Story Rating: 2.5 out of 5 paddles
Sting Factor (kink): 4 out of 5
Rose Thornwell’s femdom novella, Yes, Mistress (not to be mistaken for one of numerous other books in the genre with the same title), in many respects seems to be written from the perspective of what an outsider thinks the world of BDSM is about. The main character is a forty-year-old professional dominatrix named Callandra who, as the story begins, is trolling for a potential client in a hotel lobby when a young gigolo mistakes her for a prospective sugar momma and starts hitting on her. The exchange between the two hustlers is somewhat droll as Callandra toys with her younger counterpart. On a whim she gives him a key to her room after giving him fair warning that she is dangerous.
Although smarting from her sarcastic assessment of his choice of professions, Nick is drawn to her and shows up at the appointed time ready for adventure. Whatever he was expecting, it was not to be introduced up-close-and-personal to BDSM or unceremoniously turned out as a submissive. An evening of well-orchestrated and highly erotic pleasure/pain scenarios awakens his latent need to submit to powerful women. By night’s end he is desperate to become Callandra’s personal slave. And curiously, Callandra is uncharacteristically warming to the idea of having him become her live-in pet… as long as somebody else trains him properly – she doesn’t have the time or patience for that.
She calls her good friend Marisa, proprietor of a full-service dungeon, to arrange for Nick’s formal training in proper sexual servitude. During their conversation, Marisa prevails upon Callandra to meet with Simon, a rich client in search of a mature mistress with the skills necessary to help him realize his long-held submission and humiliation fantasies. So off to Italy she goes for an interview with the fabulously rich and powerful closet submissive, while Nick is turned over to Athena, a beautiful and cruel young mistress, for his training.
The remainder of the book details the activities, sexual and otherwise, both Callandra and Nick experience. Since their time together was extremely brief, they both begin to gravitate toward the new person in their life, each of whom is more age appropriate and better attuned to their sensibilities. With a great deal of angst and hand wringing the relationships finally get sorted out, with a HEA ending for all concerned.
Considering that this is primarily an erotic book with a BDSM theme, potential readers should know that the parts pertaining to that are exceptionally well done and sexy as hell, providing that you have an affinity to those particular kinks. But if complete plausibility and verisimilitude are essential for you to thoroughly enjoy a smutty read, Yes, Mistress may not be altogether satisfying.
Reviewed by Jim Lyon