Where the hell do I even start with Plié? I mean, this thing was ghost pepper hot and I highly doubt milk... chocolate milk to be exact, will cool my tongue off. Buuuuuut, I don't want it to. I even did a pre-review video for this book on TikTok because I could not contain my excitement about it. It was THAT good. And anyone that knows me knows I am not a video girl.
First things first, A.H. Cunningham is a new to me author. I'd seen her on the SM streets and even downloaded one of her other books when it was being offered for free, but I haven't read it yet. When she asked for ARC readers, I had no knowledge of her writing style. I was completely drawn in by the cover of the book. That shit is sexy as fuck! And just imagine, when you read the book, it only expounds on the image. I ate this book up like those doughnuts Jasmine was munching on during aftercare. Savored it like the 5-Star meal it was.
Let me back up though. I'm all over the place with this one because this book just WHEW! Okay... Plié is about Aisha McKinney, dance teacher by day/professional submissive by night and Knox Davenport, realty company owner/single father. The two main characters meet because Knox's 7 year old daughter is a student in Aisha's class. They are NOT friends in the least bit. In fact, Mr. Davenport is an annoying, straight-laced asshole to Ms. Mac. To him, she is unorganized and lacks structure for business. The problem is, Ms. Mac lives rent-free in Knox's fantasies without his permission. Aisha doesn't understand why this overbearing asshack is so damn sexy.
When we meet Aisha, she is in limbo on whether she should fall back into her secondary profession to make some additional funds because someone is poaching her students, which means she's losing money. She has aging grandparents to take care of and doesn't have time for this. Knox, on the other hand, is a divorced, single father with a need to explore the kinky shit he'd suppressed his desire for when he was with his ex-wife. That need led him to Master Q's, who had the perfect submissive to teach Sir X how to become an excellent dom. Jasmine is the newbie that Aisha becomes for the purpose of instructing Sir X.
From night one, the connection between Sir X and Jasmine is electric and they both realize this pairing won't be as easy as they thought it would be, simply because they are NOT supposed to fall for each other. The problem there is, their familiarity with each other is too strong and they don't know why. They use masks to hide their identities but they both feel it. However, Aisha is adamant that, even if Sir X is someone she knows from another aspect of her life, she will NOT cross contaminate her lives.
While everything is perfect in the Gold Room as the two teach/learn together, in real life, Aisha and Knox continue to bump heads. But not because she's really annoying him. It's because he's trying to not let on that he knows what she does in her free time and he's reaping the benefits of it. Not until he has confirmation that Jasmine is in fact Aisha. He does simmer his asshole meter a smidge though.
When the two begin having a "working" partnership and Mr. Davenport's attitude change is detected by Ms. Mac, the puzzle pieces fall into place. Eventually, the truth is revealed and it is not the happy ending (pun intended) he was hoping for. Go read the book to get the full details of what happens once the cat's out of the bag.
If I'm being completely honest, this book was a learning tool for me. I have read a handful of books that featured BDSM and BDSM lite activity, but this was the most explanatory book I have ever read on the lifestyle. It made me curious for more. It also made me wonder if the author had to do research on this or if she was so well versed on it because... Nevermind. Either way, I appreciate the lesson.
The themes that A.H. incorporated in the book, outside of the D/s aspect, were also very delicately laid out for the readers. Addiction & recovery, divorce, revenge porn & postpartum depression can all be triggering content, which she was sure to put warnings out there about. But I appreciated that she didn't skirt over it in favor of making light of those hard real-life parts. It didn't consume the book, but it was also very integral to the character development. I also enjoyed the tight bonds the main characters and secondary characters had with each other.
It is without question that I enjoyed every bit, bite, suck, stroke, and moan of this book. My only complaint is that nobody laid hands on Roxane for what she did. But I guess not everything can be resolved with violence. lol Either way, this will definitely get multiple re-reads from me. What a hell of an introduction to an author. I look forward to diving into more of her work. Thank you to A.H. Cunningham for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book for an honest review.