Genres: BDSM Romance, Dark Erotica
Published by Indie/Self Published
Released on January 10, 2015
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Really? The Delight? Nothing. Nope. Nada. And it had nothing really to do about the warning in the front of the story about this being a little over the top and not set in the real world but a world of her imagination. I will go into more why I couldn’t find delight in this story because I can accept her imagination, I can’t accept the lack of writing fundamentals.
Maybe I am catching the author at the beginning of a series and should cut some slack, but in general there are big gaping problems with the foundation of this story that glared back at me. The story weaves a tale of a woman who has denied herself relationships and love after her partner is murdered brutally by the Syndicate (the bad guys). She has pushed her two best friends away and keeps her relationship with her sister a secret so they can’t connect back to her. She’s broken, volatile and in need of a wake up call. Courtney Sears is undercover and about to meet her match.
Ruark Greer takes one look at Courtney and in a matter of moments decides she is the sub and woman he wants for the rest of his life. Courtney has entered the training program at Ruark’s BDSM club with her “boyfriend” in the hopes of keeping him at arms length until they can finish the investigation. Ruark also has his own demons he has beaten, but he decides that he is taking over her training without regard to her boyfriend….for now he doesn’t know she is undercover or that her sister is about to marry his cousin.
And that is where it starts to fall apart for me. First her bosses are Senior Doms at Club Alpha Cove, an exclusive BDSM club on a island that Ruark owns. They aren’t the greatest bosses, but they decide to with hold Courtney’s identity even though they are close to Ruark. They already have Courtney pegged as what Ruark needs and they seem to pull the Dom cards when it suits them, even in a work setting.
Next, the POV switches on a dime. I mean at one point it felt like I was ping ponging between Courtney, Ruark, Sloan, Hagan, Quin, and even the boyfriend. And I haven’t even introduced most of these characters to you (Sloan and Hagan are Courtney’s direct bosses and Quin is the trainee coordinator). Most books only switch POV once in a chapter and it is a big no-no to do it without some break indicating the switch. Nope, this just goes from one POV to another and you are left wondering which personality of yours decided to switch it up? Oh, wait you don’t have multiple personalities.
The author does warn us that the BDSM in the book is from her imagination and that things don’t move this fast or even in such ways, but she is taking the liberty of writing her own world. I am fine with that, especially since she gave the warning.
What I did have a problem with was the lack of defining what the internal conflict and external conflict were pointing towards. It felt like an ADHD mind going at times with the big bad Alpha constantly punishing his sub, but not really allowing her to have a mind of her own even though he doesn’t want a slave. In no situation could I find a way he would be happy with the job she holds and damn it felt like would pull the plug if he wanted on that job. He doesn’t, but he also is willing to punish her for her actions.
Now her actions are bad and someone needed to get through to her, but I don’t feel Ruack was really trying. He wanted the words, the story, the pain, but he wasn’t exactly making it like she could talk to him. When she does, it felt like he just swept it away. She does stupid things, he punishes her for it. Over and over again. This world is a little warped, but to each their own. If someone punished me with the threat of sucking cocks, being pussy whipped so hard it makes (this heroine) cum, or allowing others to take part in the punishment, yeah, I would be so outta there. Instead, she is dramatically coming with the pain, dramatically crying she loves him and can’t live without him and dramatically becoming someone very different than I expected.
A story should ebb and flow around the characters. You should see the sweet times and the bad times, but when it feels like every scene is a punishment, it gets old fast. When something that should be soul sharing and emotional is used as a punishment without the emotion and soul sharing, it loses it’s value and I just lost my trust in Ruark as a Dom. It began to feel like he was a bully and she was brainlessly falling under his spell.
I wouldn’t quite call this abuse as he does ask about her safeword a lot. She just never once use it. She uses yellow I think once during a punishment, but it all fell flat. I know you don’t wan a sub to safeword out on a punishment because they don’t want said punishment, but when someone is painfully whipping you in sensitive spots, damn, the safeword is there to protect them both.
The overall arc of the story also started off in the first couple of chapters of the undercover mission. Short weeks later the bad guys are on trial and once again the end of the trial falls into oblivion. Then there is a wrapped up climax of this part of the story and swept away. In no way did I feel any tension, gut wrenching suspense or true fear anything bad would happen. It flowed very weakly and wasn’t much of a blip in my radar. Courtney is supposed to be a bad assed woman, but the author spun her being an irresponsible bad assed woman.
I was really looking forward to this as it was a recommended story from a group of a well respected BDSM author. It kind of shocked me it was recommended because the writing was not on the same level as the author whose group it was recommended. So with each recommendation, take it with a grain of salt. This felt less like a story and more like a fantasy. Sorry, I wanted a love story. A story where each was respected. Where each genuinely loved each other and respected each other for both who they are and what they want to do with their lives. It just didn’t fit that slot I wanted for it. It had potential, it just didn’t reach what I needed.
** Reviewer Note: This is not for the faint of heart. The punishments are brutal and times way over board for the infraction. Multiple men are often involved in the punishment. Whips, nipple clamps, spreaders for areas I wasn’t even aware spreaders were made for and more are used. No blood, urine, feces, knifes or other more darker actions are in the story.
Review Writing Challenge #39
Try Something New Challenge #21
Literary Pickers #32 – remote control/clicker
I am skipping a preview on this site for this one. If you would like to see one, you can at Amazon.com in the buy link. They will send you a sample if you are interested.