Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Title: A Capitol Affair
Author: Jamaica Layne
Publisher: Ravenous Romance
ISBN: 978-1-60777-106-7
Genre: Contemporary/Erotic Romance
Reviewed by: Carla-Elaine Johnson
Rating of 4 Blood Drops


Sen. Howard Grayle, the conservative Republican senior senator from North Dakota—and my boss—had just been caught with his pants down.

So begins the adventure of Jasmine Rand, overwhelmed PR spokesperson for Senator Grayle, Rodney Doyle, the sleazy editor of The Beltway Times, her cubicle-mate and Grayle’s secretary, Rebecca and secretive underbelly of Washington D.C. life.

Jasmine must find a way to save her job by helping her boss out of an impossible situation: there are no wars or other scandals to detract the hungry Washington media from turning Grayle’s small peccadillos into career-ending suicide. She must make a deal with Rodney Doyle.

What makes the eroticism come to life between Jasmine and Rodney is the sheer power play. On the surface, Rodney seems to have the upper hand: he quickly assures her that he might be willing to help, for the right price. In a town where power is determined by who knows whom, Jasmine Rand is a small-town girl from North Dakota, who made good on the coattails of the homegrown Senator Grayle. She doesn’t see herself as an attractive, viable, sexy woman, but as a 34 year old, size 14 woman. Yet, from their very first dinner in Washington, where Jasmine wears something “red and strapless” per Rodney’s direction to the discreet home where Jasmine transforms into Mistress Hyacinth, voyeur and later dominatrix-in-training, to the lush finale in St. Lucia, it is clear that the erotic evolution of Jasmine’s self-image is key to this story.

Ms. Layne runs heavy on details of the BDSM scene and fetish play, which is sure to delight both novice and experienced practitioners. The most compelling characters, outside of the key journey of Rodney and Jasmine’s relationship involved Dexter, the cab driver, Rebecca, Grayle’s secretary and Mistress Violet at the House of Flowers.

Ms. Layne uses details to her advantage in this novel, in particular with the costumes Jasmine wears, but also with addressing the issues of class, money and power in this novel. Ms. Layne excels equally at sexual tension between Jasmine and Rodney, as well as Jasmine’s own sexual tension. The entire scene with Ben-WA balls kept me laughing. The twists which appear in this novel, particularly in the last thirty pages are well worth the read. Family secrets, revenge, career and sexual desire are each explored and resolved in a tight space. While I wanted more from each layer, since the main story is the love and sex between Rodney and Jasmine, I was not too disappointed.

What left me dissatisfied was the family conflict revealed in the end, which needed a few more pages to resolve.
Overall, Ms. Lane delights at bringing sizzle back to contemporary romance. For sheer sexual tension this is a great juicy read.