INVITATION TO ECSTASY
Ellora’s Cave [link to book]
Rating: 4 out of 5 Paddles
‘Invitation to Ecstasy’ is the second story in Nina Pierce’s Ecstasy Resorts Series. As a first time reader of Nina Pierce, I had no idea what to expect but came away from my reading experience thoroughly satisfied. The story is set at the XTC Resort a retreat style resort that caters to Doms and subs looking to get away for unrestricted BDSM training and play activities.
The story revolves around Sara Lancaster, a submissive who has a history of abuse at the hand of her previous Dom and Derek Thomas, a Dom who has come to doubt his own abilities as a Master after making an error of judgement during a play session with a sub. Both characters have their own demons to face and the weekend at the XTC Resort is their chance to do it. When Sara and Derek are paired together as play partners for the weekend by their friend and resort owner Ethan, the attraction between them is immediate. Once they go into the private dungeon for a play session the heat and desire between them builds to a flashpoint that exposes both of their weaknesses and sets the scene for the ultimate journey into trust and overcoming their individual fears.
The BDSM scenes are superbly written, but do not overshadow the storyline of two people seeking more than just a physical union. The scenes are used to compliment each characters personal journey and I particularly liked the author’s use traditional BDSM practices in non traditional ways. The use of inflicted pain within one play scenes as a catalyst for the release of the emotion pain of Sara is cleverly constructed by the author. Derek uses the safe word during the initial dungeon scene with Sara after he realizes she has emotionally check out on him and Sara’s resistance to completely submitting to Derek is triggered via the use of a word most women would view as a compliment, but for Sara the word has been perverted in her mind through by her previously abusive Dom.
I would describe the BDSM activity in the story as fairly light and the administering of pain is implied rather than described in depth. The reader gets to make up their own mind about what the sensation of the physical acts performed would feel like rather than the author describing them in detail. This allows the author to concentrate on the emotional reaction of each character, in particular Sara, which is the crux of this story.
My only criticism is the quick resolution of Sara’s fears and Derek’s doubts. In one weekend, and three play sessions, all insecurities are resolved… if only real life were that easy. However, having said that I enjoyed ‘Invitation to Ecstasy’ immensely, because I don’t read erotic romance with the notion that it is reflective of everyday life, I read it as a fictional escape.
So today, Nina Pierce and her characters gave me a great two hour getaway. It is a well written easy read, the characters are likable, and there is a story set around the sexual action. I would recommend anyone who has a few free hours to grab a copy and have a read.
Reviewed by JannyGee