BDSM Reviews

Friday, December 29, 2006

A Game of Dress Up By: Elliot Mabeuse

Title: A Game of Dress Up
Author: Elliot Mabeuse
Publisher: Elloras Cave 2006
ISBN: 1-4199-0838-3

Rating 5 out of 5

Elliot Mabeuse has written an in depth look at the naughty school girl fantasy. Vanassa enjoys playing dress up, but her dress up fun goes all wrong when Mr. Taylor comes into the house and finds her dressed up like a slut. She can't explain herself without giving herself away. Afterall, who wants to tell anyone that they dress like this only to play out a love scene in their head and masterbate? Mr. Taylor (Rob) could not be more turned on by her outfit and proceeds to take her on a ride that she won't soon forget.

There wasn't much to dislike about this story if you look at it through the characters eyes. Upon opening the file I was a little red in the face, I felt as though I had stepped into someone's fantasy that I didn't belong in. When Mr. Taylor shows up she is constantly telling him no no, but her body continuously shouts yes, yes. It sits in the middle of was this rape or not? But, you have to keep reading and you have to have a deeper understanding of the situation. This is a fantasy story. From start to finish A Game of Dress Up is not based on reality. What is your deep dark fantasy? There usually isn't much reason to it, nor discussion of how it'll be played out. It just is and everything goes right without having to explain yourself.

For Vanessa it seems to be that man who comes through the door and dispite her protests turns her from the young woman she feels like now, into a mature woman who understands sexual desire. He forces himself upon her, and pushes until he hears her moans and her body go limp against his. Then he strips her of her pride and her clothes and takes her until she's begging him not to stop. As with anyone who doesn't understand their own fantasies she feels guilty and dirty afterwards. Then, later agrees to his games. She dresses in the clothes he asks her, then demands her to wear. All the while she's saying, no Mr. Taylor, this is wrong Mr. Taylor, yet, she can't deny the fact that she loves the way it feels to be forced into doing naughty, sometimes even dirty, activities for a man that believes her to be the most attractive woman out there.

The story progresses this way for a while, Rob finds more ways they could meet and then even spend the night together. He can't get enough of her, he's infatuated with her, and sometimes I even wondered if it was a healthy attachment he felt for her. Both of them know that the age difference is wrong, yet neither of them can seem to do anything about it. Finally, Vanessa has had her fill.

It happened when he booked them both a hotel, he dreesed her in the shortest tightest dress he could find, puts on her make up for her, then makes her wear a vibrating egg inside her for a night of gambling. He sends her off to the slot machines by herself and while she's playing he's turning the egg on and off keeping her just on the edge of orgasm. During her play another man shows up and begins talking to her. He's just as excited about the slot machines as she seems to be. Rob, on the other hand isn't so thrilled to see someone else enter the picture and quickly removes Vanessa to a different part of the gambling facility. The men exchange a few words, but nothing happens.

He takes Vanessa dancing and holds her through her orgasms. When he has had his fill of public play he takes her back to his room and gives her a night that she had never even dreamed of having. He binds her hands and attaches the rope to the ceiling. Then pulls out a crop and sends their relationship to the next level. She has never had any of these things done to her before and she is too lost in lust to even try to tell him no for real. Afterwards, he has his way sexually with her and they both fall into bed exhausted and sleep.

Vanessa has other plans however, she has school first thing in the morning and she has to find a way to get across town by bus. She's had enough. Enough of lying to her mother about where she is at, enough of not understanding her overwhelming feelings and enough of being treated like a whore. She leaves him a note on her way out. At the elevator she meets the man from the night before. And if she thought she felt dirty before she better think again. This guy is even creepier than the man she's been with.

Throughout the first half of the book there is a very definite feel of older man, younger woman. So much so I really had to question her age at first. As she grows that age gap feeling goes away and is slowly replaced by a feeling that this woman truly has grown into a mature adult. At first I was creeped out by that feeling. I kept saying Elliot went too far. He should be more careful how he chooses his words. But, then I had to wonder why I didn't put this book down until it was finished. I sat at my computer for four hours and read and read until the last page. So, I came to this conclusion. Elliot Mabeuse knows what he's doing. You feel just as dirty and wrong as she does. I was appalled, yet hot at the same time over Mr. Taylor. He took her fantasy to the next step as anyone who is aware of their partner's fantasies should. He made them real and incorporated his own twists in there to keep her on her toes. So on the one hand I kept saying this is wrong, then I started looking at it from a fantasy point of view and it was a very hot story. I had a little bit of a problem with Mr. Taylor not telling and explaining how Vanessa feels. Why she feels the way she does. What causes her to act the way she does. It's great to be demanding. But, if you want to take on the "who's your daddy" role with someone you should be there to ease their fears. That said, I think if he had explained it all to her it would have killed the conflict in the book. Therefore, I can't really complain about it.

