Regina has just moved to New York City to start working at the library of her dreams, the one her father always took her to as a child before he died. It's her first time living away from home; her mother always guilted her into living at home all through her schooling. One of her first encounters with Sebastian Barnes is walking in on him having sex with some random lady in one of the private collections rooms of the library. She soon finds out he is the president of the trustees and an up and coming photographer. Sebastian is not shy about pursuing a sexual, specifically BDSM, relationship with Regina. Regina finds herself intrigued and then enjoying being a submissive.
Regina is not sure if she can stay in the type of relationship Sebastian is asking for. She enjoys the sexual relationship she is having with him, but ends up wanting more. Sebastian has always had two types of relationships - one night stands or BDSM lovers. Even though Sebastian feels more for Regina than any of his past lovers, he's not sure he can give her what she truly needs in their relationship.
Also, trust ends up being an issue with them. Regina feels like Sebastian keeps secrets from her. I did feel like Regina was a little premature in one of these trust issues. Their relationship was still very new. She expected Sebastian to spill his darkest secret pretty quickly. Their trust issues also end up spilling into Sebastian's photography (in a fun way I thought).
It's hard not to miss some of the similarities to Fifty Shades - a naive virgin enters into a BDSM relationship with a slightly older rich fella. This book is much better written than the other. Regina is nowhere near as annoying as Ana. She may be a bit naive, but Regina is not a pushover. Sebastian is wealthy and enjoys the BDSM lifestyle, but he is never a jerk. BDSM is positively portrayed in this book. Sebastian isn't into it because he is emotionally screwed up (though he does have one dark secret); he just really enjoys dominating.
This is a romance, so it does end with a commitment between Regina and Sebastian. Though, to me, it felt more like a happily for now rather than a happily ever after.
ARC provided through NetGalley.