Series: Safeword #1
Genres: BDSM Romance, Contemporary Romance
Published by Indie/Self Published
Released on May 3, 2010
Katrina is a closet submissive. Due to her job as a college professor, she must play at clubs in disguise. After three days of playing with Master James, Katrina is in love with a Dom she connects with. We meet her while she is getting ready on the third day to meet Master James at the club for supper and a play date.
Master James is just in town for three days, but he meets the woman of his dreams. He is a sadist, getting off on the pain he can inflict on a sub, but only in a consensual way. For the their last evening together, Master James doles out incredible amounts of pain on Katrina, but he also gives her incredible amounts of orgasms. When the night ends, Master James gags Katrina, and explains this is last night in town and he would probably never be back. He also drops the bomb that he thinks he has fallen in love with her.
Fast forward three years in the future and we meet Tyler who is retiring from the CIA and in town to stay with his buddy David, also a CIA agent. When a viable threat comes in that someone is out to kill David’s sister, Vivian, Tyler takes her and her father away to keep them safe, but Viv remembers him right away as the Master who commanded her body three years ago. Master James is Tyler and Katrina is Vivian.
When the danger is gone, the two feel the need to reunited again, going off on a three day “vacation” to reconnect. Things aren’t exactly the way each other want them to be causing some big issues that could destroy them. Tyler wants a 24/7 TPE (Total Power Exchange) while Viv is only a sexual submissive and doesn’t want it bleeding into every day life. The two must come to terms with their desires but also their need to love each other.
This review is going to be a little hard to write. One, while I love BDSM books, there aren’t many that deal with a sadist/masochist as extreme as what is in this book. When I say sadist for this book, I mean the hero gets totally turned on by owning the sub and making her feel pain. While he adores her, in his own words…paraphrased…I will put her on a pedestal, but then when I feel like it, knock her off. Pain comes in varying levels, but let’s not confuse this one with a spanking or a mild flogging. This is real pain, with canes, tawse, clamps, clothespins, various types of floggers, bondage chairs and tables, anal plugs, anal plugs on a bondage chair, and much much much more.
What got to me was the thought of her being his property. He owns every part of her down to her soul, or that is what he wants. He controls her bathroom habits. In the beginning of the book they are discussing what she liked and didn’t like. She mentions she didn’t like urinating while sitting over the bathroom drain; it felt demeaning. He didn’t feel that way, he felt it was a beautiful show of submission. Throughout the book he goes on to control when she can go, but not where she goes and she must thank him after he allows her to go. While I am very aware this is part of somes BDSM negotiations, it felt demeaning to me as well.
I wasn’t shocked by anything I read in this book. After I read my first BDSM book (years ago), I did a lot of research on the lifestyle, mostly to understand what I was reading. With every BDSM relationship, it has varying degrees depending on the couple and what they want out of the relationship. While I can’t fully understand the reasons why someone needs something, I don’t judge them for their needs. So I won’t judge the characters of this book that way either. They both had a need: Tyler to inflict it and Vivian to receive it.
The characters were honest and true. The first part of the book was gripping in the thought of them never finding each other again after they had reached fulfillment and started falling in love. The latter part of the book, felt a little forced as they were trying to work through their issues. I think it came down to the two loved each other, had needs and were struggling to find a solution on what they wanted from the relationship.
There are several BDSM scenes in this book. They are very rarely light. Most are complex and very painful to read about. While there is safeword scenes, there are also scenes where he won’t let her safeword out unless there is physical damage to her. The last two scenes in the book kind of freaked me out. They were meant to show this lifestyle and I cringed in absolute pain as I read them.
So while I was not turned on by this book, it was a very well written book dispecting the S/M lifestyle. It is a harsh view of how a S/M relationship can be. While it is not a 24/7 TPE, it is a very realistic look at how a relationship would be like. While I may not understand this particular lifestyle, I will say they got what they needed and as long as it was consensual, I have nothing to say against it.
If you want a S/M book that is slightly less lighter, try out Candace Blevins Safeword: Matte. While it is S/M it isn’t quite as deep into the pain and TPE that this one is. But be warned both books are books dealing with sadism in varying degrees, but both are more darker and deeper than any other BDSM book I have read.
While I did not really enjoy this book, it was well written and shows a life I don’t think will ever excite me.
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