BDSM Reviews

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Something Unexpected By: Miranda Heart

Title: Something Unexpected
Author: Miranda Heart
Publisher: Freya's Bower
ISBN: 1-934069-41-8

Reviewed By: Emily Ryan Davis
Score: 4 out 5

“Something Unexpected” is an erotic historical BDSM romance novella (how’s that for a descriptor?) set in the Marquis de Sade’s France. Isn’t every erotic historical BDSM romance novella set in de Sade’s France, you ask? Yeah, I was a little dubious myself. I persevered, however, and am glad I did. The book blurb does not do the tale justice.

At night, Beatrice fantasizes not about her husband to be, but instead about the Marquis’ rumored “adventurous” proclivities. She craves something more than a traditional grandmother’s bride’s bed, and sets out to obtain it before she law and propriety tie her down (no pun intended). Beatrice arranges an opportunity to express her desires to the Marquis, who, with his own motives in mind, agrees to an assignation. The evening with the Marquis leaves her unfulfilled (read it yourself to find out why; true to the title, it’s something unexpected), but the story itself leaves neither Beatrice nor the reader wanting.

Ms. Heart has a good story in “Something Unexpected.” It’s not a perfect work, however. I am not a fan of scenes wherein the heroine masturbates, especially not when she’s doing it as part of a fantasy. I always find myself scoffing and thinking, “That’s not the way I do it.” (But maybe I’m doing it wrong?) Masturbation habits are only a minor thing, though. I’m more of a language person, and I found the language in “Something Unexpected” rough and unsophisticated in places, but in others, the author’s potential for a great handling of words manages to shine through.

The “good story” part shows up in what actually happens to the characters, and between the characters. Ms. Heart packs a wealth of emotional change into “Something Unexpected,” and she successfully nails Beatrice’s insecurity where insecurity should be, fear where fear should be, uncertainty and second-thoughts where they should be. Perhaps more important, however, is that she infuses the hero with the ability to provide reassurance, display strength and harbor concern - all three qualities necessary to distinguish a lovingly dominant man from a carelessly or abusively dominant man.

“Something Unexpected” really is a romance, and not erotica. We don’t see boy and girl meet, but we do see them through a convincing dark moment and a convincing emotional commitment to one another. What I loved about “Something Unexpected,” that had me teary at the end? Beatrice’s hero promises to be everything she never knew she wanted in a man, and everything she thought she would only ever have through secret liasons. She found somebody who completes her.

Love makes me weepy.

In a less powerful, less original story, my nitpicks would have made me a more harsh critic. “Something Unexpected” gets a 4 out of 5 based on the strength of the story itself, the author’s premise (which promised to be unique after all!), and its capacity to make me really stop and think about why it worked.

Posted by Miranda Heart :: 6:40 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Friday, January 26, 2007

Puss in Boots By: Lady Midnight

Title: Puss in Boots
Author: Lady Midnight
Publisher: loveyoudivine
ISBN: 1-60054-039-2

Review By: Miranda Heart

Rating 4 out of 5

Puss in Boots has everything a reader could wish for in a novel. An unsolved murder mystery with a disturbing twist. A closet Female Dominant that is finally able to let her hair down in a display of true Domiance, with a love and devotion to the inner workings of a true masochist. A submissive detective who has impotence issues and a heart of gold. Phenominal scening that could not have been truer to the lifestyle had I been standing there myself and watching. And an ending that made my heart melt.

Lady Midnight was able to create a story here. Not a story about Domination and submission, but a story about true love, loyalty and real life. She has shown readers that those who live this lifestyle also have lives. We also see a side that is not too often shown in BDSM books today. That is, a submissive plays a much deeper role than servent to Mistress. She showed and proved to me that even in ttimes when the Dominant does not feel they are as "strong" as we might believe them to be, that a submissive is strong enough to lead the way. That in itself endeared me to these characters. They are people first.

Margurite is intriguing from the get go. Her father's passing has only weaked her enough to regain the strength she needs to fight against her brother, Peter. Peter has not only allowed the Alphabet Murderer to reside in what is now her home, but he was also the man that raped her when she was a child.

After her father's death she gives into a side of herself that she has kept quiet for too long. Donnel, her body guard, believes her to be inexperienced when he offers himself to her as a practice tool, with her own father's many torture devices. Together they embark on a relationship that fulfills the both of them in ways that sex could never match.

Because Peter has tried tied up her inheritance, Donnel offers her a job as a professional Dominatrice. With the pay that is being offered her, how can she refuse? Little do they know, she is being video taped doing the one thing her therapist told her not to do. Now, her safety and her freedom are at stake and she seems to have no way to convince the judge that her practices are not only normal, but safe, sane and consensual.

All in all I found Puss in Boots to be a fascinating read. The author drew me in at page one. Not only that, but Lady Midnight did a great job in explaining the psychology behind the Female Dominant's mind. Before reading this novel, I did not quite understand them. I can only say, thank you for opening my eyes to a different view.

I had only one true hangup about this story. The head hopping. If it had been characters that were main characters to the story line, I could have over looked this. However, nothing bothers me more or will drag me out of a story quicker than reading a secondary character's mind. The other point to this is, the main characters were so intriguing and had enough of their own problems that it was unnecessary to drag in the thoughts of others.

