Stockholm Seduction by Lily Harlem
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
In case you didn't guess by the title - it's a kidnapping tale. Only, it's not a pretend kidnapping. Penny is on vacation in Australia and she's been eyeing this cute guy on the beach for a while. She's exiting a bathroom when bag is thrown over her head and she's overpowered and taken away. She wakes up tied to a mattress and she's blindfolded.
Her kidnapper just so happens to be the cute guy she's been eyeing at the beach. Turns out, a friend of his is in trouble with officials in another country and Penny's dad is high up in the government....and can possibly help out with the situation. And Kidnapper Guy (I don't think his name was ever given) hatched a plot to force the hand of Penny's dad to get the friend out of trouble.
So Penny is all tied up and being held hostage and stuff - and the whole time she's got the hots for Kidnapper Guy. She tries to seduce him, and he really wants to give in, but he doesn't want to add rape to the charges that he'll likely already face. And Penny informs him that it isn't rape if she's begging him to do her.
Eventually Kidnapper Guy gives in and he and Penny have hot monkey sex. And then the cops show up and Kidnapper Guy flees the scene and the story ends.
Ok. So, the sex is hot....I will give it that. And the makings of a good story are there, but giving the short length of the piece, there just wasn't enough time to fully develop anything. This should have been a long novella, at least. I think if there had been more time to flesh out the story, it wouldn't have come across as sort of creepy. I've read books with kidnap fantasies in them before, but this was the first one that portrayed an actual kidnapping. These people didn't know each other and they weren't playing out a sex fantasy. Even though Penny was attracted to Kidnapper Guy before he kidnapped her and the sex was consensual (in fact, Penny sort of begged him....), it still came off a little creepy to me. Especially when he just disappeared at the end.
If there had been more build up between the two characters - a sort of getting to know you period before they got busy with the sexytimes - I don't think the creepy factor be an issue. And for sure there should have been an epilogue. What happened after the cops broke in and just found Penny there.....all breathless from the hot kidnapper sex she just had?
Overall - the idea of the story worked for me, but the execution of it did not. Three stars is sort of my meh rating. Meaning, I didn't love it and I didn't hate it. I would like to see the author take this story and turn it into a fully fleshed out novel. I think that has a lot of wonderful possibilities. But until then, my opinion on Stockholm Seduction is just meh.