Thursday, December 19, 2013

Author Interview and Book Review - Unrestrained by Joey. W. Hill

Athena is a widow and an accomplished businesswoman. She's the type of person who exceeds expectations in business, family--life in general. Since the death of her husband, she's had a desire to explore submissive cravings she's had for some time. The hitch is, Athena is known as a Mistress, because that's the role she played to her husband.

Though she knew her submissive nature was strong enough to serve her husband as a Domme, because that's what he needed, it's when she meets Dale, a retired Navy SEAL, that she attempts to discover what her own submissive desires are. But letting go of that control is harder than she expected.

Fortunately, Dale is an accomplished Master who can help her accept the true nature of her submission, rather than how she's tailored it to meet the expectations of others. But in the course of learning what letting go means, both of them will learn a bit more about the nature of love between Dominant and submissive, and how it defies all categories.

4 Unrestrained Stars

Unrestrained is a mild BDSM read that cater towards the older demographic.  If you are new to the BDSM reading world, this is the perfect book to dip your feet in.

I’m no stranger when it comes to BDSM, also, I’m an avid fan of books that pushes boundaries.  So if you throw anything my way with some kink, I’m all over it.  Unrestrained is a “sweet” read, in the sense, there’s BDSM role play, but nothing too out of the ordinary. Also, I’m not a hug fan of reading books with older characters.  I’m pretty fine with characters that are in their thirties, but when they are in their forties, its pushes it a bit for me.

Dale is and Athena are two complete opposites.  Dale is a blue collar worker and is handicap (I will let you figure it out). Athena is a rich widow.  When she had a husband she was a Mistress, meaning, she was the dominate one in their relationship. Now, after two years since her husband has pass, she is trying to move on and can’t help but feel a sense of pull towards dominate Dale.

Although I’m not a fan of rich Heroines (yeah, I love the alpha male billionaire), I love opposites attract kind of story line.  You really do feel Athena’s pain, her love for her husband is very apparent and even though it’s been years, she just wants to move on and find herself again.  Dale is a sweet man, I am not sure I could swoon over him, but I did like him as a character.

I enjoyed when Dale was dominate towards Athena, stuff like that just makes my body shiver and tingle all over. Yes please!  If there is anything I love, it’s reading about a man taking control.  There’s plenty of kink and steamy parts. Unrestrained would definitely fall into the Erotica genre.

I liked how Dale and Athena got to know each other and how they helped each other out.  Dale with his handicap issue and Athena with getting over her husband.  It’s a very sweet book with yummy parts to keep you entertained.

How did you come up with the idea of Unrestrained?

A writer never knows when inspiration will strike (grin). This story idea came out of a discussion with some readers and authors at a conference I was attending. We were talking about the BDSM romances where the Mistress is hardcore until the right Master just shows up and “suddenly” she’s a full submissive. We agreed that plotline was insulting to real life Dommes and their desires/motivations for being Dominants, as well as a seriously contrived story idea. However, the devil’s advocate in me started wondering, “Okay, when WOULD it make justifiable sense for a Mistress to switch sides?” and Athena’s character was born. A writer can never resist a challenge. 

Usually the Hero and Heroine are fairly young, why did you decided to go with older characters?

I’m a muse-driven author, so I go where she tells me (grin). Athena led the way in this story, and from the first, I saw her as mid-forties. With her background, a widow of a 20+ year marriage, the board president of a successful corporation, I couldn’t see her as any younger than that. I also couldn’t see her with anyone less grounded than herself. Hence, when Dale stepped on stage, he was 50. No quibbling or debate – but then, that’s Dale. He’s a pretty decisive guy.

Unrestrained is slightly light on the BDSM, have you written or will you write something that pushes the BDSM boundaries a bit more?

I wasn’t sure if you meant light-handed on the psychology or the mechanics? To me, Dominant/submissive is the orientation and BDSM encompasses the practices that express that orientation. For some characters, that expression is very psychological, with little involvement of equipment, restraints, pain, etc. Other characters love the toys, punishment and trappings (wink). 

