Monthly Archives: March 2014

seventythreeSeventy Three by Rebecca Symmons

Link to buy

ISBN-10: 1495273237

ISBN-13: 978-1495273230

Story Rating: 4 out of 5 paddles

Sting Factor (kink): 4 out of 5

Review:

A BDSM club which trains women to be sexual slaves and owned by a consortium is definitely a popular fantasy. For said woman to be a happily married wife with a husband who isn’t into BDSM, this could be problematic and unfortunately all too common. In Seventy Three, Catherine Adams is finally making the move to fulfill her secret submissive desires. She revels in sexual humiliation and public exposure. The more depraved, the wetter she becomes. She longs for punishment and sexual torment. Her loving husband, Richard is hesitant to commit any of these acts upon her. Fortunately, he has no qualms about watching someone else do it to her.

How does this work when the woman is sexually active with many people other than her husband?  Is this cheating? Especially if she isn’t thrilled to have her husband sexually interact with other female sex slaves. One specific quote in this book is key to understanding how people in relationships cheat on each other. This is explained to Richard from the man running the secret sex slave club.

“Richard, a woman doesn’t have an affair between her legs; she has it in her head. If the activity between her legs is not emotionally attached to her brain then what provides the activity, and often pleasure, is of no consequence to her relationship.” (pg. 24)

One must separate the sexual act from the love between husband and wife. If that is not possible, this story will only piss a reader off. There are times in this story where I’m ill at ease. I will get to those in a moment. First, let’s discuss the BDSM in this story. There are parts to it which are very realistic. Many of the sexual acts in this story are possible in real life. The spanking, strapping, caning even the watersports are all easily possible. Serving as a waitress in a skimpy outfit and then later used as a common whore is also quite feasible. The sex acts in this story are all fantasies which can be played out and some do have consequences. From a fantasy perspective, this book hit all my erotic buttons and kept me in a constant state of arousal.

Second, the story is well written with at a good pace. There are enough lulls in between the BDSM sessions. There is a decent character development of Catherine in her erotic awakening journey. The conflict in this story is also nicely done and resolved in the end. 

The parts that bugged me are ones which I don’t subscribe to in the BDSM lifestyle. First, Catherine is a slave who must do everything she’s told otherwise she’s out of the club. There was no negotiation about her hard limits. This is a problem for me. Second, if all the dominants in this club were adjusted and good dominants, it wouldn’t be a problem. Unfortunately, there is one who is clearly an abusive domineering asshole. And when he does something which I still think is unsafe, the expectation is for Catherine to take it. Because she didn’t, she’s in the wrong and has to go through a rough session to be taught her place. What is her place? As a slave she should be willing to service everyone, even those who are unattractive and have no use for her other than just to abuse and use. Even someone who is purposely abusive and violating the purpose of an erotic power exchange. This was particularly vomit worthy and I didn’t like it at all. I nearly gave the book a two star on this alone. Third, the exposure of the lifestyle to family and friends is not something I can condone. This is because it cannot only ruin a person’s livelihood but it is also irresponsible. To non-consensually force our lifestyle to a vanilla is déclassé. In this story, I’m not surprised by it because while it is constantly talking about respecting these intelligent independent women being sexual submissives, the actions didn’t align. For the most part, I found the men and women in this book disrespectful of the women. I never saw a reason to trust this group. For a group who is so secretive about its male members, they certainly didn’t do shit to protect their female members. And this is why the book lost a star from me. Despite the well written story and smoking hawt BDSM sexual acts, the lack of respect and caring for the slave was hard to swallow. 

Lastly, the characters in this book kept harping on how the women were the ones in power. I call BULLSHIT. They were not. I say this because not a single woman could say no. The only way they could say no was to leave the club. This all or nothing attitude isn’t the kind of BDSM I practice nor the kind of organization I would be involved in. It is unsafe and demeaning. While it is stated that the scenes are designed for a mutual benefit of the dominant and the slaves, I saw no evidence of this in the book. All I saw were scenes becoming progressively difficult for Catherine to swallow. She had to keep reminding herself that this is what she wanted and it was okay otherwise she would be kicked out of club she so desperately enjoys. In this, I lost all respect for Catherine and didn’t really care what happened to her in the end.

