Review: Destined To Play by Indigo Bloome

Title: Destined To Play {Avalon #1}

Author: Indigo Bloome

Published: Avon Red September 2012

Synopsis: It′s simple. No sight. No questions. 48 hours . Dr. Alexandra Blake is about to give a series of prestigious lectures, but the butterflies in her stomach are for a far more exciting reason …After the lecture she is meeting up with Jeremy Quinn, esteemed doctor and dangerous ex-lover – the only person with whom she has ever let her guard down completely. After a few glasses of champagne in his luxurious penthouse suite, Jeremy presents her with an intriguing offer: stay with him for the next forty-eight hours and accept two extraordinary conditions, the first of which leaves her utterly at his mercy, and he will give her an experience more sensual and extreme than any game they have ever played before. This scorching novel is an erotic exploration of trust and betrayal, experimentation and control, lust and love. Forget Fifty Shades of Grey, this daring debut will leave you breathless for more .. Read an Extract

Status: Read from September 21 to 22, 2012 — I own a copy {Courtesy Harper Collins/Edelweiss}

My Thoughts:

BDSM is not my thing so I have yet to read Fifty Shades of Grey despite the hype, however I was tempted by Destined to Play because the author is Australian and therefore the title fits neatly into my AWW Challenge tally. Rushed to print after the success of Fifty Shades of Grey it was released in Australia in July and was picked up by both the US and UK publishers when it performed well. Destined to Play is the first in the Avalon trilogy to feature Dr. Alexandra Blake and lover Jeremy Quinn in a series of erotic adventures.

Dr. Alexandra Blake is no shy naive virgin but a married mother of two with a doctorate in workplace psychology. While presenting a series of lectures in Sydney she is planning to catch up with her one time best friend and lover, eminent medical researcher, Jeremy Quinn. Even thinking about Jeremy generates excited anxiety in Alexandra, and she wonders if she will be able to resist him once they are together again.
As it happens, just a look is enough to reignite their lust and Alexandra decides to enjoy a single night in his arms. But Jeremy wants more and demands she give him 48 hours, promising an adventure like no other if she submits to his rules, to ask no questions, and to demonstrate her trust in him by remaining blindfolded for the entire time.

The pitch I received for Destined to Play led me to believe that I could expect relatively mild BDSM but it quickly became obvious when Jeremy blinds Alexandra with eyedrops that the interaction between the two is very much based on a master/slave dynamic. It’s a position Alexandra agrees to, despite her tiring inner monologue of doubt, but it’s Jeremy’s insistence that he is doing it all for her own good that dampened my enjoyment of their erotic play. When Jeremy’s ulterior motive – to use Alexandra as a subject in a (laughably serious) experiment into women’s sexuality and depression (think hysteria cures of the 1800’s) is revealed it all but destroyed my libido.

The sex is graphic, as expected, but some scenes are oddly vague in the way an imagined fantasy might be. The story is told in the first person so it is Alexandra’s experience the reader is forced to identify with. Though I enjoyed the flashbacks to Alexandra and Jeremy’s college interludes I got lost when Alexandra was being experimented on, she may have been overwhelmed by sensation, but I couldn’t visualise the scene much at all.

The element of suspense is first sustained by Jeremy’s undisclosed plans for Alexandra, blind and at times handcuffed, Alex has no idea what is expected to do until Jeremy tells her what he wants. However Alex’s constant loop of questioning herself and Jeremy continually interrupts the build up of erotic tension. Near the end, Bloome hints at some possible espionage involving the research Jeremy has now involved Alexandra in as a lead in to the next book and a way to keep the tension going once Alexandra is in control again.

There were elements of Destined To Play that didn’t appeal to me at all but a handful of scenes were erotic as intended. The writing is mediocre with instances of repetitive phrasing and stilted flow, but I wasn’t expecting a high standard anyway. Destined to Play wasn’t awful, I have read much worse, but neither did it rock my world. I can’t speak as to what will appeal to you, so you will have to make your own mind up as to if you read this one.

Available to Purchase

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rachelle Lerner
    Sep 24, 2012 @ 09:47:24

    I have read this and probably would read the next book just to find out what happened. Fifty Shades of Grey is a much better written book.



  2. The Australian Bookshelf
    Sep 24, 2012 @ 18:10:30

    This doesn’t sound like something i would find enjoyable either Shelleyrae



  3. Teddyree
    Sep 24, 2012 @ 19:05:19

    I did consider this one purely because the author is Aussie but I think I’ll pass and keep my limited erotica experience to the Fifty Shades trilogy which I’ll admit I enjoyed in spite of the writing flaws lol



    • shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
      Sep 25, 2012 @ 15:00:15

      I have a dozen or more erotic novels by a UK publisher under the label ‘Black Lace’ that I bought in the early 90’s. I really liked those and a google search just revealed they are being rereleased by Ebury press



  4. Margaret Lynette Sharp
    Sep 24, 2012 @ 21:48:14

    Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I admire well-written literature. 🙂
    How tastes are changing……



  5. Kate Rizzetti
    Sep 25, 2012 @ 14:25:53

    I purchased this only recently because of the noise Harper Collins made about the purchase of this trilogy. I couldn’t get past the first 30 pages. I found the voice too self conscious and it annoyed me that the narrative was constantly interrupted by internal statements where Alex reminds herself to pack her bags or stop thinking about Jeremy. I feel a bit sorry for Bloom. I think HC rushing it to publication did the book a disservice. The concept deserved time for a good rewrite.



    • shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
      Sep 25, 2012 @ 14:58:22

      Those internal statements never stop Kate and just grow more annoying. I have to agree that HC should have taken more care



  6. Kate Loveday
    Sep 25, 2012 @ 15:45:26

    Thanks for the review Shelleyrae. I don’t think I’ll bother to read this though.I’m all for a bit of eroticism if it fits into the context of a story, but this sounds as if it’s all for shock value. And I guess I’m too much of a feminist to enjoy reading about a woman in a state of subjugation to a man’s desires or power plays.



    • Kate Rizzetti
      Sep 25, 2012 @ 17:52:19

      I agree. I don’t understand this obsession with subjugation. That’s why I’ve deliberately written erotica that turns this concept on its head. I’m hoping there are a few women like us who want to see kindness and caring in their erotica. 🙂



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