Waking Kiss is the first book in the BDSM Ballet series by Annabel Joseph and I have to say that I really enjoyed this book. I have read some other BDSM book like 50 Shades of Grey and although it was fun to read from time to time, it is not usually the style of book that I gravitate towards. In the beginning of the book you’re introduced to Ashleigh, a corps member for City Ballet in London. Most dancers strive for the limelight but Ashleigh is happiest hiding in the background. This also changes when an injury to a principal dancer thrust her into the leading role in the middle of a performance with the ” Great Rubio” as Ashleigh likes to call him. This accident also leads to her meeting Liam, the hansom guard and friend of Rubio.
What I really enjoyed about the book was how BDSM is used to as a tool to help Ashleigh work through some issues she has and lead her to a sexual awakening that gave her a sense of power and control that she didn’t have in the past. I loved the way that Liam cared and lead Ashleigh through this awakening. There was a scene towards the end that involved Ashleigh, Liam and Rubio that I don’t know if it was completely necessary. In a way I was okay with it because it was another way for Ashleigh to work out some of her issues. She says she “wanted to show him that I was super-independent now, and capable and okay…” So there was that layer of trying to be brave and facing the unknown. This scene was also used as a turning point to lead the reader to get some insight into Liam’s history.
What I loved the most about Waking Kiss though was how not offended I was by the way Annabel Joseph used ballet terminology. I don’t know if Annabel Joseph is a dancer or not but I felt she had a good handle on the dance world she presented. As a dancer myself, I have read other books where they are spewing dance words and it is all wrong, and that makes me cry inside. If you are not a dancer please at least consult one before you write a scene if you have no idea what you are talking about. There were not any dance scenes in this book the offended the dancer in me. So Kudos to Annabel Joseph. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series that focuses on Rubio.