- Title: Tucker’s Fall
- Author: Eliza Gayle
- Series: Purgatory Master #1
- Genre: Erotica
- Format: eBook
- Source: NetGalley
- Reviewed by: Soo
- Rating: 2 out of 5
Description: Scandalized professor Maggie Cisco returns to her hometown to lick her wounds and reconsider her future. Her years of personal and professional research into the BDSM lifestyle has landed her in jail, in divorce court and now in the headlines of more newspapers than she cares to count. The worst of all? The entire debacle is being blamed on a bestselling book she hasn’t even read!
Just when she thinks her only solution is a tell all memoir, a snowstorm puts her in the path of stunningly handsome, insanely rich and equally intense, Tucker Lewis.
Tucker remembers Maggie well. They once shared a mind-numbing kiss at the annual St. Mary’s carnival when her boyfriend wasn’t looking. No stranger to scandal, he looks past public opinion to the submissive craving a master’s touch and decides then and there what he wants. He’s going after Maggie and her heart’s kinkiest desires.
Unfortunately, no amount of money can change the sins of the past and when they’re certain they know everything there is to know about each other, one discovers a secret they aren’t prepared for.
Review: Tucker knows what he wants. He wants Maggie. It’s been ten years since they’ve shared a stolen kiss in high school but time hasn’t erased the memory one bit. Best laid plans often go awry. He didn’t plan on having their first meeting in years to happen on the side of the road in the middle of a snow storm but they did. He rescued her from the snow, drove her home, accepted her invitation for a drink, took her lips in a stunning kiss and began his seduction of the woman he’s desired for as long as he could remember.
At first, I gave the book a rating of 3 stars but I changed it to 2 stars after I wrote my review.
The story starts off a little rough and without enough details for me to get into the characters but I shrug that aside because there’s a glimmer of promise when Tucker and Maggie meet again in the snow storm.
First, let me get out what did not work for me.
– The story is weaker for being told in two perspectives of Maggie and Tucker. It would have been more interesting if the author had stuck with Tucker and told the story from his eyes. His storyline is stronger than Maggie’s and his feelings came across better.
– The book reads like three books that were chopped up and thrown into one. Except, what’s left aren’t necessarily the best pieces of a puzzle. What’s the story about? Is it a sex story with a few plot twists to keep it from being just about sex? Is it a love story about two damaged people coming together and finding solace in each other? Is it really a mystery that is tied up with Tucker’s father and the club Purgatory? I feel like it’s suppose to be all of those mixed into one but it doesn’t sit well the way it is currently written.
– I thought there wouldn’t be a case of insta-lusting love because Maggie and Tucker had known each other as kids but I was wrong. If the perspective had stayed with one character, there would have been room to really develop the relationship as they interacted and by showing how that interaction really affected them. Instead, there are sex scenes that come off as technical jargon thrown into the air with only a smidgen of sensuality. Tucker did seem to be a caring and knowledgeable Dom but I didn’t get the sense that he really won Maggie over by truly understanding her. He seduced her body. Sure, I get that. However, Maggie is a mental creature. When did he seduce and win her mind?
– I like Nina. However all of the bits that she appears in feel forced. Which is a shame because her character seems like a lot of fun.
– I lost a lot of respect for the story when information about Tucker’s father is revealed. I felt that was the tip of the ice berg that totally destroyed any attempt at suspension of belief. I tried really hard to stay in the story but that one busted all the other holes wide open like cannon balls hitting a sinking ship.
– Where is the ending? The ending should have happened when Tucker & Maggie make up with wild sex, when they profess their love or when Tucker asks Maggie to accept his collar. That would have been a nice end. The epilogue was a little interesting but mostly aggravating because it made it seem like the story is ending on intermission. Maybe that was meant to be an awkward cliffhanger. I just felt really annoyed. I felt a little happy glow because I’m a sucker for happy endings. My glow was stamped out like a punk by an unwanted and badly framed to be continue. Was it really necessary? It’s book one of a series. As a reader, I know the story will continue.
Enough of the negative! Here are some points that I really liked about the story. Please note that the reason why I felt strongly about the negative aspects is due to the jarring friction against what does work.
– Maggie seems like a real woman. There are some thoughts and behaviors that are very natural. She’s a character with promise and grit. I wish I could have seen more of her and gotten to know her better.
– Tucker and Maggie’s first kiss memory is sweet. It makes the romantic in me feel warm and cuddly. It’s also realistic that life rolls all over you and you forget to pursue a moment that leaves a strong imprint.
– I loved that Tucker is an artist! As an artist, that hits a spot for me. Let’s ignore the fact that I had a hard time picturing the studio. That part wasn’t realistic.
– Sexy scenes: I liked most of Maggie’s first time with Tucker. Rotating wheel! I also liked the dinner date at Purgatory. An interesting environment and scene.
– I’m glad Tucker said I’m sorry first and swept Maggie into his arms. It was sweet.
The story has a lot of potential but it fell flat as a whole. I felt like I was on a uneven roller coaster ride that should have been awesomely sexy, emotionally turbulent or sneakingly thrilling but I mostly feel let down because there isn’t enough substance to any of the elements to make it stand out. I may read the next book to find out more about what happened in Tucker’s past but I’m not sure if I will.