Author: Cynthia Sax
My Copy: ARC via Avon
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis: She desires to be seen. He wants to watch.
Anna Sampson has a naughty secret. Every night, she slips into her neighbor’s yard and swims naked in his pool. She fantasizes that the dynamic young billionaire watches her nightly nude aquatics, his brilliant green eyes gleaming with lust.
She discovers this isn’t pure fantasy. Gabriel Blaine has been watching her via his security cameras, and now that he has returned to L.A., he doesn’t plan to stop. That’s all he wants—to watch. Anna knows she shouldn’t allow him and she certainly shouldn’t want more, but she craves Blaine’s attention, needing his gaze fixed on her body.
Cynthia Sax’s He Watches Me is the first novella in The Seen trilogy and centers around voyeurism, but not in a creepy way since consent is given.
Anna Sampson is new to Los Angeles and takes a job as a charity fundraiser. She currently house-sits for a wealthy couple in Beverly Hills and uses the free room and board to save her money. Knowing utilities can be expensive she doesn’t run the air conditioner and to complicate matters, the Leigh’s have given her a list of rooms she’s allowed to use. The use of the pool isn’t on the list and one night decides to be reckless and use a neighbor’s pool to cool off. What she doesn’t realize is that neighbor has been watching her from his security cameras. After all, he has to protect his property. When they finally come to face, Anna should be ashamed of trespassing and fantasizing about him out loud, but instead they come to a mutual agreement.
Character development is strong for a novella and we find out Anna and Gabriel have a lot more in common than first meets the eye; both are outcasts. Anna’s father spent time in prison for theft and she’s aware that people judge you for your parent’s actions. She has a personal motto of never touching anything that doesn’t belong to her. Gabriel also spent some time in prison and I won’t say why because it will spoil things, but it’s not for anything questionable. At one point Anna asks for his assistance regarding her father’s record and he helps her.
What I really liked about Anna is that she’s not your typical shy virgin. She’s aware of sex and isn’t afraid to acknowledge her sexual needs. While most would run away at the thought of a complete stranger watching them masturbate Anna likes that Gabriel can’t keep his eyes off her. Here’s a man who can have anyone he wants and yet he wants to spend time with her. She begins to imagine that others desire her too and notice her.
Most stories with a billionaire protagonist have him rushing to the heroine’s defense, Gabriel respects Anna’s boundaries. Anna’s job requires her to make a certain number of in-house meetings in order to stay employed and she understands that landing Gabriel’s patronage won’t keep her employed no matter how much money he donates. Instead, Gabriel buys her time so she can land on her own two feet and I did a little dance. I loved that Gabriel respected her independence.
If you’re looking for a voyeuristic erotic novella then Cynthia Sax’s He Watches Me is for you. Just be aware, you might require a cold shower after reading this.