and emotions. Years of being apart haven’t made Dr. Quinn any less attractive and Alex can’t deny that she still feels his pull. After a few glasses of champagne Jeremy makes Alex an extra-ordinary proposal. He wants her to submit to him for 48 hours. Two days during which she will be blindfolded and not allowed to ask any questions. Alex knows that she can trust Jeremy, and that he would never ask her to do anything she isn’t capable of, but she also realises that handing herself over to him will mean hitting and exceeding every single one of her boundaries.
It isn’t long into her 48 hours of blindness before Alex starts to realise how restrictive the limitations Jeremy has put on her really are:
“I am beginning to realise how much of human conversation is dependent on questions and visual indicators.”
But she also has to admit that Jeremy is right when he says that:
“It is really important to understand how and why you are going though these emotions. It’s all part of the process. You’ll learn so much about yourself.”
As time passes and Jeremy puts Alex through experience after experience, constantly stretching her boundaries Alex has to wonder:
“Will I continue this journey into exploring my personal darkness with him, a journey I have never been courageous enough to experience until this point in my life?”
But this is about more than just a dirty weekend for two former lovers. A lot more is at stake for both Jeremy and Alexandra, and this is only the start of their journey…
I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this book. I started this book expecting nothing more and nothing less than a straight-forward work of erotica; some kinky sex, some soul-searching and some more sex. And yes, there were a lot of descriptions of sexual interactions, but somehow it didn’t feel as if that was what this story is about. In fact, this is probably the least enticing bit of erotic fiction I have ever read. The descriptions of everything Jeremy puts Alexandra through, while fascinating, didn’t make me feel anything, which can’t be a positive thing when the book you’re dealing with is marketed as erotica.
On the other hand, I was truly fascinated by the premise of the story. I can’t say too much about that because it isn’t fully revealed in the book until later on. I also can’t judge how credible the premise of this story is, but I have to admit that I really liked the idea and would love for it to be true.
I have an issue with women (or men) having an affair behind their partner’s back. I can live with multiple partners if everybody involved agrees to such an arrangement, but I do not like illicit affairs, in real life or in fiction. And I guess I don’t see lack of an active sex-life, a past relationship or a combination of these two as valid excuses to betray your partner. And while Alexandra did spend quite a bit of time reflecting on her children, and how her behaviour might affect them, her husband didn’t seem to feature in her concerns at all. That bothered me, even after the author dealt with the issue in a rather “easy” manner near the end of the book.
Therefore, if I had to judge this book purely as a work of erotica my grade would probably have been somewhere between 2 and 3. However, since there was a lot more to this story, and the story was well written and easy to read, I graded this book higher. And, I’m sure I will read the next book in this trilogy. Between the fascinating ideas behind the story and the cliff-hanger this book ended on I feel I don’t really have a choice in that matter.