Updated: Sep 27, 2022
Owned By Fate
by Tessa Bailey
Published by Entangled: Brazen
Book #1 in the Serve series
Her mind rejects his world. But her body knows its master.
Journalist Caroline Preston arrives at Serve, New York City’s hottest BDSM club, with one goal—to hate it. If her brother wasn’t trying to turn the family’s respectable financial magazine into a publication that features “lifestyle” pieces for the wealthy and adventurous, she wouldn’t even be there, trying to write an article about a world she doesn’t understand. But then she sees him.
Jonah Briggs doesn’t leave his post for just anyone. As the owner of the club, his sole purpose is to ensure that his clientele get everything they need, but when he sees Caroline, his only thought is what he wants—to dominate the sexy little reporter and give the most exquisite pleasure she’s ever experienced.
Caroline has no intention of entering that particular lion’s den—not with her family’s reputation at stake—no matter how dark, sexy, and complex the lion in question may be. But with every encounter, she craves more, and with every slide of his lips, she realizes Jonah might just be the man to break down all her defenses…if she’ll let him.
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Steamy Erotica Happy Ending
Owned by Fate by Tessa Bailey is the first book in her Serve series, which revolves around the controversial and exclusive BDSM club, Serve. This first book focuses on Jonah Briggs, owner of Serve, and Dominant, and Caroline Preston, financial journalist for her family's finance magazine, Preston. Wanting to prove her brother Olivier wrong, who is hoping to save their failing magazine by turning it into a lifestyle magazine that focuses on more controversial experiences, Caroline agrees to write a piece on the club Serve, and the BDSM lifestyle, thoroughly convinced that it will prove to her brother that it's the wrong direction to go on, and that its disgusting. The story starts as her and her best friend walk into Serve.
From what I can gather, this is considered a rather lite BDSM read, so if you are looking for something a little more hardcore, this isn't it. I personally had a hard time with this book. It's not the BDSM that turned me off from it, but the lacking story, and awful characters. I was rather surprised actually. I really enjoyed Tessa Bailey's Romancing the Clarkson's series, which is what led me to this series, but I found the story lacking. Great sex and dirty talk don't make up for a boring story. I found myself not caring about Caroline's decision on the magazine change. Jonah's story about trying to get visitation with his daughter was more interesting, but was really put aside till the very end. The whole insta-love thing traditionally bugs me, so there is that too.
The characters were the worst part of this book. Caroline was an annoying character to read through, and I found myself constantly wanting to skip her parts and jump to Jonah's. It's fine for a character to be so indecisive, but this was just beating a dead horse for 200 pages. Sure, she decides to finally go with her heart, and stop feeling shame for who she loves, and what she likes sexually, but getting to the end was painful. Jonah was okay. Reading other reviews, I was expecting this suave, dirty talking, hot as hell type of character that I would instantly like. He was okay. At least he isn't ashamed of himself. There is the Dominant side to him, and there is a softer, sweeter side as well. He wants to do the right thing. But I don't personally see the draw. If it's dirty talk you like, sure, it's in here ... but Romancing the Clarkson's blows this one out of the planet, which is surprising considering the content.
In this end, I found this disappointing, and the fact that it took me 2 days to get me through a book that would usually take me 1 ... if that, shows there wasn't a whole lot of story line there to draw me in. If you are looking for a quick read, that has BDSM content, dirty talk and hot sex, you will probably enjoy it. If you want a good, interesting story, I don't really think its here. That being said, I'm going to give the series ONE more shot with the next book. Aaron (Caroline's brother) and Eliza (Caroline's best friend) are the starring couple, and I liked Aaron's character in this book. If it wasn't for that, I would most likely move on to something different.
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Eliza: "What prompted that sinister-as-hell laugh?"
Caroline: "Nothing. I'm just wondering if there's some sort of spanking sign-up sheet being passed around."
Eliza: "I think it's more of a conversation system."
Caroline: "Your hand, my ass ... let's do this. That type of thing?"
Jonah: "Are you going to suck it? Or just play with it all night?"
Caroline: "Thank you for reminding me why I avoid places like this and people like you."
She pulled the dripping lollipop out of her drink and bit it in half with a crunch, keeping her eyes deliberately locked on his.
Caroline: "Now go try that line again on someone with a bustier and leather pants. I'll pass."
Jonah: "See, that was unwise. Now I'm just picturing you in a bustier."
Caroline: "Well, knock it off."
Jonah: "The bustier?"
Jonah: "You got into this elevator with me after the things I said to you? I don't know whether to be grateful or pissed off."
Caroline: "Go with grateful."
Jonah: "When is the last time you were properly fucked, Caroline?"
Caroline: "W-what? I-"
Jonah: "Never. The answer is never, because I've never fucked you."
Caroline: "'So what's with the newsboy cap? What are you, like, the Jaunty Dom?"
Jonah: "I don't usually get up this early. I had bedhead going on."
Caroline: *laughs* "You never say what I think you're going today. I hate that."
Jonah: "No. You love it."
Caroline: "If you're not here to blackmail me, then why did you come? You couldn't have just expected me to ... give it up on my desk. On a Monday, of all days."
Jonah: "But you would have on a Tuesday?"
Jonah: "It isn't over until I've been buried in you."
Jonah: "You're hoping you hate it. What I do to you. It would solve everything, wouldn't it? You could write your article however you want. Vote against the merger and still sleep at night."
Jonah: "You won't hate it. I won't let you."
Caroline: "That's what I'm afraid of."
Jonah: "I'm going to love teaching you some patience, sweetheart. You don't know what dying means yet. You'll know when you've come for my mouth so many times, you'd sell your soul to be filled."
Caroline: "You'd like to expose me, wouldn't you? Maybe you will if i don't agree to meet you."
Jonah: "I won't give you a way to justify it to yourself. You'll come to me regardless."
Caroline: "How can you be so sure?"
Jonah: "Because I'm your master and I've made a demand."
Jonah: "There's always a way, Caroline. If there isn't one, I'll make one. If I haven't made it clear enough, I'd do anything you asked of me."
Caroline: "Except let me go."
Jonah: "Except that."
Caroline: "Again with the hat?"
Jonah: "Baby. Don't act like you don't love the hat."
Jonah: "Do you love me, is that right? What am I going to do about that?"
Caroline: "Love me back?"
Jonah: "Don't ever say those words again as if they're a question. I love you so badly I could get lost in it and never find my way back out."
Jonah: "You've already shattered all my limits, baby. I'm going to make sure you catch up."