Tangled Vows by Anna Stone is a marriage of convenience story with an erotic twist that will have you fanning yourself from all the heat.

Escort Ruby Scott is back on the scene after being a relationship with a client ends. Looking to find her footing again, Ruby swears to keep it professional and never giving control to another person ever again. Her first night out, she finds a beautiful, successful woman sitting at the bar just waiting to be approached. But this is no ordinary woman. This is Yvonne Maxwell, one of the powerful women in media. Even though she turns down Ruby’s advances, it’s not long before the scotch is flowing and inhibitions are dropped. Next thing Ruby is waking up in bed with a ring on her finger and a marriage certificate with her name on it. This was the last thing Ruby wanted, but it just might be the one thing she needs.

Yvonne’s father never cared for her, and it was never more apparent than when he drew up his will and required Yvonne to be married to gain her inheritance. For ten years, Yvonne has been sitting on money she can’t touch and the expiration date is looming close. An encounter with a beautiful woman at the bar, and a lot of alcohol, prompts her to make an impulsive decision. When the sun rises, Yvonne sees the potential of her predicament. She just has to convince Ruby of it as well.

Yvonne is adamant they keep their arrangement strictly business. But the dominance and power she exudes stirs a desire in Ruby, a desire to submit and please Yvonne in every way possible. It isn’t long before Yvonne gives in to the temptation to make Ruby hers. As power games ensue, both women struggle to keep their hearts from getting caught up in the passion. In the end, Ruby and Yvonne must confront the feelings that are growing or risk losing more than money when time expires.

The Characters

What I find really telling about both these women is they are proud of their independence.

Ruby is an escort, but she’s not ashamed of it. The money is good, the clientele is upscale, and it allows her to be any person she wants. What makes her great at it is the easiness and calm her clients feel around her. She is personable and attentive, so she is a confidant, lover, and supportive friend all in one. But she has a secret side. A submissive side that she doesn’t allow to come out unless it’s with the right person. She thought she had found that right person, but she was wrong. Now she’s back in the game, hoping to rediscover who she is. When she runs into Yvonne at a hotel bar, all Ruby hopes for is a decent payday. She certainly isn’t looking for marriage of any kind. But before the next twenty-fours is over, Ruby will find herself married and offered the means of rediscovering who she truly is.

Yvonne never wanted for much of anything in life. A woman born into wealth, the idea of going without was so foreign, unless it pertained to affection and love from her father. Now an adult, Yvonne guards her heart with an iron lock and key. It’s not to say she’s cold. She is very selective about who she trusts. An escort looking for a night of passion for money is definitely not one of those people. She has no intention of taking Ruby to bed, but there’s something alluring about her to cause Yvonne to spill her plight about her inheritance. Even though marriage is the key, Yvonne isn’t looking to take that vow. But as the sun rises in Vegas, she’ll find a ring on her finger, a beautiful new bride in her bed, and she’ll be making a lucrative proposal of a different sort that could make them both richer beyond anything they ever expected. And I’m not referring to the inheritance.

The Writing Style

I’ve read some really good marriage-of-convenience stories. I’ve read some really good BDSM/Erotica stories. This was one of the few stories that combines both. It’s an interesting dynamic because both tropes require a lot of trust between the protagonists to enter into either situation. Yvonne is putting her trust in Ruby to be convincing as her wife to all outside parties. Ruby is trusting Yvonne to push her to the limits as a submissive yet also bring her back when those limits are stretched too far. Each of them has their own agenda for entering into these agreements. Yet the trust they build and the relationship that forms will show them that contracts were made to be broken when love is the greater prize to gain.

The Pros

I liked the change-up with the marriage-of-convenience trope. While Yvonne discusses her dilemma to Ruby in a bar, she doesn’t propose the idea of marrying to get her inheritance, nor does Ruby offer the idea. It’s great because it really speaks to Stone’s creation of these two women and how much they value their independence. Marriage is the last thing on their mind, all they want is someone to talk to. Even when the idea of staying married for money is proposed the following morning, there is a sense of respectability from Yvonne to Ruby by allowing her time (granted not a lot of it) to see if this is something she truly wants to do.

The Cons

I would’ve liked to have more of Ruby’s background revealed a little sooner.

The Conclusion

Stone gives us a different take on the marriage-of-convenience trope that is true to Yvonne and Ruby’s character. The BDSM twist illustrates how attracted they are to each other, as well as how much they trust each other when they enter into their arrangement. If you’re looking for some steamy erotica with a marriage twist, definitely grab this one today.

Excerpt from Tangled Vows by Anna Stone

Ruby draped an arm on the bar next to her. “So, what brings you to Vegas?”

“A friend of mine is getting married. We’re here for the bachelorette weekend.”

“Sounds like fun.”

“Perhaps if you’re easily entertained.” Vegas wasn’t Yvonne’s idea of a good time, but Yvonne was maid of honor, so she’d had no choice but to come along. Between that, and the constant reminders of all things marriage, she’d been in a bad mood the entire weekend.

It must have shown on Yvonne’s face. “You seem preoccupied,” Ruby said. “Something on your mind?

Yvonne scoffed. “What’s on my mind is above your pay grade.”

“You’d be surprised. People talk to me about their problems a lot. It comes with a territory.”

“You’re admitting you’re an escort?”

“Maybe I’m a therapist.” Ruby stirred her drink with the toothpick, swirling the olives around in it.

“So, what’s this problem of yours?”

Yvonne folded her arms across her chest, scrutinizing Ruby.

“All right,” she said. “Here’s the short version. When my father died, he left me an inheritance. But it came with conditions. In order to gain access to it, I need to get married within ten years of his death.”

Silence fell between them. Yvonne wasn’t surprised that Ruby had nothing to say about her problem. However, Yvonne had to admit, she was intrigued by the woman, though she had no intention of employing Ruby’s services. She didn’t sleep with escorts.

But there was no harm in enjoying Ruby’s company for a little while longer.

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Bits and Bobs

ISBN number: 978-068419266
Publisher: Violet Ocean Press
Anna Stone Online 

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Note: I received a free review copy of Tangled Vows by Anna Stone. No money was exchanged for this review. When you use our links to buy we get a small commission which supports the running of this site.

 

About the author

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Anna Gram works in entertainment in Los Angeles, CA. When she’s not working she loves watching and playing softball, as well as reading lesbian romances. Her favorite authors are Rachel Spangler, MJ Duncan, Kenna White, and Andi Marquette…just to name a few.