Review: The Deep End (Honey #1) by Kristen Ashley

Posted March 9, 2017 by bookstobreathe in Book Blitz/Promo, Book Review, New Release / 0 Comments

Review: The Deep End (Honey #1) by Kristen AshleyTitle: The Deep End
Author: Kristen Ashley
Series: Honey #1
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Genre: BDSM, Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance
More Info: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon US
Purchase: Barnes & Noble
Purchase: iTunes
Purchase: Kobo
Enter a decadent sensual world where gorgeous alpha males are pleasure slaves committed to fulfilling a woman’s every desire. At the elite Honey club, no boundary will be left untested, and one’s darkest desires will become a sensual reality.

Olivier isn’t sure what he’s gotten himself into when he joins the Honey Club, only that a dark part of him craves the lifestyle offered by this secret, exclusive club.

When Amèlie invites Olivier to surrender, she pushes him to explore his deepest desires as a submissive. As they grow closer and find themselves falling harder than either of them anticipated, the truth about Olivier’s past could threaten the budding relationship they both long for.

Gripping and seductive, The Deep End is the first book in a sensational new series from bestselling author Kristen Ashley.

Title: The Deep End

Series: Honey #1

Genre: Erotic/BDSM Romance

Author: Kristen Ashley

Release Date: March 7, 2017

✮✮✮ A delicious world of erotica, BDSM with alpha-subs and their Dommes, and a gripping love story…Welcome to The Bee’s Honey! The first book in NY Times bestselling author Kristen Ashley’s Honey series, The Deep End is a seductive & rich love story now available! ✮✮✮

Book Trailer


At that moment, for the first time in years, she was paying no attention to Stellan.

This was because Talia’s tall frame shifting out of the way offered an unhindered view of something else that had slipped in without her notice.

And gazing at him, Amélie went still.

As did her breath.

And her heartbeat.

Leaning a shoulder against the wall beyond the edge of the bar, six or seven feet from the door to the playrooms, he was surveying the scene as if he wasn’t part of it.

Or as if it was he who was on the prowl.

But although a Dominant could mingle freely in the open space, this would be done with some intent.

If they were on the hunt, they’d be at a booth.

Subs were not allowed to sit in a booth unless the invitation was extended. They populated the floor, on display, it was requisite.

In the mesh of bodies, a sub could be identified in a variety of ways. The cast of their gaze. Their bearing. Jewelry that declared their status.

And their position in the hunting ground.

No Dominant would linger there like he was, partially for that reason. Clear communication and transparent messages were key in their world. No Dom would give the impression of being a sub.

This was explained at length during membership orientation.

That magnificent beast was a sub.

An alpha-sub, assuredly.

It came from his sheer size, like a cloak stitched to his skin he had no hope of shrugging off (not that he’d wish to).

He had to be six five, perhaps taller. His dark suit and mono-chromatic shirt necessarily tailored for his physique for there were very few men on this earth that had it. His shoulders as wide as a log. His chest a veritable wall. The muscles Amélie had no doubt were hidden under his clothing apparent in the exposed line of his throat. It wasn’t that he had no neck. But that lethal shank of corded, sinewy muscle could not be established and maintained if the rest of him didn’t match precisely.

She knew he was alpha beyond that. His stance at the wall, casual and self-assured, it was openly cocky. He knew his allure. He knew his beauty. He knew even if he wasn’t exactly your type, every being would understand with base instinct his attraction.

He also knew how to use this. All of it. It was his art as sure as reading it on him was Amélie’s.

  From what she could tell, his hair was dark blond, the thickness of it, how it was longer at the top, clipped short at neck and ears was so appealing, she was willing to make that single allowance for she preferred her toys to have dark hair.

 She made that allowance, but if she had her way, and she often did, he’d grow it longer so there’d be more of it to fist her fingers into as a means to use to make him serve her will.

His facial features only heightened his appeal that already, with the rest of him, defied belief.

A strong brow over eyes she couldn’t see the color of from her distance. Hollowed cheeks under high cheekbones and over a firm, cut, clean-shaven jaw. And a large nose that was openly pugilistic, the dent at the top of the bridge not created by God but by a break that he didn’t deem important enough to have set properly.

Staring at him, utterly incapable of not doing it openly, she felt the insides of her thighs tingle. And her nipples were hard buds, the restriction of the lace of her bra suddenly excruciating.


Now that was whisky.

“Oh my, Leigh, are you seeing what I’m seeing?” Mirabelle asked. And before she could answer, her friend went on, “It’s like he was made for you.”

