Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Review: Firebird by Annabel Joseph

Book: Firebird
Author: Annabel Joseph
Erotic Romance, BDSM


Prosper is thrilled to be plucked from the corps de ballet to dance the lead role in The Firebird. But Jackson, the guest choreographer, is as sexy as he is demanding. Prosper soon finds herself flustered by his closeness and his unforgiving gaze. She gets caught up in kinky fantasies that make it difficult for her to concentrate on his steps. She imagines him as her Dominant, turning her over his knee for flubs in rehearsal. Just as sensual tension at work builds to an impossible level, a surprise encounter outside the studio results in Prosper’s fantasies being realized. Jackson takes his protégée home and ties her to his bed. Soon Prosper is receiving the discipline and domination she craves -- and much, much more.

The pair maintain a secret off-stage relationship -- scorchingly intimate encounters several evenings a week. But Prosper feels the burden of carrying the Firebird ballet on her back, and Jackson knows that his time in New York will draw to an end all too soon. Will Prosper crack under the pressure of pleasing her lover and bringing his vision to life, or will Jackson find a way to help his Firebird take flight?

This is one of my favorite books to read when I need to recharge my batteries. The way that Annabel Joseph brings ballet to life through her words is just so beautiful. She has a gift with words, not because she knows a lot of fancy words and knows how to use them, but because while reading Annabel Joseph all you think about is the story. You don't see the words, you see the story unfold. The way that she builds the anticipation working up to the sexual encounters, the humor in the interactions (the innocent ones and the sexy ones), the complexity of the relationship(s), the romance... everything together makes for a story that draws the reader in from page one until the end. And afterwards, the characters stay with you. Well, they stayed with me.

I might have said this before, but in case you missed it, I'm not much of a re-reader. I don't usually re-read books, with few exceptions. Firebird has joined this exclusive club on my re-read shelf. I was feeling kind of drained after reading a bunch of dark erotica (I like the dark, but even my twisted brain needs some brightness sometimes) and felt the need to recharge, and since I had recently beta read Waking Kiss (just you wait for that review) I was in the mood for some more ballet... and let's be honest here, after reading Waking Kiss and getting into the unique world of ballet romance, I couldn't get into any other story (just ask my abused kindle, I started and stopped approximately 4 books before giving up on that), so I picked up Firebird. And I was so glad that I did. Firebird is not light, per se, there's complexity there, but it's just rejuvenating. It's so colorful ... just look at this picture:

The ballet Firebird is based on the Russian fairy tale (duh) Firebird. And the book Firebird is a story about visiting choreographer, Jackson, who is charged with putting on the ballet ...Firebird... ** Do I sound redundant? Maybe a little bit. But that's because FIREBIRD FIREBIRD FIREBIRD. It's also a type of car, by the way. But that's not what we're talking about here. ** anyway, so the story is about Jackson, the choreographer and Prosper, the ballerina. So, Jackson shocks everyone, including Prosper, by putting her into the lead role as the Firebird (you can totally break out the shot glasses, you might already have done that and you're probably drunk by now, cause you've been playing DRINK every time I write FIREBIRD) herself. Back to Prosper - she is thrilled and does this to celebrate:

Well, she had to do this regardless as part of the production. But I think you get the idea.

Prosper is a perfectionist. Dance is her life. It's her escape and it's her salvation. She hides from her personal demons by being the perfect ballerina, executing the perfect moves and working her body to exhaustion. Jackson is also a perfectionist, but not in the same way. He loves his art (no, I don't mean the kind you hang on your walls... ballet, people, FOCUS! Firebird), his choreography. He wants to challenge the world of ballet by putting on a non-traditional version of the Firebird (lift your glasses). He wants it to be intense, deep, moving, and dark. And he feels that Prosper, with her perfect dancing, can help him do that.

In a way, Jackson catches Prosper, the same way that Prince Ivan catches the Firebird. Though, Jackson doesn't really trap Prosper the way that the Prince does with the Firebird, he traps her just the same through her desire for him, her need for structure, discipline, and his approval. And Jackson is trapped as well. They are intertwined together in their desire for each other and what they can give - each being a ying to the other's yang. His dominance to her submission.

Do you see these beautiful pictures of beautiful ballet dancers? Do you see the tension between them? The beautiful colors? The intensity? Good. You will experience all of this when reading (get your glasses ready) Firebird. And you'll get to experience their seriously HOT and kinky sex. I'd say that it will set you on fire, but then you'd have to drink again. I do have mercy (Mercy! see what I did there? That's another Annabel Joseph ballet book. I'm so le clever). Just know that you will be panting and wanting more and probably calling your significant other to come home for a quickie (or a longie) or maybe you'll take matters into your own hands, the options are limitless. And since you're probably drunk right now, I'd suggest no texting to your ex. Step away from the texting! Don't do it.

There's beautiful art, there's emotional complexity, angst, there's love, some mystery and adversity, and some HOT BDSM sex. I always find myself emotionally rejuvenated after reading Firebird. It's like going through all those emotions and experiencing life and beauty through Annabel Joseph's characters' eyes is therapy. If I could give it more than five stars, I so totally would. And I hope you didn't actually drink that much. 

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