Tag: Contemporary Erotica

Guest Review: The Submissive by Tara Sue Me

Posted April 18, 2013 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments

Judith’s review of The Submissive by Tara Sue Me

Abby King has a secret fantasy.

New York knows Nathaniel West as the brilliant and handsome CEO of West Industries, but Abby knows he’s more: a sexy and skilled dominant who is looking for a new submissive. Yearning to experience a world of pleasure beyond her simple life as a librarian, Abby offers herself to Nathaniel, to fulfill her most hidden desires.

After only one weekend with the Master, Abby knows she needs more, and fully submits to Nathaniel’s terms. But despite the pleasure he takes in Abby’s willing spirit, the Nathaniel hidden behind the rules remains cold and distant.

As Abby falls deeper into his tantalizing world of power and passion, she fears that Nathaniel’s heart may be beyond her reach—and that her own might be beyond saving.

I have read a number of reviews of this book and it is no secret that they range from shocked and negative to raves for a story well-told.  I did not read this work when it was first published on the internet in episode form but recently came across it at Amazon.com.  And I have to own up to a fascination with the various versions of the BDSM “lifestyle” that is presented in what is now becoming a very popular literary genre within the romance fiction world.  I also own up to not really understanding what drives people to seek out dominant or submissive postures for themselves, that find release within a world of pain and pleasure or who find that such experiences are necessary for their overall well-being.
That being said, I also own up to a never-ending fascination with what makes people tick.  I have worked very hard to be the kind of person who is willing to accept people for who they are, to allow people to be authentic within their own comfort zones or needs.  I refuse to accept abuse or destructive actions within any kind of lifestyle.  But for many, the “safe, sane, and consensual” mantra has been a guard against the damage that true abuse of body and soul often perpetrated by individuals who are looking for a venue where they can express abusive hatred for others of both genders.  There is no doubt that the BDSM community accepts persons who are shirked and denigrated by society, who find caring and nurture of a very different kind that many would see as positive, yet they flourish and function in professions and the wider society very successfully.  It has to be obvious why confidentiality is a cherished tenet of this community.
All in all, I don’t think this story is simply about the BDSM exchange that is the upfront context.  It is also about the deeper needs that both Abby and Nathaniel are seeking to avoid.  I think many in the BDSM community are trying very hard to have significant interaction with other persons while avoiding the messiness of true relationship.  The friendships are deep and vibrant, but lovers come and go under the rubric of “sub” and “Dom” while avoiding the push/pull of being deeply emotionally involved with a significant other.  This is obviously not true of everyone.  Many monogamous married couples have built long-term relationships around the D/s power exchange, but in the case of these two main characters, both want the vibrance of real interaction but still reserve importance parts of themselves as self-protective measures.
This story is well written and has certainly struck a receptive note for many readers.  For others it has been disgusting and shocking, but I would venture to say that most BDSM based stories would draw the same response from readers for whom the matter of power exchange continues to be a troubling thing.  It is an alien concept in a world that is burdened with societies where people are subjugated and oppressed and it is terribly difficult to understand why anyone would seek to be overwhelmed by the wants and desires of another.  But here again is that issue of allowing people to live out their inner selves in a way that enables them to experience the true freedom to “be.”  I don’t understand it and it isn’t who I am, but for many it is as necessary as breathing.  Here in America it comes under the heading of “. . . the pursuit of happiness” and I, for one, refuse to take that freedom away from anyone, no matter how alien ti may be to who I am.
This author has carefully crafted a story that lays out what power exchange is, how it plays out in Abby and Nathaniel’s experience, how both were brought to a place of facing themselves in such a way that they were each forced to make some critical choices about what it meant to be authentically human.    It is not necessarily an easy story to read and each chapter carries the reader forward as the tension between these two people escalates.  Their inner monologues are helpful in revealing the inner struggles both endure as they keep trying to remain emotionally uninvolved.  It is curious that there are evidences that the greater struggle is Nathaniel’s.  There are BDSM based stories that are obviously attempts at sensationalism while others like this story seem to want to introduce the “vanilla” world to an authentic D/s exchange.  I think this author has done well.

I give it a rating of 3.75 out of 5.

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place

This book is available from NAL. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.

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Guest Review: Bonds of Trust by Lynda Aicher

Posted December 10, 2012 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments

Judith’s review of Bonds of Trust (Wicked Play #1) by Lynda Aicher.