At first glance this book is NOT a BDSM novel. As in the same twisted sense of the whole book it is. It isn't the toys that make it about Domination and submission and it isn't the role playing. It's that point where she trusts him enough to do what he says. Once he refuses to take no for an answer he is able to take her places that she has never been before. After all, isn't trust the most important part of Domination and submission? If she didn't trust him she wouldn't bother to continue to meet him. These two might not use the term Dom and sub, even though slave is used a few times in Vanessa's mind. But, she submits to his wishes, every single time. I think Elliot covered that part very well. The tone and pace of the book were set perfectly to match the circumstances. The writing draws you in and refuses to let up until the last page. Elliot tied in the sex with the plot perfectly, making the sex integral to the story line. Without it he would have had no story. As a reader I understood her attraction to him and his attraction to her. Where most of us would skim over all the interesting details of a fantasy for fear of rejection, he laid it all out in the open. He left nothing out, from her secret inner workings, he covered her uncertainties and guilt, instead of just covering the fun parts. Elliot swung the door wide open and exposed every deep dark secret of this fantasy. I can appreciate and respect that in a writer.

Posted by Miranda Heart :: 9:58 PM :: 1 Comments:

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Friday, December 22, 2006

Pink Ribbon by Jude Mason

Reviewed by Elise Logan
Title: Pink Ribbon
Author: Jude Mason
Publisher: Venus Press
ISBN: 1-59836-361-1
Genre: BDSM erotic fiction
Publication Date: 2006
Rating: 4.5 of 5

In this short piece, Rick is a sub, and his wife, Cass, is his Domme. I have to say that it is a pleasure to read a well-done Domme piece, and this one fit the bill.

There is so much good about this piece that I hardly know where to begin. The story is written from Rick’s point of view, which is interesting. I wasn’t sure how well that would work for me, being mainly in the male character’s point of view, but it worked surprisingly well. The story begins with a little scene that sets the tone for the story, and there is a clear indication that there is a delineation between roles in the outside world and roles in the relationship. Rick is high-powered in his day-job, and has chosen, very explicitly chosen, to give all control to Cass in their relationship. Being in his point of view, you see the dichotomy of his day job versus his relationship, and it creates a nice dynamic for the story, as well as really investing the reader in the characters. Cass, as the Domme, is commanding and in charge, but still caring. Over the course of the story, it is clear that the communication between Cass and Rick is very good, and that Cass is clearly aware of Rick’s limits and respects them. She takes the dominant role in every sense in the relationship, including protecting him when he is in the submissive role. This is a nice departure from the stereotypical heartless Valkyrie who often appears in Domme stories.

Two main things about the story made it less than perfect for me. The first is the lack of background. I really would have liked to see more information on how Rick and Cass came to where they are in their relationship, which seems to be fairly new, at least in terms of Domme/sub. The second issue is confusion in the time line of the story. At the beginning of the story, Rick is caged and is recalling how he got there. The recall begins with him in the cage, and moves from there. However, Rick says that when he is sent to the cage at the end of the story that it is the first time in the cage. This inconsistency is extremely jarring, and is the main thing that keeps me from rating the story higher.

In short, I would say that this is one of the best Domme stories I have read in quite some time, and is well worth reading. If you are looking for a break from the stereotype, one with good characterization and excellent dynamics between the characters, this is definitely a story for you.

Posted by Elise Logan :: 12:13 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Lady Dragon By: JJ Giles

Title: Lady Dragon
Author: JJ Giles
Publisher: loveyoudivine2006
Catagory: Contemporary
Content: M/M, F/F, Master/slave, BDSM, incestual behavoir, heavy bondage, implied rape

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

There is so much to say about Lady Dragon, that I am at a loss of where to start. This novel is a very deep and involved story. This book sets you up for the several that are to follow and just when you think it can't get anymore confusing, any deeper, JJ takes you to another level that you never thought existed. In the end she makes every page before make sense and are satisfied with her ending.

