Bangkok Noir by Lisabet Sarai
Sting Factor (kink):
The biggest problem with Bangkok Noir is that it tries too hard. Characters come across as inorganic, the setting is ripped from the
nearest Thailand tourism guide, and the plot is typical murder mystery. Where it deviates from the tried-and-true method of storytelling in a noir style is that the voice changes from one character to another and back. The idea has promise but doesn’t show
total development throughout the book. In contrast to the stories that come out of Thailand of child prostitutes and the ilk, the notion of a BDSM bar being “underground and taboo” smacks of inauthenticity. The author would have been better off being more genuine about the nature of the bars/clubs/houses instead of trying to enhance their noir grit by making them an “affront to the common morality.” Now, this isn’t to say that there couldn’t be a crackdown on these dens of sin if a rash of murders took place, but the way it is presented is that they operate on a precarious ledge that could be toppled into the realm of lawlessness at any moment.
BDSM plays a central role to the story being told, but it doesn’t have to. Since the author has decided that working in BDSM would be an outlaw profession, it needs more explanation. Lofty terms such as “natural dominance/submission” are bandied about in a further attempt to romanticize the acts within. However, the scenes themselves are fairly well written and descriptive, fully designed to titillate and keep the reader intrigued. These lovely scenes are draped across a delicate skeleton of setting, creating a disconnect between the intrigue and the erotica.
Reviewed by Lacie
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BDSM Book Reviews Author Interview – Lisabet Sarai
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When you first started writing, did you have any idea you’d be writing BDSM/kinky books? Do you write in any other genre?
My first book was deeply involved with BDSM. Raw Silk chronicles a woman’s quest to understand her sexuality and her discovery of her submissive nature. Sounds like a million other BDSM books, doesn’t it? LOL. Well, not exactly! The book is set in Thailand and includes a great deal of rather outrageous sex in addition to the BDSM scenes, as Kate explores her fantasies and desires.
I write in many other subgenres of erotica, including erotic romance. I’ve written lesbian and gay stories, ménage, paranormal, science fiction, even a bit of steam punk and historical. I have the strongest personal connection, however, to my BDSM work, because more than anything else, that’s what pushes my own personal buttons, sexually.
Do you use a pen name? If yes (or no), why?
Yes, Lisabet Sarai is a total figment of my imagination. I live and work overseas, in a country where my writing could get me into a significant amount of hot water, so I work hard to keep my real self and my authorial self separate. On the other hand, I chose the pen name while I was still living in the U.S., so that’s not my only excuse. My real name is pretty ordinary; I wanted the author of Raw Silk to sound exotic and mysterious. I was lucky with the nom de plume I concocted. This was actually when the Internet was in its infancy, but I was fortunate to choose a unique name. As far as I know, I’m the only Lisabet Sarai in the universe – or at least on earth! Certainly if you Google me, you won’t find much competition.
Just a Spanking
Books We Love [link to buy] http://www.amazon.com/Just-Spanking-Dominance-Submission-ebook/dp/B006V2W680/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1333805447&sr=1-1
Story rating: 3.5 out of 5 paddles
This is playful, high-quality sexy fiction. There are eight stories here, several of which have appeared in other anthologies. I could really have used a table of contents in this one, but that’s an e-book formatting thing, and not something I am grading the anthology on.
I had expected Just a Spanking to be a one-note anthology, and I was okay with that since spanking is a note I really love. The fact that it’s more expansive than that came as a pleasant surprise. The stories are all told from a female point of view. They contain less plot and more action, but they are driven by the characters’ connections to one another, which makes them satisfying. The kink ranges from verbal domination to caning, includes spanking, rope/cable bondage, and some humiliation.
Pick it up if you’d like something that’s an easy, quick read and like your BDSM on the light to medium side with just a few sharper moments for spice. Just a Spanking would be fun to read out loud or share with a partner. My gratitude to the author for the fact that not all the characters are white, able-bodied, young people.
Downsides? Mostly just the ones that come with all short stories: they’re short, so there’s less time to get to know the characters. Hard to call that a flaw, when a good short story does leave you wanting more. The real problem I had was word choice. I realize that diction is a very individual thing for each writer, and each reader has peeve words that they can’t stand, but there were a few un-sexy word choice issues here — mostly of the clinical variety — that kept popping me out of the stories. I will point out that this would not have stood out if everything else had not been so good.