It was, indeed.

My Review

I don’t think I’ve ever been so apprehensive starting a book. As this was a new genre Ashley was venturing into, the bar was raised high. And I will admit this from the start; it took a few chapters for me to really become invested in the book. It feels blasphemous to even write those words, but it was such an anomaly for me; I was flabbergasted. That being said, because it was KA I powered through and I’ll never be happier that I didn’t give up because it ended up being SO worth it. Could I have done with a little less steamy scenes and more character building scenes? Sure. But when I really put my mind to it, it was during the steamy scenes that the character building really took place. But while I did fall in love with Amelie and Olivier, I wasn’t as invested in them as I usually become with KA’s characters and that hurt my heart a little. Towards the end they really dug into my soul, but it wasn’t too long after that that their story was over so I was surprisingly left wanting more.

I think the biggest qualm I had is I was missing the mystery and suspense that are usually found in her books. No matter what the genre, they are almost always chocked full of those two aspects and it’s what I love most about them. I live for the angst and intrigue that generally follows and while that was present in The Deep End, it wasn’t on the forefront. Having stated that, I wholeheartedly believe she will more than make up for it in the next installment in the Honey series. From the little glimpse we were given at the end of this story as well as innuendos and little nuggets thrown in throughout the pages, I feel like The Farthest Edge could turn out to be Ashley’s most gut-wrenching book yet. We’ve have damaged heroes and damaged heroines, but I had a strong suspicion that these two will take the cake and I CANNOT wait! Bring on the pain!

I loved how even though there were many new things involved in this story that weren’t typical of the author, the KA nuances were still front and center, especially in Olivier. Oh how I just loved him from tip to toe; I lived for his scenes. I’ll admit I didn’t get the whole alpha-submissive thing going into this book and I expected a lot of topping from the bottom. But what I got in reality was something wholly different than I could have ever dreamed up. It fit the characters with a perfection I didn’t know was possible. I couldn’t have dreamed up a better partner for Olly than Amelie. They had just enough in common and difference that they melded flawlessly. I appreciated that even when they had their tiffs, neither were too proud to admit their mistakes and tackle the problems head on. And let me just mention the steamy scenes real quickly. Whew… I would highly suggest reading this book in solitary confinement, preferably in a bed, most definitely with a few toys present, and do be sure to have some extra batteries just in case. It takes a lot to get to me with all I read these days and I will freely admit there were more than a handful of scenes in this book that left me blushing and furiously bookmarking to come back to later. When it came to their story, the burn was slow for a millisecond and then you were thrown into the deep end. But don’t worry, I can promise you will welcome the cool refresher… In fact, you’ll need it!

At the end of the day this was a KA story and as with all her books what I loved the most was the love story. A book can’t be good unless the characters connect and that is something that Ashley excels at. She knows how to write love and soul mates and happily ever afters. She will certainly take  you on quite a journey to get there, but when you arrive at the end of the road bruised and broken you can be sure she’ll put you back together better than you were before. It will be an adventure you’ll never forget.

The Farthest Edge (Honey #2)

Amazon US

Coming June 6th!

New York Times bestselling author Kristen Ashley draws readers back to the Honey Club, where every sensual boundary will be tested in search of the ultimate pleasure.

Branch doesn’t exist. Living off the grid, he’s looking for a way to forget his past and the guilt that plagues him. But no woman has ever been able to bring him to the edge he craves.

After a traumatizing experience of her own, Evangeline stepped away from the decadent world of the Honey Club. But when she gets Branch’s offer—to play without boundaries or commitments—it’s too tempting for her to refuse.

As their passion ignites, Evangeline and Branch push each other to their farthest limits, fulfilling their darkest desires while falling harder and deeper than they ever imagined. The Farthest Edge is an intoxicating erotic love story that will keep readers riveted from page one and will haunt their dreams long after the cover is closed.

About Kristen Ashley

Kristen, born in Gary and raised in Brownsburg, Indiana, was a fourth-generation graduate of Purdue University. Since, she has lived in Denver, the West Country of England, and now she resides in Phoenix. She worked as a charity executive for eighteen years prior to beginning her independent publishing career. She currently writes full-time.

Although romance is her genre, the prevailing themes running through all of Kristen’s novels are friendship, family and a strong sisterhood. To this end, and as a way to thank her readers for their support, Kristen has created the Rock Chick Nation, a series of programs that are designed to give back to her readers and promote a strong female community.

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