In the end, Catherine is just a prostitute for any wealthy man or woman to use and abuse. It demeans the D/s in BDSM and really, this is a book just on sexual gratification. Albeit some very erotic and pleasurable sexual acts, it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth from a healthy BDSM lifestyle perspective. Since this is all fantasy, it does work out and is a good read. I’m interested to see the next erotic awakening journey in this series. My guess is it will be with Helen, Catherine’s good friend. This BDSM fantasy is recommended to those who love rich men and ladies of leisure getting filthy kinky.

Reviewed by Book Addict

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takenbyTaken By the Megalodon by Shauna Michaels

Link to buy

ASIN B00IK2X6VA

Story Rating: 2.5 out of 5 paddles

Sting Factor (kink): 2.5 out of 5

Review:

Loving all shifters, this was my first “shark” read. The non-consensual take me against my will was a big turn on. A story of revenge with the need so prominent the heroine throws caution and common sense in the wind.

The threat is huge, a very huge shark with a very big attitude. He doesn’t ask, he takes. He is hard and unforgiving, in his need to dominate the girl. He pushes his will on her, he humiliates her and for just a moment shows you a softer side of who he is. Don’t close your eyes or you will miss it (smiles).

A very short story, it was good for its length and left me kinda of wanting to know what choice the heroine made. I may have to look up the second book. This is different and interesting, and yes, Id recommended it.

Reviewed by Daria

bdsmbannerIf you are an author or publisher and want to participate, items must reach us by April 14th!

We are hosting an event at the RWA Chicago North Spring Fling. Here are the details:

Hot Night Critiques

After an enthusiastic response from our 2012 conference, we are excited to offer Hot Night Critiques again in 2014. We’re even more excited to announce this year’s event is sponsored by BDSM Book Reviews! Hot Night is a popular Chicago-North RWA program that allows participants to bring up to five pages of a love scene—from sweet to scorching—for a small group critique. To participate, conference attendees should plan to bring a dozen or so copies of their scene. Just want to listen? No problem, come join in the fun. This event will take place Friday evening after dinner. It’s BYOB from the hotel bar, but delectable treats will be served. Participants will receive goody bags courtesy of our sponsor, and some other surprises might be in the works as well. (Yes, that was a tease.) You won’t want to miss it!

We are giving away goodie bags for 150 attendees. Get your promo included in our bags! Email info@bdsmbookreviews.com for details to participate. And publishers, email to find out an extra way you can participate in this event with us!

touchmyheartTouch My Heart by Paloma Beck

Link to buy

ASIN B00G79WMZE

Story Rating: 2 out of 5 paddles

Sting Factor (kink): 3.5 out of 5

Review:

There is a fine line between domineering and Dominant. Sometimes it’s a tap dance along this line to try and keep from crossing from the Dominant side to the domineering side. Other times, it’s a polka and the line is completely wiped out and Dominant is fading quickly away as the domineering wanna be stands there gloating at how “powerful” and “masterful” he is. The only place this works is in domestic abuse cases and online play/pretend relationships. And sometimes, it occurs in poorly plotted BDSM books.

To start with, when your relationship starts off with a month of more or stalking someone where they work, this is not a good sign. When the wanna be just instinctively knows that a particular woman just HAS to be a submissive, and will enjoy punishment, even before she does this is not a good sign. There are thousands and thousands of real Doms out there who wish they had that talent. There are thousands and thousands of abusive men out there convinced they do have that talent.

Another problem with this book? It is only 111 pages long, which is fine for a very short novel, but not overwhelming in length in any way. So why put a cliff hanger ending on ‘Touch My Heart’? Apparently so the author can put out a part 2 of the story the following year. Perhaps the book would have been better if it wasn’t written specifically to have two parts.

So, what is the story in ‘Touch My Heart’ about? William, a wealthy philanthropist, who has had many play partners over the years, but never met anyone he wanted to spend his life with, notices Aubrey working as a barista in a coffee shop and is immediately smitten. He then shows up every day at the coffee shop, stalking Aubrey until he finally engineers a chance meeting. When she is upset over the coffee she accidentally spilt on William in the “accident”, she asks him what she can do to help. William says one word, “Dinner”. To which, she naturally stutters out a “Yes Sir”. Because again, William has that absolutely amazing ability to just know Aubrey is a sub just waiting to be discovered.

