Comfort Object
After being fired from her job and evicted from her home, professional submissive Nell agrees to become the personal assistant of movie star Jeremy Gray. However, this personal assistant position will require more of her than fielding emails and phone calls. Not only is she to portray his new girlfriend while in public, but also be his BDSM sex toy in private. In exchange, after Nell's contract with him is up, he'll set her up with a place to live and the funds to complete her college education.

What neither of them ever expected was for this simple employment contract between two strangers to bring out emotions and feelings and a fear of letting go of each other once their time was up.

Having read other BDSM-themed books by Annabel Joseph, I thought I was prepared for Comfort Object. I wasn't. This story starts off with a bang and doesn't let up until the words "The End". Much of my time was spent crying for Nell, as she touched my heart on a very deep level. Estranged from her family, fired from her job unjustly, evicted from her home due to some serious manipulation, she just couldn't catch a break. This was a woman who at first really didn't seem in charge of her own destiny.

At first, I'll admit to not liking Jeremy. He manipulated situations almost narcissistically, all the while bemoaning his situation as a Hollywood actor. It was almost incongruous. Or perhaps he was resigned to the annoyances that come with being a star and used that status to his advantage. Throughout the story, he was a bit moody and sometimes even petulant. Perhaps it was his kink, but he called Nell names often to the point of humiliation. It would have been more understanding had it being during a "scene" but he acted this way whenever she showed any fire or emotion. It was almost enough to make me want to strangle him. Almost.

His saving grace was, interestingly enough, the narrative. Some of the chapters were narrated by her and others were by him. Seeing inside his head tempered my anger with desire. It was then that I was able to glimpse his vulnerability and fear of being hurt. This altered my perception of him from demon to human.

The chemistry between Nell and Jeremy was off the charts scorching. When these two came together (and with Jeremy's robust libido, it seemed like every half hour!), it was nothing short of explosive. The addition of secondary characters Jess and Kyle made for some seriously spicy repartee and sexual interactions, and the secondary plot of a vicious stalker was enough to keep the story at a roller coaster pace. Having delved so deeply into these two characters, I was heartily disappointed when my nose left the book at the end of the story to realize I'd come back to reality. Bravo, Ms. Joseph! I look forward to your next writing endeavor.

Reviewed by: Bella