Playing Knotty by Elia Winters-Review, Guest Post & Giveway

Playing Knotty by Elia Winters-Review, Guest post & Giveaway

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Playing Knotty
by Elia Winters
Release Date: March 16, 2015
Genre: adult, contemporary, bondage, knot play, erotic romantic

Playing Knotty / B&N / KOBO /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date March 16, 2015

Bondage meets bookworm in this sizzling erotic romance about a shy bookshop owner who discovers an exciting new side to herself when an old friend opens a bondage workshop in the back of her store!

Emma Green has never been very confident. When Ian Cooper, an old friend, asks to rent out the back room of her bookstore for a bondage workshop, she agrees because she needs the money. She isn’t expecting to participate, and she definitely isn’t expecting to enjoy it. But all of Emma’s expectations fly out the window when she tentatively agrees to be Ian’s bondage model for workshops and exhibitions—and her success in the role upends all previous notions she had about her body and her desirability.

Now, Emma must learn to reconcile these conflicting images of herself while dealing with another conflict: Is Ian just another playboy, or everything she’s been looking for?


REVIEW: PLAYING KNOTTY is an adult, contemporary erotic romance storyline that focuses on rope and knot play-the ‘bondage’ part of BDSM. This is bookstore owner Emma Green, and accountant/bondage instructor Ian Cooper’s storyline. Most of the storyline takes place in and around Boston and Emma’s book store-PROLOGUE.

Told from alternating third person perspectives, the premise follows Ian Cooper as he endeavors to find a suitable location and model for his next bondage instruction class. Enter former high school acquaintance Emma Green, who has some available space at the back of her store. It just so happens that Emma is in need of a quick influx of cash and Ian offers room rental and modeling fees if Emma is willing to be his ‘bondage model’. What ensues is Emma’s introduction into rope and knot play, something she takes to like a duck to water.

Emma has some issues of self esteem; raised by a mother who was always concerned about physical beauty and image, Emma has always believed she is not quite good enough, pretty enough, slim enough or smart enough to make it on her own. Ian happens to be the man who sees a beautiful woman who has no problems with the kinky side of Ian’s life

Nine years earlier, Ian had a small crush on his high school friend and lab partner Emma Green. Fast forward to present day and all of Ian’s fantasies are about to come true. The sexual relationship is enhanced by their mutual arousal through rope and knot play, and in this their friendship and working relationship takes the next step forward.

The secondary and supporting characters include Emma’s employee and wanna be poet Bethany; Emma’s friends Alina and Margot whose expensive tastes are not conducive to Emma’s current financial situation : Ian’s best friend Brent who owns a small ‘gamers’ shop ; several members of Ian’s workshops and weekend bondage role players; and Emma’s slightly dysfunctional family including her younger sister Julia whose own life is now affected by their mother’s need for perfection and control.

Saying that, I did have some issues with the couple’s lack of communication outside of the ‘bondage scenes’. Most of the anxiety and uneasy situations in their relationship were caused by confusion and misinterpretation of body language and communication with one another in their daily lives. In this, my enjoyment level of the storyline was affected by the misunderstandings and heartbreaking beliefs that neither one was interested in a permanent relationship yet no one was willing to make the first move. I know this is where the storyline conflict arises, but it made for some awkward and frustrating moments.

There is also an enormous amount of detailed description and information about bondage play that shows the author’s research and personal experience with ropes and knots. At times, I found myself lost in the intricate explanation and information trying to imagine in my mind the ‘how’ and ‘what’ of the narration. I found myself struggling during the ‘how to’ and ‘play by play’ scenarios-I think my eyes glazed over a time or two.

Ella Winters puts her own spin on the BDSM writing genre-one where bondage and knot play are at the center of our couple’s sexual awakenings and arousal. If you are looking for something a little different; a little out of the ‘ordinary’ give Playing Knotty a try.

PLAYING KNOTTY is an interesting read; a detour from the usual BDSM storylines where the hero has a need to discipline the female. The rope/knot/and bondage play shows a different side to a lifestyle that many people are not wholly aware.

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley.

Reviewed by Sandy

Guest Post

Learning the Ropes: Research for Playing Knotty

The whole process of writing Playing Knotty has been an adventure. The first draft was much more about general BDSM, with rope play involved but not featured. As I planned my rewrites, the final draft of the book started to take shape, and I realized that I was basically going to be writing a book full of bondage. At that point, I knew I was in over my head.

