Monday, October 13, 2014

Review: In Flight (Up in the Air #1) by R.K. Lilley

This is the story of Bianca Karlsson, a reserved and guarded flight attendant and James Cavendish, a sexy billionaire hotel owner.  Their first encounter is on a flight from Las Vegas to New York while Bianca is working in First Class.  James is beautiful, and something about him makes Bianca weak at the knees.  While she has always been able to ignore the advances of other men, she cannot stay composed around James.  She knows that if anyone can break through all the walls she has put up around herself, it will be James.

When James first sees Bianca, he knows that he simply must approach her and stake his claim.  He knows that Bianca finds him both intimidating and intriguing even though she doesn't show it.  His dominance calls to her submission in a way that neither has ever experienced before.  Bianca wants to be dominated by this man and sees the promise of both pleasure and pain in the depths of his beautiful turquoise eyes.

While both James and Bianca both have scars from their pasts, they cannot ignore the connection they feel as they pursue an intense and passionate relationship.
~My Review~

I found the Up in the Air Series through a Goodreads recommendation.  I don't always like the recommendations that are presented on Goodreads, but I have to admit I was very pleased with this recommendation.  I have actually read all of the books in this series, and plan to blog about all of them in preparation for the release of Mr. Beautiful that is coming out on October 15.

This is the first book in the Up in the Air Series.  I absolutely loved everything about this book.  This was the first book after Fifty Shades of Grey that includes any aspect of BDSM, and I really enjoyed it.  While sex played a huge role in this story (Lots of kinky, graphic, BDSM sex), the story went far beyond that.  Both Bianca and James had scarred pasts that were (partially) uncovered throughout the course of the book.  Scarred pasts and crazy BDSM moments aside, there were still plenty of tender moments shared.  There was also a strong plot and great character development.

While the story is presented solely from Bianca's point of view, I feel like I could still understand how other people were feeling at the same time.  As I mentioned, the character development is really great.  I loved Bianca because she was down to earth, reasonable in her life choices, and never annoying.  Sometimes as you're reading you want to knock some sense into the heroine's head, but I never felt like this during the entire read.  I think that if she was a real person, I would be friends with her.  I absolutely loved her relationship with Stephan (her gay best friend), despite the fact that they are totally codependent.  With everything that they have shared together, they have a deep connection that essentially makes them feel like siblings, and I love all of their interactions together.

James is, without a doubt, the ultimate Alpha Dominant.  He is a self proclaimed sadist, but he keeps any sadistic tendencies to the bedroom.  Above everything, though, he is a gentleman with the best of intentions.  While he is possessive and controlling, he matches Bianca for being completely reasonable.  Never once, in any of his Alpha demands, does he come across as unreasonable or turn into a crazy nut.  He is completely in control of himself, and knowing some of Bianca's past, he strives to maintain that at all times.

While both James and Bianca are completely reasonable and act like the perfect gentleman and lady, they still bring a ton of heat to the story.  They have such an intense connection that I found myself rapt with attention at all times.  There are steamy sex scenes (I totally want to join the mile high club after reading this book), and any and all of the BDSM scenes that are in the book are totally full of a heat that I hadn't seen before.  I mentioned that James is a self-proclaimed sadist, but never once in any of the scenes does he take anything too far, and at all times he is looking out for what is best for Bianca.  He has gentle and tender qualities that come out that made me want to clutch my heart and sigh, and I loved how he could switch from the Alpha Dominant to the tender lover like it was nothing.

There was only one thing that I didn't like about the story.  And actually, it has nothing to do with the story and everything to do with the writing.  It's a nitpick thing, but it drove me absolutely crazy.  This was the use of "[name] and I" when it should have been "[name] and me."  It's something that drives me crazy in every book I read, but for some reason, in this book, even when it's grammatically correct to use "...and me," it's written as "...and I."  It's an editing issue, but it's also a misunderstanding as to how each form is supposed to be used.  For example, this is correct: "Stephan and I always worked together in first class, we bid it that way, but our main cabin crew changed every few months." This, however, is wrong: "Her name was Sarah, and she knew Stephan and I." Why is this wrong?  Well, take the "Stephan and" part out and reread the sentence:  Her name was Sarah, and she knew I.  Now that just sounds wrong.  That's because Sarah knows ME.  ergo, it should be "Her name was Sarah, and she knew Stephan and me."  Like I said, it's a nitpick thing, but it bothered me.  And it's really the only thing in the whole book that bothered me.

There are small conflicts that take place the book that are resolved, but the main conflict happens toward the end so the book ends on a cliffhanger.  It's a great length, being neither too long or too short at 301 pages (5302 location points for Kindle users).  The story flowed really well, nothing was drawn out or too abrupt, and as soon as it ended, I bought book 2!  The cliffhanger sucked me in, and I couldn't wait to keep reading!  Five super healthy stars for In Flight!.

Link to Amazon
Link to Nook

Other books in the series:
Mile High (Up in the Air #2)
Grounded (Up in the Air #3)
Bad Things (Tristan & Danika #1)
Rock Bottom (Tristan & Danika #2)
Lovely Trigger (Tristan & Danika #3)

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