Catarena Vaughn wants to write an erotic novel and make it as authentic as possible. In hopes of finding someone who would be willing to help her with her research, she logs onto a cyber-sex website under the name BlackCat. After getting every kinky proposition in the book all night long and no real help, she ducks into a private chat room to hide out from the weirdos for a while. There she finds Maverick, a dom who is willing to help her out in exchange for Catarena giving him the control he craves.
Mason Broderick was supposed to have a rendezvous with his latest piece-of-fluff in the website chat room, but she stood him up. Instead, he has the pleasure of meeting the mysterious BlackCat who intrigues him in a way no woman has in a long time. He agrees to help BlackCat, but when her sharp tongue pushes his control to the limit, he insists on a webcam to be sure she's doing what he demands of her. When the camera is turned on, BlackCat's features look vaguely familiar to him, but he can't see her clearly enough to be sure if he knows her or not.
The moment Catarena gets a look at Maverick's face, there is instant recognition. Knowing that this cyber-relationship can't continue, she immediately logs off, much to Mason's chagrin. He has no idea why his "Kitten" suddenly ran away from him, just when things were getting good, but he's certainly going to find out. After obsessively searching for her for a week, Mason finally finds her in the most unlikely of places, and then the real fun begins after he shows her who's "the boss."
Maverick's Black Cat was a seriously hot and steamy erotic romance with some very appealing elements. Even if I weren't married, I can't say that I would be too keen on having cyber-sex with a presumed stranger, but the authors certainly did a good job of avoiding the "ick" factor and making that part of the story a very attractive and sensual fantasy. It was also a great way to build some fabulous sexual tension. Once the hero and heroine realize they know each other and get together in real-life, they heat things up all over the place with some pretty creative love scenes that have lots of variety. I liked that the authors took a little time out in between all the steamy sex to tell a little bit of story about Catarena writing her book, dealing with her smarmy supervisor at work, and the couple tackling Mason's control issues, as well as showing their relationships with their respective best friends. It's not a lot, but it was just enough to keep me from getting bored with all the sex.;-) After reading Maverick's Black Cat and another similar novel (Hannah Murray's Jane and the Sneaky Dom), I'm beginning to think that some of the best erotic romances are the ones that do focus more on the sexual relationship and don't try to be something else (eg. suspense, paranormal, etc.), because thus far in my experience, those parts of the story usually tend to suffer in the process.
Since Maverick's Black Cat was a relatively short book that is jam-packed with red-hot lovin', there isn't a great deal of backstory given on Mason and Catarena, but I felt that the authors developed their characters fairly well in the here and now. Mason is the millionaire owner of a Fortune 500 company and a dom who feels the need to be in control in everything. When he chances to meet Catarena in a BDSM chat room where she is trying to do research for an erotic novel, Mason is instantly attracted to her sharp tongue and the challenge she presents. I can enjoy a dominant hero from time to time, but there came a point where Mason started to scare me a little with his caveman act. The minute he realized who Catarena was, Mason dragged her into his office and took her over his desk for the very first time with a rather angry attitude and no preamble or foreplay whatsoever. Even though Catarena didn't protest much and seemed to like it, this felt a little too close to forced seduction for my taste. At that point, if I had been Catarena, I probably would have run the other way screaming.;-) Of course, she stuck around, but I have to say that I greatly admired her feistiness and how she let Mason know right from the start that she wasn't going to put up with him being a control freak or let him push her around outside the bedroom. Eventually, she did do a very respectable job of taming the "wild beast." Mason apologized for some things he'd done and sufficiently "made it up to her" for me to like him in the end. I felt like he was really putting forth effort to change, and all their love scenes, other than the one that bothered me a bit, were quite scrumptious.
Overall, Maverick's Black Cat was a fun erotic romp that I mostly enjoyed. Being the realist that I am, I liked that the authors kept Mason and Catarena's online play "safe" by not giving out real names or addresses. I also thought it was helpful that they had a prior relationship of sorts even though they didn't know each other well. This along with the authors progressing the narrative over a few months time made them falling in love more believable. On the downside, there were a number of editing errors (typos, incorrect word choices, poor grammer, etc.), but otherwise, I thought it was pretty well written. I've also come to the conclusion that this is kind of par for the course with many Ellora's Cave books and try to overlook it as much a possible. If it hadn't been for Mason scaring me a couple of times, I probably would have given the full 5-stars to this novel, and even as it was I would still call it a keeper. Maverick's Black Cat is the first book in Maggie Casper and Lena Matthew's The Boulevard series. The next book, Friends with Benefits, features Mason and Catarena's best friends, Sebastian and Bailey, as the hero and heroine. What I saw of these two characters in this book, I really liked, and if Maverick's Black Cat is any indication of things to come, I'll definitely be looking forward to reading Friends with Benefits as soon as I can get a copy.
Note: This book contains explicit language and a number of very explicit sexual situations which some readers may find offensive including exploration of D/s relationships, a visit to a BDSM club, mild voyeurism and exhibitionism, spanking, toys, and anal play with a toy.
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