at his mercy kicks off a new series by shelly bell, all about forbidden lovers. this first novel brings us isabella, a gorgeous grad student with submissive leanings and her dominant grad school professor, tristan.
isabella brings a lot of baggage to intimate relationships, she's got a crazy stalker, abusive ex-boyfriend who tried to kill her. she bears scars on her wrists that look like suicide but were not self-inflicted. it's heavy stuff. it's been two years and she's tired of everyone treating her with kid gloves. she knows that she doesn't want that. but she is also burdened with an innocence she doesn't want either. so when her cousin, who is into the bdsm lifestyle, brings her to a play party she is all in.
she's done her research, and she's pretty sure that what she needs in order to be comfortable with her sexuality is to surrender control to someone else. tristan is on his way out of town to start a new job, he's antsy but nothing interests him. except on his way out of the party he catches a glimpse of isabella and knows that she is his. everything about her drives him crazy with want, with need. and the night that they spend together stays with him even as he moves out of town.
the last thing isabella and tristan expect is to encounter one another in the classroom. even worse is the realization that isabella has been assigned to tristan as his graduate assistant. but their chemistry is crazy off the charts, so you know that there is no way they are going to keep their hands off each other. when isabella starts getting threatening letters and worries that her ex-boyfriend, who was eligible for parole, is stalking her again, tristan and isabella get even closer.
tristan has his own problems too, when his ex-wife shows up out of nowhere demanding more money. she's been threatening him with abuse charges when she decided that their previously consensual bdsm relationship wasn't for her. when she shows up dead, tristan is the prime suspect. and everything seems poised to break isabella and tristan apart.
but their connection is stronger than that. this is a romantic, sexy thriller. isabella and tristan face threats from all corners of their pasts and they have to be strong enough together to withstand them. watching them figure out how to trust each other fully is totally worth it.
**at his mercy will publish on june 20, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgally/grand central publishing (forever) in exchange for an honest review.