Golden Angel, Queen of Butt Stuff, is closing out her Stronghold Doms series with Hardcore Vanilla, Jake and Sharon’s story. If you are worried about the fact that the series is closing and you’ll miss out on this world, don’t worry, Golden has a spinoff series called Masters of the Marquis. That series will have all of Olivia’s Baby Doms that we met in Tempting the Domme. I’m looking forward to this series so we can get more on the stories that were teased in this one.
Sharon and Jake are the very last two single people in their friend group. Jake doesn’t like Sharon because she’s loud, crass, tells inappropriate jokes, and likes being the center of attention. Sharon doesn’t like Jake because he’s judging her, and she has had enough of people judging her. She’s going to be herself and if Jake doesn’t like it, then fuck him.
On New Year’s Eve, not only is there a huge party for the holiday, but there’s also a huge party at Marquis for its grand opening. Everyone is partying and having a good time, Patrick and Lexie got engaged, and Sharon and Jake are getting drunk and dancing together. At midnight, when everyone else is about to kiss their special someone, Sharon and Jake both realize that they are standing next to each other, so they might as well kiss. And kiss they do. They both like it so much that they decide to go back to Jake’s house and bring in the new year with a bang. Jake isn’t sure if he’ll regret it in the morning, but he knows that he’ll regret it if he doesn’t and Sharon keeps saying that it’s the worst idea ever, but that doesn’t stop them.
When Sharon wakes up in the morning, she sneaks out and heads home, figuring that she won’t have to see Jake for a while, so no awkwardness. Except, of course, that’s when Angel decides to go into labor, they both show up at the hospital, and some awkward ensues. At least on Jake’s part. And he gets all judgy about Sharon being who she is.
I like Sharon. I’m a lot like her, except I don’t like to be the center of attention. But I cuss, I tell inappropriate jokes, and I’m loud. My dad always used to get on me to be more lady-like and speak quieter and was embarrassed by me. I finally got to the point where I had zero fucks to give about it, and decided that if he didn’t like me the way that I am, well, that was his problem, and not mine, so I totally get Sharon. I also totally get her wanting to poke and prod Jake since he is already judging her, so why not annoy her a little more and get a little more under his skin. Sharon is a bit of a brat, but not a mean one. She has a huge and loving heart, and will do anything to help her friends.
Jake. Hmmm… What can I say about Jake? He keeps going to Stronghold but swears he’s not a Dom. He can be very judgmental and dickish when it comes to Sharon. He loves his sister and his best friend Patrick, he works hard, and he seems to be a nice guy. But, just about everything about Sharon gets on his last nerve, he’s terribly attracted to her, but she’s not the kind of woman he usually dates. Then there is the whole sub thing that Sharon has going on. I do like the way that they describe what they like though. I’ve called the same kind of thing rocky road, myself, because it isn’t straight up vanilla, nor is it serious kink.
I love that Olivia and Michael give Jake a smackdown. I love it even more when his mom laughs at him. You can tell that Jake just hasn’t actually tried to see why Sharon does what she is doing. And even after they agree to be fuck buddies, he doesn’t necessarily give her the benefit of the doubt at times. He’d rather just jump to the bad than try to figure out her motivation.
And with her family? I get loving your family and I get being confused when other people say that they don’t have a great relationship, but he’s all kind of dismissive of Sharon’s explanations before they get to the wedding. She tries to tell him what’s going on, but he just blows it off as Sharon being Sharon and rude.
I know it sounds like I don’t actually like Jake, but I do. At least when he’s getting out of his own way and he starts thinking.
OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go visit Stronghold for one last time. Happy reading!