great read, but you need books one and two first!

His Dark Canvas: The Corde Noire Series Book 3 - Alexandrea Weis
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted my copy of this book.
I'm writing this review back to front. I usually put the star rating and my reasons for that at the end, I'm doing it different here. I'm giving this book 4 stars, and here is why. This book was billed as a stand alone, in a series of three. It's not, though, not really. There was somethings that happened in books one and two that are carried over here, and I was not fully able to piece together everything. MUCH, certainly, but not everything. And as such, my enjoyment of this book went down a notch. Had I read books one and two first, I'm fairly certain this would have been a five star read. At some point, maybe I'll go back and read them, and my painting will be complete.
I said in a review (that is currently UNpublished) that I was frustrated with this sub-genre, that of female wanting to explore her submission, and a damaged Dom not really willing but pulled in to help. Because they were all same old, same old. THIS book, however, pulls me away from that frustration. It is sufficiently different to make it interesting, it has a lot going for it, that missing information aside, and I did really enjoy it.
Its told from both Ella and Ren's POV, and a couple of others (can't really say characters, because one...isn't) have a little say. I like that Ella retains herself, while giving into Ren and his training and that she really can't NOT stand up for herself when the time came.
It is sexy, but weirdly, not overly explicit, if that makes any sense. There was the right amount of scening between the story lines, to make the book, but not so much as to overpower their story, and indeed the undercurrent of the story from the previous books.
I would, as I said, like to go back and read books one and two, to fully complete my painting of whats going on, and also, future books. I'm intrigued by that story line that I don't fully have yet, and it is deeply, deeply bothering me and I wanna know, like NOW!!! (alas, though, it may have to wait)
4 stars
**same worded review will appear on Goodreads, BookLikes,,, Kobo and Barnes and Noble**