This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
As I stutter in to write this review, I am worn out and need aftercare. Aftercare from a very intense story of love, pain, dealing with loss, and finding out you can love again. Oh and there was a lot of BDSM in this book that had me cringing but also amazed at the strength and depth to these characters. While I adore the Safeword series, they are intense books and not for anyone who just wants a mild BDSM books. Everything in this book goes beyond everything you have read in her earlier books. She shocked me, had me laughing, crying and wanting to know more about certain aspects of the M/s lifestyle.
Safewords: Davenport and Chiffon picks up right after the end of Safeword: Davenport. Dana has taken the time to go hiking and speak with her late husband. She asks for a sign that she can move on and she gets in in a very unexpected way that I don’t want to ruin for readers who haven’t read the first book. When she gets back to civilization, she is happy and giddy to start her new life and explore everything she wants and to gain understanding on her confusion of what she really wants and needs.
Zach has been a rock through all of Dana’s exploring, but he can’t let her go off exploring anymore without him by her side. He believes he has moved on from the death of his wife and is ready for a long-term committed relationship with Dana. He is a little miffed at Dana for going out on her own without him, but they get over that bump pretty quickly. Zack introduces the idea of a contract between them so he can make sure they don’t have any secrets and know where the relationship is going.
I don’t want to go into the contract too deeply because that is part of the flow of the book. But do know it was not originally a 24/7 Master/slave relationship but does grow into that fairly quickly. I loved how Zach and Dana pick a location to talk outside of the home at first and then a special room in the house that was a neutral territory. They could talk freely and were expected to be brutally honest with each other when they were there. Also there was a ritual at the end of the day where Dana kneeled at Zach’s feet and they talked about her day, allowing her to unload her work day and get into the slave mentality without it feeling like a switch was flipped when she came home. This I thought was a stroke of genius in the story. This allowed us to see how a relationship like this could work, because man, I could never be a 24/7 slave and come down off a day being the dominant woman and mother I am. Not that I am in this lifestyle, I just have done a lot of research on it after the first book I read of this genre.
In the last book, we see Dana dominate another man named Jacob, who is officially Brent’s sub. Brent is a friend of Dana’s whom she new when she was married to her first husband. After reconnecting with Brent, she finds herself falling in love with Jacob just as much as Zach. Jacob being bi-sexual, has a clause in his contract with Brent that allows him to be with women. Through this book the author furthers the relationship between all four of these characters. Brent and Zach become friends, but not lovers in that way. Brent and Dana dominated Jacob and Zack dominates Dana. Confused? Well, the author does a fabulous job and keeping it straight for you. There are times the two men dominate their partners separately and sometimes together.
As the book moves forward the characters grow in many ways, revealing deep layers of need, fear, feelings of betrayal and ultimately love. Zach and Dana’s love for each other is tested through some harsh events that it takes all four partners to work together to right.
Some of the BDSM events may make you shy away if you aren’t into a lot of pain or sadist actions. I was very interested in how a chain link was used and along with grapes (which I have read of baby carrots being used the same way). Of course there is electricity because that is Zach’s expertise. It can be used for both pain and pleasure and you see how it feels through the characters reactions. Zach also continues his use of no bodily action being gross for him, forcing Dana to get used to it. And piercings! I won’t tell you more, you just have to find out that one on your own!
Candace grabs a hold of her readers and shows them who is the Dominant in this author/reader relationship. She takes the reins and doesn’t look back. So make sure you know your safeword, and approach this book knowing you will be put through your paces. An excellent addition to the Safeword series. I am sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for the next installment!