Story Rating: 4 out of 5 paddles
Sting Factor (kink): 3 out of 5
While the story is a short novella (referred to by the publisher as a novelette) it is a fairly full story with a good plot, as far as this genre goes. A Dom named Sandy finds, entices and seduces a new sub named Rem, engages his present sub named Vanessa in it, and does not leave anyone on the side lines. It is an enjoyable read, but there were a few things it needed to gain a full 5 star in story, and a few more things needed to gain more than the 3 in sting factor.
The story was obviously a fantasy novel, though there were some good reality touches in it when it came to Sandy explaining himself. But what it lacked was more description in the sex, the kink and the story line. In the beginning we meet someone named Elizabeth and learn a little about her, mainly that she is the one who runs the shop Sandy first meets Rem in, however that is where we are left with. We never learn where how or why Sandy knows Elizabeth and why his behaviors no longer shock her. Is it simply because he has been coming in the shop for so long? Or does she have some inside information? Do they know each other from the sex clubs mentioned later in the story? These are just a few of the desperately dangling questions that are left. We do not get the information on how he met his first sub either. As a short story, small things like this really need to be fleshed out fully; otherwise it leaves a gnawing in the reader to want to know why, how and when. The idea that anyone can simply look at someone and know what they need is a tough sell for anyone who has really lived in the BDSM lifestyle; however as fantasy it is fine.
As for the kink, there was a lot of mentioning it, a few scenes where it was played out in some detail, but much of it was glossing over with the mere idea of it. Some of these things should have been played out further, more detail given; such as an in depth description of exactly how Rem responded in behavior, sound, sight, reaction. There is some description about it, but it just slides over the tip, kind of it like putting on a dab of lube on and doing nothing more. Intimate details about the whole process are given in brief and then the sex scenes which are just as brief. If Alison Tyler had written in more graphic details, it would have been so much hotter. As it is, just as the reader is getting a bit hot under the skirt, it was over. Kind of like a quick swat on the bottom when what one really wants is a good hard whack – or four.
There is one other small point that needs to be addressed. The voice over this entire story was very feminine. It is not until part way into the book that the reader even realizes Sandy is a man, when there is mention of his cock. The words chosen to describe actions, especially sexual actions, tend to differ drastically between a man’s voice and a woman’s voice. There are plenty of male writers who write female characters well and vica-versa, but when reading a first person story that is supposed to be about one sex and it comes off as if it is the other, it effects the reader’s perception going in and it is difficult to readjust once we have an image in our head.
Over all, the story is enjoyable, what detail is there is very good, we do get some feel for the characters that are portrayed on some level at least. It is a good light read, just right for a quickie before bed, but not quite hot enough to pull out the vibrator.
Reviewed By: Evangeline Raven