Story Rating: 4 out of 5 paddles
Sting Factor (kink): 3 out of 5
Beyond addiction is aptly named. Fallon is just recovering from her time in captivity with her last dominant, Brian. Brian is an abusive man who should never be titled dominant. He isn’t in the lifestyle. He bases his BDSM on extreme BDSM porn and fantasies which end up with ER visits if not the funeral home.
This is a provocative book. Ms. Holt displays the bad and ugly of BDSM when it is in the hands of a poser. She counters this despicable view with a healthy dominant, Cord. This contrast is what helps Fallon get over Brian.
For some readers, they will think poorly of Fallon. She is so messed up in the head that she goes back to her abuser when she is finally in a good state. It makes absolutely no sense. The desire to smack some sense into her is high. In addition, the feeling that she deserves all the shit that happens to her because she goes back for more may also be prevalent. What Ms. Holt cleverly does, is show us how Fallon thinks. She knows this is bad. She feels sick to her stomach and believes she deserves the cruel punishment. Her body craves the pain Brian doles out. But does she really crave it or is it a result of mind washing and drugs? This is when the story becomes interesting.
The helplessness Fallon’s friends and her love feels is acute. Ms. Holt does a great job showing how they want to step in and fix everything for Fallon. It’s been done before and didn’t stick. This is where Ms. Holt’s research into addiction shows through. For an addict, rehab only works if the addict wants to make the change. Without the addict’s choice to make the change, there will always be the allure and question in the addict’s mind. While this is a different kind of addiction, it’s ramifications are not too dissimilar from a drug or alcohol addiction.
For the first half of this story, I loathed Fallon. I couldn’t understand her desire. I felt she was weak. I nearly wished Brian would kill her in a fit of rage so that Cord could move on. Then I remembered a time in my youth when I adored a guy. He was my everything. We never dated, but we were the closest of friends. This was back before friends with benefits term was coined. We never shared sex together, but we did indulge in kinky intimacy. He was my addiction. He brought out the worse in me and at times my behaviour was erratic to the point of crazy obsession. It didn’t end well. Even twenty years later, I still hunger for the feeling I experienced with him. If I met him again, I would be hard pressed to resist the temptation to submit to his orders. This is when I connected with Fallon and felt badly for her. While I did get away, for Fallon, Brian didn’t want to let her go. This is worse than an addiction, when the object of your addiction is actively pursuing and trapping you.
The writing is well done. Ms. Holt does an excellent job of showing how people can pervert something beautiful. She does a great job of giving the reader a perspective from the addict as well as loved ones who want to perform an intervention. The story flowed in a smooth manner and ended with a tidy quick resolution. Perhaps it is my vindictiveness which yearned for a more robust ending. I’d like to find out what happened to Brian.
This is kinky novel recommended for those who want to see how BDSM can go so wrong.
Reviewed by Book Addict