Published by Self-Published on April 3rd 2016
Genres: Erotica, Romance
They call me a slut. Maybe I am.
Sometimes I do things I despise.
Sometimes men take without asking.
But I have a musical gift, only a year left of high school, and a plan.
With one obstacle.
Emeric Marceaux doesn’t just take.
He seizes my will power and bangs it like a dark note.
When he commands me to play, I want to give him everything.
I kneel for his punishments, tremble for his touch, and risk it all for our stolen moments.
He’s my obsession, my master, my music.
And my teacher.
A dark student-teacher romance is not something you come across often. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever read one. I don’t read a lot of dark romances, and student-teacher hookups involving minors make me hesitant. The synopsis for Dark Notes intrigued me, though, and the performing artist in me loved the fact that the book incorporates music. I decided to give it a go, and the payoff was well worth the risk.
Ivory Westbrook is a 17 year-old piano protégé. She’s able to attend an elite performing arts high school even though she lives in abject poverty. Her circumstances are dire, heartbreaking, and she’s forced to endure unimaginable cruelty every day. She’s a survivor who is well beyond her years in terms of life experience. Ivory is determined to escape her situation by graduating from high school and attending the top music college in the US with a full scholarship. She only needs the recommendation of her piano teacher.
Unfortunately for Ivory, her mentor and advocate has been replaced by Emeric Marceaux, an intimidating yet attractive new piano teacher with a scandalous past. The two clash on the first day of school, but his commanding presence draws her in. He’s ten years older, and he has an overwhelming desire to possess her and mold her to his will. Eventually, the initial spark between them turns into an absolute inferno.
Emeric is a dominant who is harsh, but also incredibly nurturing. It’s Ivory’s battle against her brutal situation—which includes a trigger alert View Spoiler »rape « Hide Spoiler—rather than the BDSM aspect of her relationship with Emeric that makes this a dark novel. There’s definitely some kink, but I consider Dark Notes to be BDSM lite. If you’re unfamiliar with the practice, this book is a fairly gentle introduction. In fact, it helped me better understand how a submissive can truly gain a sense of power in this type of arrangement. Even Fifty Shades of Grey didn’t do that for me.
Other than the reader, Ivory has virtually nobody on her side until she meets Emeric. That fact, coupled with his protective nature, and her level of maturity, had me willing to look past their ages and actively root for the couple. Erotic doesn’t begin to describe their affair. However, their connection transcends sex and I found that to be incredibly appealing.
“I’ve never wanted anyone the way I want her. Not just her body. I want her everything. She is the strongest emotion I’ve ever felt.”
At times I felt like Emeric takes unreasonable risks when they’re supposed to be keeping their illicit relationship under wraps. It almost made me take off a half star from my rating. However, his actions add an extra layer of excitement and seem very much in keeping with his passionate, domineering, and confident personality.
Dark Notes is an intoxicating story filled with angst, seduction, and compassion. This is the first book I’ve read by Pam Godwin, but it certainly won’t be the last.
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**ARC received in exchange for an honest review.**
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Meet Pam Godwin
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, Pam Godwin, lives in the Midwest with her husband, their two children, and a foulmouthed parrot. When she ran away, she traveled fourteen countries across five continents, attended three universities, and married the vocalist of her favorite rock band.Java, tobacco, and dark romance novels are her favorite indulgences, and might be considered more unhealthy than her aversion to sleeping, eating meat, and dolls with blinking eyes.