Sure, I’m a kinkster. Once I started writing books like Playing Knotty and Purely Professional, there was no hiding my own status as a bit more “rocky road” than “vanilla.” But despite my own proclivities, I didn’t know enough about rope bondage to write this book from personal experience alone. I decided to delve into the often-fun and sometimes-overwhelming world of rope bondage instruction.

I’ve been accustomed to most of my book research being pretty neutral: maps of the public transportation system, Google street view of neighborhoods where my characters live, research on job descriptions, that sort of thing. Rope bondage research was much more fun.

Two books were instrumental in my research. The first one I read was Bondage for Sex by Chanta Rose. This book is gorgeous – diverse models, full-color photographs, clear instructions. This book taught me quite a bit, but it wasn’t quite enough on its own. The next book I read was Two Knotty Boys Showing You the Ropes. This book was a delight. Funny, informative, and thorough, by the time I’d finished, I felt much more prepared to write this book. (You should have seen my accountant’s face when I gave him the book receipts, but that’s another story.)

I don’t trust books alone, though: I’m the adventurous sort, so I did some “hands on” research as well. I’d have loved to take a class with a real rigger, but there were no rope classes in my area, so at-home amateur research sufficed. By prioritizing safety and being willing to laugh when our ropework went (disastrously) wrong, I gathered enough knowledge to complete my final draft.

Playing Knotty is finished, but my research won’t end just because the book is out. Rope bondage is beautiful, sexy, and fascinating, and I’ve only scratched the surface. A club near me is (finally) offering rope classes, so I’m going to continue learning. After all, I have a lot more books in my future, and at least a few of them will be as “knotty” as this one.

~~Elia Winters~~

about the author

Follow: Website/Facebook/Twitter/Goodreads

Elia Winters has always been a New England girl. Although she spent much of her childhood in Florida, she returned to her home state of Massachusetts as a teenager and has remained in New England ever since. She was blessed with an artsy, creative, somewhat quirky family that nurtured her eccentricities and helped shape her into the sassy woman she is today.

Elia holds a degree in English Literature and teaches at a small rural high school where she runs too many extracurricular activities. She balances her love of the outdoors with a bottomless well of geekiness; in her spare time, she is equally likely to be found skiing, camping, playing tabletop games, or watching Doctor Who.

A writer all her life, Elia likes to dabble in many genres, but erotic romance has been one of her favorites since she first began sneaking her mother’s romance novels. In high school, she kept her friends entertained with a steady stream of naughty stories and somehow never got caught passing them around. Her erotic fiction and poetry have been published online at Clean Sheets and Scarlet Letters under a different name. She loves BDSM erotica and men who can use semicolons.

Elia currently lives in New England with her loving husband and their odd assortment of pets.


Elia’s publicist is graciously offering an ecopy of PLAYING KNOTTY to TWO (2) lucky commenters at The Reading Cafe

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. Please LIKE and Follow Elia Winters Facebook

4. LIKE us on FACEBOOK and then click GET NOTIFICATION under ‘liked’ for an additional entry.

5. LIKE us on Twitter for an additional entry.

6. Please FOLLOW us on GOODREADS for an additional entry.

7. Please FOLLOW us on TSU for an additional entry.

8. Giveaway open Internationally

9. Giveaway runs from March 24-28, 2015


25 thoughts on “Playing Knotty by Elia Winters-Review, Guest Post & Giveway

  1. Please enter me into this contest (

    1 I LIKE and Follow Elia Winters Facebook
    2 I LIKE, Follow & get notifications for The Reading Cafe on FB
    3 I like The Reading Cafe on Twitter (@1_RedFridayLady)
    4 I follow The Reading Cafe on Goodreads (Lisa M)
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  2. Playing Knotty sounds like a great read. I’ve seen some really good reviews for it before this. Certainly has my curiosity piqued. 🙂

    Following Elia Winters on Facebook
    Facebook w/ notifications: Pam Rosensteel
    Twitter: @VanillaOrchids
    Goodreads: Pamela Rosensteel
    tsu: @VanillaOrchids Pamela Rosensteel

  3. Thanks for the honest review
    Like and get notifications on Facebook Sue Stiff
    Follow on Goodread and Tsu penguins106

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