What I enjoyed most was the way that she pulled you into each character. There were aspects that you loved and hated of each one. Even the most hated of them all, Phillipe, you understand a little better by the end of the book. This is a sign of a very talented writer. JJ has an imagination that stretches beyond the usual BDSM tale. For that I thank her. A story of this nature has been something I personally have been searching for.

That is not to say this story is for the faint of heart. Lady Dragon, is dark, mysterious and down right shocking at times. JJ searches out any of your limits and pushes them, sometimes gently, sometimes forcefully, to make you accept where the author is sending you. After awhile I accepted where I was being taken and enjoyed the outcome. Not every scene is designed for the sexual pleasure of the characters involved. This is a tale of Masters and slaves. The Masters understand what their slaves seek. The slaves seek the redemption and healing. No one can deliver that better than Master. In showing these aspects she showed me a deeper level of submission than what one can find just in the bedroom.

The areas that I had a hard time adjusting to, were the POV switches and the lack of sensory detail. The POV switches I did get into the groove of. As a writer and a reader I find it difficult to truly understand a character that I am not allowed to fully engross myself in for a scene. That said I did get into the voice of the writer because she did know her characters so well. Looking back on it now, I don't believe it would have done this book well to have been written in the textbook sense of writing. Some things just should not have been revealed so soon. JJ is not a writer that portrays stories through visual detail. Instead she chooses to grasp onto emotions. Not the characters emotions but, your emotions. She writes her scenes in the moment and though she will easily give a short detail of what a person looks like or what is going on in a scene, she saves the details for the reader. By doing so, it captured me emotionally more than visually. This is something that is not done very often, so again I struggled for a few chapters before realizing this and then quickly caught up to her style. The final problem I had was the amount of drug and alcohol use. This is a personal preference of mine and although it fits the story line, they are two things I steer clear of in this lifestyle. However, I know I'm not necessarily the norm, so you decide.

The actual point of this book begins over 300 years before the story actually begins. Backstory is interwoven through riveting dialogue that drags you to the edge of your seat with your eyes wide in fascination. Just the sheer idea that anyone's mind could work in such a way to weave this story was mind blowing. Each character is fighting a battle that began long before the bodies they reside in today. Still, this story does not somehow fit under the heading of paranormal or fantasy. This story fits very well into a contemporary setting.

Sean is the lead character in Lady Dragon, he is fighting so many demons he doesn't even know where to start. There is the demon of his first wife, Claudia, a memory that he wishes he could get away from. Then there is the love he feels for his Master, Phillipe, yet Phillipe has shown no interest in three years. Sending him to live at his estate. There, he has fallen into a deep depression that marijuana and alcohol do not seem to assuage. He is called back into duty by a man he hates more than anything, to do a job he wants to be away from desperatly. This is his last Entrant, his final slave to train and then he's done and can be reunited with his Master. This is what brings him to open the file. The file of the pictureless Entrant, Mary Jo Mason. Curious he seeks to read more and comes across an entry from his own book, Lady Dragon. His life only worsens when he meets her. She is the splitting image of his first wife and he mistakes her as just that through out the whole book.

This is where the book takes it's first big turn. You see, The Acadamy has available to it, the resources to clone people. Thereby making anything that seems odd, somehow normal. It would not have been impossible for Phillipe to have cloned Claudia, except that Phillipe hates Claudia with a passion. So here is your first delimma. Believe Sean, who has gone crazy, or seek out how that could be impossible. Sean spends the rest of the book trying to make sense of the new world he has been thrust into with Mary Jo Mason.

Sean is also still dealing with the loss of his brother and father. Phillipe scooped him up just as his brother took a turn for the worse and developed cancer. His new Master soothed the pain of his loss and taught him all he needed to know to become a Foreman and prepared him for his eventual coronation. In the process, he made him a prisoner in his own home, put him in charge of a responsiblity that very few can find solace in and then left him to his own devices. A man under this sort of emotional strain can not possibly function as well as he did.

He takes many twists and turns in coming to terms with Phillipe's delusions, the idea that Mary Jo is a hermaphodite that was or was not cloned. Moving past his ex-wife that he never felt he would be able to do. And getting to know family members that he never knew existed. In the process he meets a man named Barry, personally, I dislike Barry, but you decide for yourself. These two have a fast growing love for one another, just as Barry comes to terms with being gay.