Speaking of our heroine, we find out very early that working in the coffee house is just a transition job because she just recently received a degree in Literature. This would, one would think, take a modicum of intelligence to achieve. Sadly, nowhere in the book do we see any evidence of Aubrey’s intelligence. She is damaged goods, coming from a verbally abusive home, who has zero self-esteem, and is **gasp** a virgin. Wait. A wealthy, suave know it all, abusive  Dom and a virgin? This sounds familiar for some reason.

We do have some plot involved as William’s mother is sick and getting slowly sicker (Alzheimer’s), so he is happy he found somebody to share his life with while she is still able to realize it. And since William’s parents lived a D/s lifestyle, they are happy he found such a nice, sweet, pliant girl.

Most of the time in this short novel is spent on Aubrey’s training, which do involve some decent scenes, to be fair, but as many of the punishments that come up are based on Aubrey’s psychological problems from an overbearing father who always tore her down verbally, it seems like picking on the poor girl. Admittedly, William’s reasoning is Aubrey needs her self-esteem built up, but convincing a shy girl she is shy because she’s a sub seems a little……abusive and predatory.

Our cliff hanger ending has to do with a holiday party, which is a coming out party for William and Aubrey with William’s wealthy friends and his parents. Aubrey is running an hour late, and William is starting to worry. Suddenly, his private number phone starts to ring with a call from an unknown number. Fade to black as he pushes the button to answer the call.

Is ‘Touch My Heart’ a bad book? Possibly, as there are a lot of red flags going on that do seem to point more to an abusive relationship rather than a healthy D/s relationship. But, let’s give Paloma Beck the benefit of the doubt, and assume it was unintentional on her part to represent it that way. So, dropping that aspect from consideration, ‘Touch My Heart’ is not a bad book, it’s just not a very good one either. Think of it as cotton candy literature. Enjoyable enough and your hands may be sticky after reading it. But, it doesn’t last long, and won’t leave much of an impression.

Reviewed by: Master Peter Raven

fiftyshadesFifty Shades of Domination: My True Story by Mistress Miranda

Link to buy

ISBN-10: 1782197486

ISBN-13: 978-1782197485

Story Rating: 4 out of 5 paddles

Sting Factor (kink): 3.5 out of 5

Review:

It’s difficult to pinpoint the target audience for Mistress Miranda’sFifty Shades of Domination: My True Story. Although the title seems to hint that it is in some way similar to the hugely popular Fifty Shades of Grey that really isn’t the case. It is actually an autobiography of a professional dominatrix – who sexually dominates men for a living – whereas the E.L. James book is erotic fiction that chronicles a young woman’s entrée into the world of BDSM and sexual submission.

Doubtless Mistress Miranda is well known in some circles, yet hers is not a household name. In terms of celebrity, she probably wouldn’t even rate the D-list. Nonetheless, she has led an interesting life and through this book shares her journey that traverses growing up in nearly hopeless poverty to becoming a successful entrepreneur and dominatrix extraordinaire.  

In many respects Miranda’s story is a classic rags-to-riches story, only the source of her success is somewhat unconventional. While trying to support herself through university, she takes a job as a receptionist at a low-end brothel. When a client shows up one day wanting to be dominated, Miranda volunteers to do it after the girl on duty says she doesn’t know how.

Her naturally dominant nature pulls her through; henceforth she starts picking up extra money taking clients with similar requests. Eventually Miranda realizes that this is an untapped niche, and with the brothel manager’s blessing starts a one-person business specializing in servicing clients seeking domination on an outcall basis. 

Balancing her job, her new enterprise and her studies became increasingly difficult, but by sheer fortitude she managed to pull it off. After graduating she took a job in her given field, only to find that she was making less money than she did as a fledgling pro domme and that the sexist culture at her employer’s business precluded any real opportunity for advancement. Quitting her job and resurrecting her dominatrix business soon became a no-brainer.

