Blue by LN Bey
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Story Rating: 4 out of 5 paddles
Sting Factor (kink): 4.5 out of 5
As her guests arrive for dinner, Janet is both fearful and aroused—because this is no ordinary suburban dinner party. Recently divorced and looking for something new, Janet definitely finds it when her friend Jon invites her to join an exclusive club of kinksters whose initiation is to be the host—and the entertainment.
Before the food is even served, she’s naked and on her knees, not to mention in over her head with her far more experienced guests. An avid reader of BDSM erotica, Janet learns that reality doesn’t always jibe with the fantasy as she rapidly loses control of the situation.
So begins Janet’s odyssey into a kinky suburban underground she never dreamed existed: caterers who were once dominatrices; real estate agents and lawyers by day who make twisted, sexy art by night; a stunning but sadistic insurance analyst who owns an entire stable of slaves of her own.
Well-trained submissives are in short supply out here in the ‘burbs, and Janet, blue-eyed and eager, has just the potential these people are looking for.
Kinky and sexy, intelligent and perceptive, Blue is both highly entertaining social satire and red hot erotica.
WARNING: Contains explicit material and adult situations.
LN Bey’s debut novel tells the tale of Janet, a bored and frustrated divorcee looking for a new direction in life, and Ken, a lifestyle sub who begins to realise than even his seemingly complete devotion to his Mistress has its limits. It’s a substantial work that may venture into some uncomfortable places, but is almost always exciting and consistently impressive.
The discomfort comes from the fact that any kinkster, on either side of the power play, will see reflected in some characters something they might not like about themselves. Janet struggles to differentiate being submissive and being a weak pushover, while in the opening scene her tormentors show alarmingly misanthropic and sociopathic tendencies, or in Janet’s words: “You guys are a bunch of cruel motherfuckers.”
But some of that cruelty can be so compelling. There are so many scenarios that hit the spot, sometimes from multiple angles; all depicted adroitly, realistically and sensitively in terms of content and narrative. For example the list of rules that male sub Ken has to live by will provide an informative introduction to the lifestyle for those curious about BDSM, and some serious carnal thrills from anyone who has ever, in fantasy or reality, set such rules or been bound by them.
It’s also one of a number of narrative experiments, but not all of them pay off: a section which involves Ken compiling mental lists of possible permutations slows the momentum somewhat. However, this is more than compensated for by a chapter comprised entirely of voicemail messages, which provides possibly the most ingeniously delivered and stunningly effective transitions I’ve ever read in any genre.
It’s a complete game changer and really brings the novel together, raising the bar for the story to make it an endearing character journey and a compelling study of the lifestyle. And rest assured dear reader, this is a seriously sexy read from cover to cover, with the author creating an intoxicatingly inventive series of situations and driving them deep into your imagination through sweet seduction and irresistible force.
This in an accomplished and unflinching first novel, showing great understanding of both the psychology and practicality of dominance and submission, and willing to show it in all its crazy, beautiful and confusing glory.
Reviewed by Jay Willowbay