I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Kenzie's life has known a lot of loss and because of this she likes to keep people at a certain distance. She also craves the strong touch of a Dominant male, as long as she is in control of what is happening in the scene. This contradiction in her personality earns her the label of brat and being known as a difficult sub at Club Sin. When Porter is up to be tested so he can earn the title of Master, Kenzie is assigned to him for the month; if he can dominate this sub he'll have earned his stripes. However, when these two begin to play Porter doesn't react to Kenzie's antics the way she expects or wants him to. Porter is surprised to find out Kenzie has a soft side to her personality, one only he brings out. Porter just might be the one to give Kenzie what she needs instead of what she wants and with not only past emotional issues to deal with, an alleged member of the Russian mob is trying to strong arm Kenzie into selling her bookstore to him. Whether she is prepared for him or not a dominate male in her corner is just what Kenzie's needs.
This is the fifth book in the Club Sin series but it definitely works as a standalone as the story between the main couple is fresh and new. Past characters pop in and out and are fantastic in supportive roles to the leads. This is the way series books should utilize past characters and be written; I never felt overwhelmed or confused with past stories and became interested enough in past characters to want to check out their books. The battle of wills between Porter and Kenzie is the meat of the story; the suspense arc is clearly there to force them together outside of the club. A casino developer wants Kenzie to sell him her bookstore so he can build a casino on the block and starts to up his intimidation game as she refuses each time. Porter steps in to protect her from goons and utilizes his P.I. business and experience to get the possible Russian (those Russians are very popular right now in the romance genre) mobster casino developer off her back. This suspense arc takes up a lot of the story, so much so I would consider this a romantic suspense with a heavier toned sensual sexual side. From the description and series I thought BDSM aspects would be the star of the show but until the ending actual BDSM scenes were pretty scarce.
Both Kenzie and Porter are good characters but were mellow enough to lack the spark that could make them memorable. Kenzie's "I can't love you because people in my life have died" insistence veered toward overly dramatic as I understood she was scared to get close to people but going on about how no one else could possibly understand her pain or fear was a bit special snowflake. Kenzie did stay true to her character throughout the book and I did believe in her gradual growth and change, which made her a solid character. Porter was a wonderful Dominate and understanding match for Kenzie, he pushed her in ways that made her figure it out for herself but always knowing he was there to support her. Again, he never quite breaks free of common characteristics of dominate males but he definitely provides a firm presence as a character. Together they work and play off of each other incredibly well, as the reader I completely believed in the realness of their relationship, even if it all comes about a smidge swiftly.
Overall, I easily enjoyed Kenzie and Porter's journey, the suspense plot is quick and not overly complicated while the emotional aspect will tug you in enough to root for Porter to break down Kenzie's barriers. The essence of this story is mostly about being lucky enough to find the right person who you just click with while also enhancing and allowing you to be yourself. If looking for a contemporary with some suspense and with more of a sexual bite, then Tamed would be a good pick.