Welcome back to the Book Club! Okay, this shit is getting ridiculous. We’ve got the sixth book in a family series coming out this week and we’ve had the pleasure of reviewing all of them! With only one more left in the pipeline for this specific family of books, I’m prepping myself for that post holiday depression that’s going to come with closing out the loose ends on these fantastic characters. No tears just yet though, as we’ve still got a lot to learn about this fucked up and altogether lovable group of sexual fiends and corporate magnates. Make sure you’ve got your insurance paperwork in order for this one, we’re taking a little trip to the doctor’s office for some professional help, and not a moment fucking too soon either…
Prohibit by Sarah Bailey is the third book in the Benson Siblings book series after Provoked and Promises. For this one, the sibling in question is Fiona, one of the identical twin girls from the infamous Benson family of London. First things first however, as we’re introduced to the male lead Jensen, a successful therapist who is downing some drinks at a trendy bar. A vision of near physical perfection walks in and Jensen sets his sights on this particular conquest. Jensen is never one to go home empty handed, and his game is as strong as they come. As per usual, I hate the male lead in the first chapter, and (also as usual) my angst is rooted in pure jealousy. Jensen makes it clear what he wants with this sexy young thing, and he’s the sort of man that always gets what he wants…
While this is a stand alone novel, it pays to know what brings the family to the current events in this particular story. Fiona and Jennifer have both experienced unspeakable sexual, physical, and mental trauma, and at long last the girls are going to receive some therapy. Fiona just had one hell of a sexual experience last night…in a trendy bar restroom, and maybe this’ll serve as a good bookmark before getting her life straightened out with some therapy. Damn, the therapist is also quite a handsome number but looks so….oh no. Jensen and Fiona committed the mother of all ethical violations, and managed to do so with without even knowing each other first. Can these two work through the immediate baggage and somehow make progress on repairing Fiona’s psyche? Well even if not, she’s still got access to some top drawer dick, right?
The standard dark romance novel typically says “to hell” with realism in the face of conflict, however Bailey has once again done her homework in creating a believable atmosphere. In 99% of all situations, Jensen would unquestionably withdraw from providing therapy for Fiona, but given the similar troubles of her twin, and the family elements layered on top, the reader can understand this pickle of a circumstance. Jensen is not without baggage either, but his grief is doled out slowly to the reader. This is an interesting trick used by the author, and while it keeps me on needles and pins, it also sends me into a brief panic to think I missed something. If you’re unfamiliar with Bailey’s style, here’s a brief fictionalized recreation:
Grant gulped down his 4th whiskey of the night. Sure, he just had the best pussy of his fucking life, unquestioned and simply on demand with a rich 11/10 beauty queen, but no amount of hot simultaneous orgasms could yield the pain of his past. Grant threw his glass across the room in disgust. “WHY DIDN’T I JUST HOOK UP THAT TRAILER WINCH MYSELF?!” Grant couldn’t look at a railroad crossing the same way after the….incident. The only other thing in the world he couldn’t get out of his mind were those green eyes on Jezebel. This was going to be one fucked up haberdashery convention…
Jokes aside, the conflict is both believable and heartbreaking for both sides of this developing relationship. While Jensen is a cocksure son-of-a-bitch, he’s not without vulnerabilities which makes him so much more desirable to both Fiona and reader alike. The sexual content is exactly what you’d come to expect with this author: early, often, and goosebump-inducingly hot. Fiona is receiving proper therapy, but it seems the off the clock variety is benefitting her twofold over the classic couch conversations. The dom/sub dynamic is near perfect, and we see a better examination of how a dom needs the sub, and the beautiful vulnerability that’s shared between people caught up inside this crazy, untenable situation.
Verdict: Prohibit by Sarah Bailey is another great dark romance set inside the Corrupt Empire universe, delivering both the steam and conflict that comes with any installment of the Sarah Bailey library. The professional dynamic of the characters isn’t one to recommend or even embrace in good conscious, but a deep dive into the psyche of both therapist and client shows we never really had a choice in the matter. The novel arouses often, and tugs feverishly at the heart strings right when you’re the most vulnerable. If you’re familiar with the author, you’ll be satisfied with more of what you need, but if you’re new to this series, this one might be a good barometer to whether this universe is right for you. There’s no need for an appointment, and walk-ins are always welcome. This doctor is more than willing to see you now.
Special thanks to Sarah Bailey for providing an advance copy of Prohibit to TehBen.com for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Author’s Twitter: @sbaileywriter
Pre-Order/Purchase Link: Amazon (Release date 11/15)