There is such a psychological depth to Lady Dragon, that there is not enough space or time for me to break it all down to explain it. Lady Dragon, is a worth while read and is going on my keeper shelf. Literally. It was such a large book it was sent to me through mail. I say this from experience, this is a book that you will want to hold in your hand and take everywhere you go. It was a novel to be savored not skimmed through. If you miss even a paragraph you could have missed the whole point of a scene. You know these characters so thoroughly by the end of the book, that like or dislike them you still want and need to know what happens next. I hope there is another to follow soon because these characters will stick out in my head for years to come.

Thank you JJ Giles for such an intellectual read.

Posted by Miranda Heart :: 9:44 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Friday, December 15, 2006

Eternal Bonds: An Erotic Anthology

Reviewed by Elise Logan
Title: Eternal Bonds
Authors: Lauren Mills, Rachel McIntyre, Amber Hipple, K.M. Hoover, jules, Ann Cory, D.L. King, Erich Mass, Danae Klimt, Destiny West, Pat Harvey, Edwin Morrow, and Jude Mason
Publisher: Logical-Lust Publications
ISBN: 1-905091-07-9
Genre: BDSM erotic fiction
Publication Date: 2005
Rating: 3.5 of 5

This anthology contains fourteen short stories with a strong BDSM theme. As with all anthologies, some offerings are much stronger than others. Of course, the main benefit to an anthology of this type is that all the stories are BDSM themed, and there is something for nearly everyone.

The strongest pieces of the anthology were, in my opinion, the stories by Harvey, Klimt, and the two pieces by Morrow. The Harvey piece was very hot and extremely engaging. The internal dialogue allowed by the first person narrator made this piece work – without it, the piece would have fallen flat. It is one of the few pieces I would say absolutely needed to be in first person, and the author does it well. The Klimt piece was beautiful in concept and execution, with somewhat florid and formal prose that was completely keeping with the theme of the piece. The two Morrow pieces are connected (I must admit to wondering why they were split into two stories), and are a rare example of both well-done sub perspective and well-done Dom perspective. As an added bonus, there is some nice Japanese rope bondage in these pieces, and the ending to the second story is very clever.

There were a number of good pieces with some weaknesses. The Mills piece was hot, but the Dom wasn’t terribly convincing to me. There were also some prose issues – switching points of view and some dialogue issues – that pulled me out of the story. The McIntyre piece is nice, with very hot scenes, but the ending seemed a bit abrupt to me. The Hipple piece was a lovely – really good – thought piece inside subspace for a bit more hard core sub. There was a bit of topping from the bottom in this piece, and it wasn’t so much hot as interesting. The piece by jules is not so much sexy as sweet, and some editing issues pulled me out of the piece. The King piece is a nice Domme piece, but the weird history bits distract from the main story – I really did not need to hear about her mother. Also, the disconnect between the expectations of the sub and the intentions of the Domme are a little sad. The Hoover piece was jumpy, and could have used more dialogue rather than narrative. The lack of world-building in this piece bothered me some, but there was a completely hot scene that made up for some of the weakness of the story. The Mass piece had a nice bit of history and was an interesting story, but the characters just didn’t come alive for me, and the lack of sympathy/empathy for any characters snapped the tension of the story for me.

The weakest offerings in this anthology, in my opinion, were the pieces by Cory, West, and Mason. The Cory piece is rife with euphemisms, odd sentence structure, and strange punctuation, all of which pulled me out of the scenes. Additionally, there is a large amount of topping from the bottom, and the use of the term slave here is odd, as she is clearly not only not a slave, and does not seem to even be truly submissive. The Mason piece is an interesting idea, but the execution goes awry. The action moves back and forth in real-time and some kind of fugue state (not subspace – a true alternate reality) for the sub, which is disconcerting, especially when the author starts adding flashbacks to past lives and tosses in vampirism to boot. Additionally, my willing suspension of disbelief only extends so far, and this story moved right out of bounds for what I am willing to believe as even fantasy realistic. Finally, the West story is the weakest offering of the entire anthology. Not only does the author revert to a cop-out stereotype by equating the Domme with Satanism, but the use of the second person point of view here is a poor choice – especially given the use of Satanism in the story. Frankly, the use of second person here is probably what killed the story for me, because there was no way I was identifying with the role assigned to me as the reader.

I would recommend this anthology for people looking for a lot of variety. There is a lot from which to choose, and most of it is good.

Posted by Elise Logan :: 6:04 AM :: 0 Comments:

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