Title: Reflection by Elene Sallinger
Chrysalis Series Book Two
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic, Romance, BDSM
Length: 288 pages
Book Rating: C+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
When Two Bodies Collide…
The moment Bridget Ross and Connor Reynolds run into each other on the street—quite literally while out on a run—tempers flare. But when the two get together for an apology coffee date, it’s clear that the coffee isn’t the only thing steaming.
Connor is a charming artist without purpose. His own tragic past prevents him from putting down roots or committing to anything. Bridget is feisty but guarded. She’s aching to fill a void in her life but is wracked with guilt over her past and denies herself true pleasure. Can this gorgeous man tempt Bridget to finally succumb to her desires?
Reflection, the second novel in Elene Sallinger’s Chrysalis series, is an erotic romance with light BDSM elements. In this outing, Bridget Ross and Connor Reynolds’ burgeoning relationship is threatened by the unresolved issues from their respective pasts.
Bridget is a bright, well-educated college professor in her mid to late thirties and her guilt and shame over her sexual desires have become tangled up with a traumatic event that happened while she was a college student. Although she has dated over the years, her inability to open up about her past eventually leads to the end of her relationships. Bridget is stunned by her unexpected desire for Connor, and with a lot of encouragement from her close friends Claire and Mona, she tentatively and cautiously agrees to date him.
Connor is a bit of a loner who is happiest when he is viewing the world through his camera lens. He is a gifted photographer and painter but he refuses to pursue either professionally. While Connor’s demons are less serious than Bridget’s, they do hold him back from taking risks and living his life to the fullest.
Connor and Bridget’s relationship is tenuous and while Bridget finally reveals her secrets, she remains unable to fully give in to her sexual desires. Connor is a bit of a contradiction as he continues to try to push Bridget’s sexual boundaries despite his assertion that he is okay with a “vanilla” sex life. Their problems extend beyond the bedroom as Bridget stubbornly refuses to confide in him about a troubling situation at work. While Connor is forthcoming about his past, he is not completely honest about how deeply his losses affect him.
While I enjoyed the overall story, I found it difficult to believe that a smart woman like Bridget would not be more proactive in seeking out counseling for something that clearly defined so much of her life. I was equally frustrated by how she tiptoed around the growing problem with her repulsive boss. While she gave some very sensible advice to one of her students, the plan Bridget devised to help the young woman escape her horrible situation was extremely foolhardy and put her student in needless danger.
Reflection is the perfect novel for anyone who is new to erotic romance. The sex scenes are sensual with just the tiniest hint of a BDSM element. They are tastefully written and many of them fade to black leaving it up to the reader’s imagination to fill in the blanks. However, if you are a long time reader of the genre, this might be a little bit of a letdown since the steam factor falls on the low end of the erotic spectrum.
All in all, Reflection is an engaging romance with sympathetic, likable protagonists. Bridget and Connor’s issues are realistic and it is very satisfying watching them overcome their troubled pasts. With tantalizing and intriguing glimpses of secondary characters Mona and Victor, Elene Sallinger leaves readers eager for the next installment of this sexy series.
Although Reflection is the second novel in the Chrysalis series, it can be read as a standalone story.