After ending her passionless marriage, Cali Reynolds is eager to live out her forbidden fantasies. Her first step is attending new members’ night at The Den, the most exclusive sex club in town. Perhaps here she can find a man who understands her desire to be dominated…

At first, Jake McCallister thinks Cali has come to his club for the wrong reasons. But when he discovers she is seeking fulfillment after years of denial, he’s intrigued—and takes it upon himself to initiate her into the pleasures she’s been missing.

Her first encounter with Jake is everything Cali has always craved, and more; she’s not prepared for the feelings he inspires in her. And Jake is just as surprised by his overwhelming attraction to Cali. As their play intensifies, so does their bond. Now, Jake doesn’t want anyone but Cali—but is he ready to officially claim her? And will she submit to being his forever?

There are a lot of books about newbies seeking something more in their personal love experience but this novel is so very well done that it was not difficult to read and certainly was an enjoyable experience.  Add in the fact that it is always deeply satisfying when reading stories about more mature women who have tasted of life and found it not a very tasty dish so far.  So it is with this heroine who has had the 20 year marriage, the sex life that has nearly killed her with boredom and which made her wonder if there was something wrong with her, and kids who are really oblivious to the deeper stresses that are keeping their mother from embracing fully who she is and what will meet her needs.

Now she has finally decided that she is going on an exploratory mission and even though she is “turned off” by the more extreme in the world of kink, yet she finds a person who it appears is as taken with her as she is with him.  On the one hand, Cali is walking a new and unfamiliar path but the farther she travels the greater she understands that she is not a pervert but a woman who has a different set of needs.  Jake is also making the surprise discovery that even though he mentally understands that not all people are alike, it is a new experience this late in the game to encounter a woman who brings new life into a lifestyle that he has embraced for years but now with Cali he is finding a new liveliness in their time together.  He has come to accept that for him Cali has brought a new verve into his personal encounters and he is completely unwilling to share her with anyone else.

This is a story that has the raw and rewarding, the highs and lows, the jaded with the newly experienced all cobbled together to make a story that is spicey and erotic but so very human as it reveals the deep need and tender heart of a woman who has long been aware that her needs simply weren’t to be met by a husband who was far more interested in his own goals and life routines than he was in making a life with Cali that was mutually supportive and nurturing.

I have not read a book by this author before but am really delighted to have received the ARC from Net Galley and discovered another fine writer of romance fiction.

I give it a rating of 4 out of 5.

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

This book is available from Carina Press. You can buy it here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.

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Review: Risque Business by Helenkay Dimon.

Posted October 29, 2012 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Rowena’s review of Risque Business (Coleman Engineering #1) by Helenkay Dimon.

Hero: Matt Bradford
Heroine: Kari Reynolds

Human resources specialist, Kari Reynolds, is on a short-term assignment at Coleman Engineering. Leading workshops at Coleman is not a problem but the boss, Matt Bradford, is. A big one. Mr. Tall, Dark and Smoking Hot brings out everything in Kari that’s inappropriate in the workplace but the heated glances from Bradford show that she’s as much a distraction to him as he is to her. …so it shouldn’t be too difficult to convince him to mix a little pleasure with business.

I haven’t read too many books by Helenkay Dimon before but I need to change that because I enjoyed this book. It was short, it was cute and pretty steamy. Me likey. Very much.

This book follows Kari Reynolds and Matt Bradford as they bang their way to their happy ending. Kari is an HR specialist that was sent to Matt’s company to hold HR related workshops for his employees and it’s really funny that she works in HR considering what she’s been thinking about doing to the big boss of the company she’s currently on assignment to.

Once her week of HR workshops is done, Kari does something she never thought she’d do. She comes onto Matt Bardford and even more surprising, he’s game….to everything.

This book didn’t read as a short story. There was enough character development and enough storyline to keep me satisfied so I was a happy camper while reading this. It didn’t take long to read but I enjoyed every minute. I thought Dimon did a great job of telling this story, keeping it entertaining without bogging it down with details that weren’t needed. The story moved at a fast pace but when it ended, I was happy. I was happy with the story, with the characters and I couldn’t wait to read the next book in the series so kudos to Helenkay Dimon on this one. I’m a fan.

Grade: 4 out of 5

This book is available from Helenkay Dimon. You can buy it here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.

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Review: Down to Business by Helenkay Dimon.

Posted October 25, 2012 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Rowena’s review of Down to Business (Coleman Engineering #2) by Helenkay Dimon.

Hero: Robert Coleman
Heroine: Ella Lachlan

There is always something interesting happening behind the scenes at Coleman Engineering…

Millionaire businessman Rob Coleman has more than work on his mind. The glassed-in atrium of his office building provides the perfect view of the sexy woman in the office across from his. The same woman who wear short skirts, and Rob has a certain weakness for pretty women in short skirts.

