Story Rating: 3 out of 5 paddles
Sting Factor (kink): 5 out of 5
Spyder has obligations, deadlines, and debts to pay. But when his cargo ship is needed by his Lady, he detours to retrieve her and sets up a series of problems that seems to multiply every minute. His Lady is worth everything, even if he hasn’t been in her service for years. He can only hope that he keeps his crew, his ship and his life intact before she owns them all.
This Science Fiction Erotica is one of those books that seems to launch a reader into space, new worlds and new cultures instantly. Spyder is a good and loyal person who has pledged himself to his Lady, Cassandra, at his own risk. The story is from his point of view and the point of view of his mechanic and crewmate, Tamara. One after another, each of Spyder’s crew falls under the Lady’s spell, her Dominance and care meeting the needs of even the roughest member of the ship.
There were several things that made this book a bit difficult to read. Right from the beginning, the crewmember “Bunk” uses the word “bunk” as a swear word. Several foreign sentences were placed in the story with no translation and I was left to infer what was meant. The action was constant with very little breaks. The sex scenes were, in my opinion, too short. That said, there were many things I did like about the story. The writing is very good, not clunky or unreadable. The characters were interesting and captured my attention. I found the book rushed and believe me, I know how that is. There is A LOT of story here. This book packs a punch and delivers one suspenseful moment after another.
The title is apt, as Spyder does his best to do the right thing and winds up wanted by bounty hunters, unable to meet his obligations to a rich, asshole of a passenger, and broken down on a regular basis. His Lady is trying to escape the Pietists, a fanatical religious group, that is taking over the galaxy. She is a sexual Dominatrix who charms everyone around her. There is almost no backstory to any of these characters. All I know is that Spyder was once in Cassandra’s service but she let him go since he traveled and she didn’t.
There are no romantic relationships here. Love? Yes. Cassandra is the central figure who doles out comfort, punishment and control to all around her. She is a loving creature and treats all her slaves according to their needs. And her own. But this is definitely erotica, not erotic romance. Cassandra is the central character and, in the end, she’s completely in charge of everyone and everything.
I enjoyed the world that the author created, though I don’t know that I would return when it’s presented in such a fast-paced manner. I never fully grasped the characters or the world they lived in.
I would be cautious about reading another book by this author.
Reviewed by Jennifer Leeland