Candace Blevins has knocked my socks off with all her books. When asked to review Safeword: Quinacridone, I jumped at the chance. I never expect a light BDSM book with Candace. She writes honestly, but beautifully even if I can’t always get into some of the tougher scenes in her books. I want to warn you that this isn’t for the faint of heart. The women in this book are treated extremely, but everything is safe, sane and consensual.
Warning: This title contains graphic language, consensual BDSM, extreme objectification, bondage, watersports (one scene), chemical play, fisting, temporary body modification with saline injections (one scene), and the use of toys including clamps, canes, plugs, paddles, whips, floggers, and zip-ties.
Cara is a young artist just making her way through life with a career that hasn’t taken off. She does electronic art on the side, while painting is her true fashion. While working at a coffee/internet shop, she is approached byTravis to go out on a date.
From the beginning, Travis is uncomfortable and geeky. He has made millions, is oodles smart and just plain socially inept. So the date doesn’t go very well, but ends up with Travis going home with Cara for a night of exploratory sex. I say it this way because they don’t really know each other.
Cara has been rescued in the past for having rough sex to the point she has really been hurt. She can’t orgasm without the pain and brutality from being taken and used. Travis dominates her, but remains a mystery. Being rich, he is extremely secretive of his private life, and well he should be. He is a sexual sadist, but not a bully, only hurts women who ask for it and is very clear there is a safeword. In the past he has hired the women he uses and they are very aware of what they are signing up for because they are professionals. Also, he makes them sign non-disclosure agreements.
So here are these two young people with kinks. We watch them grow in their relationship. With Travis being rich, any kind of toy or prop really isn’t an issue. But their kinks are kind of different while also meshing to create a relationship. Cara craves the objectification that men give her.
1. Treating a person as an object for use, with no regard
for a person’s personality or sentience.
2. Regarding someone as a commodity; considering them
merely an instrument towards one’s sexual pleasure.
Examples of OBJECTIFICATION:
1. A woman is on her back at the edge of a tall bed with
hands and feet bound together and restrained above her
head. A curtain drapes from a canopy above and puddles
on the backs of her thighs. The man about to penetrate
her sees only female genitals available for use.
2. A woman is dressed in a full latex blow-up doll costume
with durable latex ‘pockets’ stuffed into her orifices.
She is bound into a position giving easy access to all
three holes at a party. Her face is completely covered
excepting nose and mouth. The men do not know who
is in the costume.
As I read the scenes of Cara being objectified, I was disturbed as well as interested to understand why. Why was I disturbed and why was she craving to be objectified? The objectification is pretty extreme in the story, not a light look into this kink. Cara is made into furniture, a doll, she is put of for use in a doll costume. Even at one point they go as far as to simulate amputation. I say simulate, nothing is amputated!
Travis is a sadist, but he learns to love providing the kink of objectification to Cara. He gets wildly creative on how to provide her the kink she needs safely. At one point he wonders if they are pushing it so hard, that in 20 years they won’t have anything new to explore with each other.
Nothing is done without a lot of thought. It is all safe, sane and consensual. The communication between the characters grows as Cara at first doesn’t want aftercare.Travis takes care to find out her feelings on everything. As they grow, you see their love for each other strengthen and the caring outside of the kink grows at normal, needed rates as well.
While I had a hard time reading some of this book, it pushed me to think about what some people need. I don’t judge others their kinks. What they do is their own business, I only want it to be safe, sane and consensual. I am not into watersports or even removing the hair off of someone…and I don’t mean down there, I mean the top of your head and eyebrows. I just sat there trying to imagine either of these kinks and I just could not see myself ever coming to grips wanting this.
Outside of the kink, I loved how caring Travis is. He may be a monster when in Dom mode, but he really is a wonderful guy who takes care of the ones he loves and befriends. After each session with Cara, he wants to hold her, comfort her, provide the aftercare the Dom in him needs after a scene. Cara pulled away and ran a lot, but slowly starts to understand for their relationship to work, she had to open up and allow him to take care of her.
Cara is an artist and expressing herself in her art is what makes her good. Someone said to her it was the paintings she sold had a piece of her soul in them and people could tell. While her kinks at times were extreme, she had a healthy life outside of it.
Darkly hard to read but beautifully written. Touched on some dark elements I am not sure I ever want to experience or possibly read about again. It hit “hard limits” with me and I can read a lot, lol. Above all the author has a wonderful writing style even if I am not comfortable with the subject matter. No judgement on the kinks expressed. To each their own. The story is light on actual D/s between the hero and heroine.
Would I read another Candace Blevins book? Yes, in a heartbeat. Her voice is rich, intriguing and hypnotic as it draws you into a world you may have never known existed.