When a chance run-in at the lobby coffee cart leads to much more intimate meetings, none of which are work-related, Rob realizes he’s lost control and is thinking about Ella Lachlan all the time. For a man who doesn’t mix business with pleasure, figuring out his fantasy woman is also his ex-wife’s new assistant means one thing – trouble.

This book was another great addition to Dimon’s backlist. Short and steamy which has been just my speed lately. I have to say that I’m a fan of sex in the office. Reading this book had me lifting my eyebrows and grinning like a crazy person. It was a great way to spend an hour or two. It was very entertaining and the idea of meeting the sexy guy from across the way for a quickie at work is so dirty and yet so intriguing.

I wasn’t a fan of the secrets that Rob kept from Ella and the way that Ella found out about those secrets but really, I forgave him because well, he was Rob. The sexy way that he started their little affair made my heart about go up in flames.  It was so sexy and well, I would have called off and spent the entire freaking day waiting on the damn elevator for Rob so I don’t blame Ella for being game.

I need to read more Helenkay Dimon books because this was another good one.

Grade: 4 out of 5

This book is available from Helenkay Dimon. You can buy it here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.

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Guest Review: Safewords:Davenport & Chiffon by Candace Blevins

Posted October 13, 2012 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments

Judith’s review of Safewords: Davenport and Chiffon (Safewords #5) by Candace Blevins 

Dana is ready to submit to Zach, but she’s going to be surprised by the depth of her submission. She’s comfortable Dominating Jacob, but how will the four of them form a unit?

Zach thought he’d worked through his issues, and he was patient with Dana as she worked through hers, but a painful reminder of the past makes him question whether he can accept Dana’s submission. Will he be able to handle being completely vulnerable once again?

Safewords: Davenport and Chiffon is the continuation of a story begun in Safeword: Davenport.

Dana’s story which began in the previous novel in this series now moves on to the development of her relationship with her new lover and Dom, Zach.  It is not an easy story to read because these two highly intelligent and highly successful professionals are still dealing with issues connected to their past relationships with their now-dead spouses.  Both have been meeting with a counselor and were moving forward with their lives.  But occurrences and situations manage to remind each of them that there are still fears and feelings that need to be addressed.

For Dana, Zach has a problem with impact play (which is a fancy way of expressing painful elements of BDSM).  He has difficulties accepting that Dana needs this pain several times a year–giving in to the pain and releasing her emotions is a way of releasing deeper emotions that are connected with other aspects of her life.  But Zach has to accept this in her and himself and thus Dana returns to a club where she and her husband “played” before his death.  Here she meets up with a Dom who was one of her best friends and with whom she has not been in contact since her husband’s death.  He is gay and now has a 24/7 sub named Jacob, a bi-sexual man.  Dana’s friend recognizes that Jacob needs to be with a woman from time to time and as it turns out Dana and Jacob are greatly attracted to one another.  Oddly enough, Zach understands this and he and Dana work through this so that Jacob and his Dom become a part of the relationships in Dana and Zach’s world.  Dana has now also realized that she is deeply submissive to Zach, but she also has a Domme streak that demands satisfaction as well.  Her relationship with Jacob is helpful in meeting that need.

Zach must confront some latent issues that have to do with his wife’s death–she was killed while she was walking in a shopping area, stepped off the curb without looking, and was hit by a car and died.  When Dana is involved and badly injured in an auto accident, Zach walks away from her and their relationship is put on hold.  How they resolve this, how each manages to accept and forgive, is very much at the core of their love for one another and their willingness to give each other what they need.  Zach must also accept some latent bi-sexuality in himself that he has been reluctant to confront and accept, so this novel is about a lot of self-awareness and learning that is essential to the success of their relationship as well as their sense of self.

Ms Blevins is a fine writer.  I had not read any of her work before these two stories in this series but find that she has a compelling style of telling a very good story, of helping her characters develop their own tale, of keeping a balance between introspection and dialogue.  She doesn’t back away from the realities of the BDSM lifestyle–the elements of its “play,” the rationale and thought behind the D/s relationships, the power exchanges at various levels of relationship, and the healing that can come from letting go of oneself to another person who has one’s complete trust.  It is an engaging story and one that will stimulate the reader’s consideration of the lifestyle and quite possibly entertain as well.  It is worth exploring and well worth the time and effort to read.  Even those who have not read much BDSM just might gain some important insights from this novel.

I give it a rating of 4 out of 5.

The Series:
Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

This book is available from Excessica Publishing. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.

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