With the exception of the first few chapters, which provide a here-and-now glimpse into the mistress’s current day activities, her story is told in chronological fashion starting from early childhood. Personally, I would have preferred more brevity in the recounting of her childhood trials and tribulations, but readers with a different temperament will probably dote on that aspect of the book. Certainly that section depicts the influences that molded her character and drove her to succeed and to pursue a career path that gave her pleasure.

Readers enticed to buy this book based on its title alone may be disappointed that it doesn’t have much erotic content. It is, after all, a memoir not an erotic novel. Most of the text that does delve into the specifics of scenes with clients and lovers is not overtly graphic – often matter-of-fact and somewhat distant. Even so, the ambiance and passion of the encounters are conveyed in an inviting manner. Overall this is an entertaining and well-written book that can be enjoyed by all but the most closed minded of readers.

Those unfamiliar with BDSM basics commonly have difficulty differentiating a professional dominatrix from a lifestyle mistress. For them, let me clarify:

Mistresses dominate men or women, with whom they have a casual or committed relationship, for their mutual enjoyment, even if there is pain involved. How that is manifested varies greatly. Sex of some kind may or may not take place in a scene. Very likely all parties involved are active in the BDSM lifestyle to some degree.

A Professional dominatrix is basically an independent contractor who dominates submissive men or women for a fee. Rarely does sex per se take place during a scene. Very often clients of a professional dominatrix are not appreciably active in the BDSM lifestyle. They tend to compartmentalize their submissive and/or masochistic needs, maintaining a conventional sex life most of the time.

A professional submissive I once interviewed told me that many in the BDSM community in her area were uncomfortable with professional dommes and subs. I don’t know if that is a prevalent attitude, but I’d hope that people into such alternative sexualities would be inclusive rather than exclusive. By and large the same fetishes and fantasies are involved, so it really shouldn’t matter whether the dynamic between participants is play for pay or not.

Reviewed by Jim Lyon

awalkonthewildsideA Walk on the Wild Side of Wicked by Mechele Armstrong

Link to buy

ASIN B00HQRBN1U

Story Rating: 5 out of 5 paddles

Sting Factor (kink): 4 out of 5

Review:

Maynard is unsure about a woman for the first time in his life. Kari is trying to shake off her past and wants an adventure. She finds it when she meets Maynard and he wants more than just one night.

A Walk on the Wild side is a fast paced look at a young woman that has moved on from an oppressive home life growing up. Kari wants nothing to do with a dominant man, but finds on in Maynard. The journey she takes to find herself and realizing her future is with Maynard is one that may be familiar to some readers.

Maynard is a patient man when it comes to Kari after several misunderstandings between them, but a lot of that is the fact they aren’t communicating the way they should. This story brings home the fact that communication is key, and I liked that Maynard gave Kari a safe word, though there were actually several during the course of their story. I was laughing about one of them, and wondered why he chose that particular one.

The author did a great job the way she resolved the issues between them toward the end.  I wanted more and will be reading A Walk on the Wild side again.

Reviewed by Iron Mistress

staremeStare Me Down by Riley Murphy

Link to buy

ASIN B00CSHVS04

Story Rating: 3 out of 5 paddles

Sting Factor (kink): 3 out of 5

Review:

While the premise of the book was interesting, the story didn’t live up to the idea.

Most of the first part of the story is focused on therapy sessions between Ramsey “Aries” Taylor and Dr. Jaxx Gavin. These sessions are slow and contribute to the feeling that the book dragged.

Aries is surprised by his passion for Jaxx, who has overcome a childhood carried out in foster care and adoptive parents who neglected her to become a therapist. She is smart and strong, but has issues with relationships. Aries also has issues, but he is still a caring, likeable Dom.

The sparks fly between the two but their relationship is not certain. Aries is keeping secrets that threaten Jaxx, who fears being abandoned. Can these two find happiness?

Other than the issues of a therapist having a relationship with a patient, I found this book just too long and it didn’t hold my interest. The hot sex scenes included bondage, spanking and exhibitionism.

The book had promise, but could have used some judicious editing.

Reviewed by Karen H.