Review: Vanilla on Top by C.J. Ellisson

Vanilla on Top
(Walk on the Wild Side, #1)
By: C.J. Ellisson
Publicher: Entangled
Published: Jan. 11, 2013
Genre: Erotic Romance

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Discover your inner bad girl, and set her free…
Heather Pierce is done being a wallflower, both personally and professionally. Desperate to live a different life for one night, she attends a speed dating event. Maybe here, anonymous unless she chooses otherwise, she can become someone new. When a man way out of her league sits across from her, Heather gathers her courage and takes charge of what she wants, secretly fearing he won’t desire the real person she’s desperate to hide.

Top acquisitions officer and international playboy Tony Carmine is about to close the biggest deal of his career. But then he meets Heather at a speed dating event…and discovers losing control may be exactly what he needs. Her blossoming sensuality occupies his every thought, consuming him with the need to possess the most intriguing lover he’s ever encountered—until he walks into the boardroom and sees Heather on the other side of the negotiating table.


This was a short but fun and sexy read and I liked the idea of adding speed dating to the story. I don’t know if I’ve ever read a book where speed dating was involved. I wish she had more guys during the speed dating session before meeting Tony but I’m not complaining too much because we are popped right into the action and man does the author sure have a way for laying out the scene in fine detail for her readers.

The characters were likable and even though in the beginning Heather takes charge of what goes on between her and Tony, by the third encounter she lets go of the control. So technically she was only “vanilla on top” for a moment before their relationship just turned vanilla. Again… not that I’m complaining. Even though we don’t get a lot of insight into Heather and Tony’s past, we get a feel for what led them to this point.

I liked that even though the two of them meet anonymously, Tony is quick to figure out that Heather works for the company that he’s in the processes of buying out. It’s only when he calls a meeting with the company he plans to buy out, that he finds out, not only does she work for the company, but it appears that she’s been running the show for a few years while letting her boss take all the credit. So the conflict in the story was one that was believable. Again, there isn’t a ton of story to this but the smut is good and I found myself really enjoying the authors writing style.


“Not to be outdone by some smooth talking barfly, I advance down the hall and wait for her outside the ladies room. I’m perfectly aware my behavior is abnormal for me. I’m not going to stand here like some girly chick and analyze it. I’m accepting that I want to haul Heather out of here by her hair, and do my best to resist it.” -Tony


C.J. Ellisson, author of contemporary fantasy and erotica, lives near DC with her husband, two children aged 11 and 9, two Staffordshire Bull Terriers and a young cat she’s newly allergic to. After spending most of her working life dealing with real estate – either as a sales manager in wholesale mortgage banking, a corporate trainer, a Realtor, or as a property manager – she’s now writing full-time and happy for the first time in years. Writing has become her passion and to find people want to read her stories feels like a dream come true.

4 Thoughts on “Review: Vanilla on Top by C.J. Ellisson

  1. That was a great scene in the club that you quoted. It’s one of the scenes where Tony takes charge. I love the way Heather and Tony grow during their story.
    I can’t wait to see what C. J. has in store for us with the next book in this series.

  2. Oh yeah that was a good one 🙂 I loved that we got Tony’s point of view in the story too. Glad you enjoyed it Kristin!

    herding cats & burning soup

  3. I love this book! It was a nice change for me to read about a male sub, and the scene you quoted was one part in the book that gave me goosebumps when I first read it. I also can’t wait to see what else she has in store for us with this series!!

  4. This book is up the top of my favourites, and that quote was amazing but i like the one when he walked into the shoe shop and was about to attack the sales man 😀

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