For instance, in my book Hostile Takeover, the hero is a hardcore sexual sadist who wants 24/7, whereas in Controlled Response, part of the same series, there’s pretty much no punishment or BDSM trappings. However, the Dominant/submissive orientation drives both books and the psychology can get intense in both. So the mix of mechanics/psychology varies from book to book and is determined by the characters themselves.  

On the other side of the question is whether I’m the one qualified to answer it (grin). Let me explain why. Just this morning I was reading a review of Unrestrained where the reviewer warned her readers the BDSM can get pretty hardcore, whereas you found it somewhat light-handed. I’ve been told my stuff takes readers WAY out of their comfort zone (I’ve lost track of the times “not for the faint of heart” have been used for my books), yet for others it’s comfortably inside that zone. So whether it’s perceived as light or heavy on the BDSM from book to book seems to rest in the perspective and experience of the reader. 

As for me, I just follow the muse (grin). Hope that admittedly nebulous answer helps!

Other than writing, what is your favorite thing to do? 

I love to watch movies and specific dramatic TV series. My internal editor is broken, so it’s very difficult for me to immerse myself in pleasure reading (which truly sucks, given that, like most writers, I started out as an avid reader), but I can still get into a great story on screen. My DVD and series collection list is well over 500 now. My husband says I need therapy (laughter). My favorite movies are Armageddon and Serenity, and the latter choice of course means Firefly is my all-time favorite series. Joss Whedon is a god!

Can you please provide five fun facts about yourself?

I am hopelessly incapable of cooking. I have incinerated no less than three sets of burner covers. (Not exaggerating – that burned metal smell lingers for whole seasons)
I would rather live on chocolate, yeast rolls and cherry coke zero than eat any other food. Oh, and chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven.
I love being sappy and sentimental. I never want to be so sophisticated that I won’t cry at Hallmark commercials.
The “six or one half-dozen” maxim – I can’t say it. My husband laughs at me getting all tongue twisted over it (in a loving way – lol).
On the Hardy Boys, I loved Parker Stevenson, not Shaun Cassidy. But Shaun totally redeemed himself by creating the TV series American Gothic.

What can we expect in the future?

Naughty Bits, a four-novella series, will release April-June 2014 (one each month) as part of Penguin’s digital Intermix line. This is my first attempt to write a novella series, because I typically prefer to write long standalone novels. However, I managed it by imagining it as one book split into four pieces (lol). Hopefully that worked – the readers will have to let me know. The premise was a lot of fun. When Madison inherits her sister’s erotica shop, she discovers the hardware store owner next door, Logan Scott, is a sexual Dominant. He also has a handsome sub-in-training named Troy. Logan takes Madison on a series of adventures to help her understand and embrace her submissive side and, of course, they fall in love. It is a love story, after all! (wink)


  1. Jacqueline, thanks so very much for the review. Even though it wasn't quite your cup of tea with the older characters, I'm glad you enjoyed parts of it and very much appreciated your perspective on the book, as well as the time you took to share that with others. Best wishes for the holidays to you and yours!

    1. Oh, and forgot to add - like how you do the four-pane pictures with the cover. That adds such a nice romantic touch!

  2. HI Joey, nice to find alittle bit more about you. Do you happen to want to hire a cook? Chocolate Chip Cookies every day!! I like the age aspect of this book. Sex, BDSM or whatever is not just for the young of this world. It is enjoyed by all ages. (Off soap box)

    1. Moira, I could really use a cook - my husband would be thrilled, I'm sure, even though he manages pretty well for himself. He has no choice, with a wife who's a domestic nightmare. You had me at chocolate chip cookies every day!! :> Oh, but if we do that, we'll hire Chris Hemsworth to be our personal trainer to keep us in shape.