Even that does not deter me from wanting to read more of what she has written. I look forward to seeing what else she has written for my book shelf.

Posted by Miranda Heart :: 10:34 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Golden Man By: Claire Thompson

Title: Golden man
Author: Claire Thompson
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
ISBN # 978-1-4199-0744-9

Reviewed by Heidi Cook

Rating 4.5/5

Eric Méndez is known for being the best dom in the local area, so it is to everybodys surprise, including his own, when he withdraws from the scene because of new boy Johnny Wilson. The young golden boy is the only one Méndez can think about and he will do anything to help Johnny come to terms with his sexuality and his parents’ reaction whilst teaching him to become a graceful sub. As he teaches Johnny, he also finds himself on his own voyage of discovery.

Golden Man is a sequel to Golden Boy in which you first meet Eric and Johnny, however it can be read on its own, though readers may find that it takes a little longer to get into the story this way. Claire Thompson has produced very believable characters, and the reader will follow them both through a period in their lives where they learn much more about themselves then either realised was possible.

Eric Méndez is a psychologist, and Ms. Thompson has used this to explore the psychological reasons behind why people have submissive nature and also what occurs to the person as they go into ‘sub space’. I found the reasoning behind it all very interesting and it certainly allowed me to learn more about my feelings and reasoning behind the urge to be submissive.

The two main themes that Ms. Thompson uses throughout this book are BDSM and the fact that the main two characters are gay. Both of the two have come from totally different backgrounds; Méndez has known that he was gay for a long time, but Johnny is just getting used to his recognition of his feelings and is also coming to terms with the reaction of his family on finding out. Although BDSM is a the main theme of the story it has been written about in such a way that the book becomes more about the characters and how they act and behave then it does about the lifestyle they lead. The book also deals with how the ‘outside’ world views such a lifestyle, and it was interesting to see the conclusions that people draw before finding out the whole story.

The actual BDSM scenes were filled with tenderness and love, and the reader will see Johnny being trained to a high standard, each scene increasing in intensity as the training proceeds with Méndez taking it slowly to allow Johnny to push his boundaries a little at a time. Throughout the book, an incident at a BDSM club is alluded to, the pair plan to go back to the club once training is concluded to prove themselves again. Although incident is not described totally in this book, it is fairly clear that the incident scarred both Eric and Johnny.

Although this book was a m/m story and therefore not the sort that I normally read I did enjoy it. I loved looking in on the characters, seeing them both pushing their boundaries and expanding their knowledge of one another. Although I would recommend reading Golden Boy first, this is a good book for anyone new to the BDSM lifestyle and who would like to learn more.

Posted by Miranda Heart :: 11:17 PM :: 2 Comments:

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Nice things to say about BDSM Reviews

I asked for the owner of The Natural Dominant to post a link from his site to ours to help garner more sales to writers. He went one better than that and wrote up a review for BDSM Reviews. It made my day and I hope it makes yours.

Take care all

Posted by Miranda Heart :: 6:56 AM :: 4 Comments:

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Vandar's War By: Reese Gabriel

Title – Vandar’s War
Author – Reese Gabriel
Publisher – Ellora’s Cave 2007
ISBN # 9781419907500

Reviewed by – Lanna Morris
Rating – 4.5/5

Vandar’s War is a mouthwatering melange of futuristic, erotic romance and superbly crafted BDSM action.

This is the fifth book in the More Than Male series by Reese Gabriel; the story stands alone but whets the appetite for the other books in the series. Personally, I’ll be grubbing around for the loose shekels and snaffling them up.

Ms Gabriel doesn’t believe in slow buildups. And why would she, when her approach has the reader deeply involved in the immediate, and I mean immediate, conflict between Dr Reeva, a shapely, red haired psychosensologist from the Bureau of Psychosensory Study, and Guardian Commander Vandar, a genetically engineered primale of primales, (or prince of primates, whichever you prefer!) This pair are snapping at each other before you’re halfway down the first page. And it’s well done. Very well done.

For those unfamiliar with the More Than Male series, most humans in this time and place are genetically engineered into:

Primales - warriors with impossibly stiff upper lips and apparently even stiffer dicks under the complete control of their proud owners. These dicks, er sorry, primales, are capable of squirting copious amounts of .. genetic material (I hate the word cum) at will, at temperatures considerably higher than that found in non-primales. Frequently. Domination is bred into their bones and they are biologically and socially engineered to protect the human species. Designed to bond when they so choose, with Obedients, for life. Oh yes, they’re great in the sack, too.

Obedients – beautiful, female and submissive. Exquisitely trained in sexual submission and the giving of pleasure.

Fems – Smart women. Intelligent, scientists and conditioned to avoid Primales. To them, primales are objects of scientific study.

Mems – Smart men. (not a word, Morris, not a word!) Not quite alpha males, apparently. Would like to do considerably more porking of the Fems, but the fems, while tolerant of the mems, aren’t entirely satisfied with ‘em.

The Bad Guys in the book are the Narthians (Bugs) – creepy critters who have a gastronomic penchant for humans a la larval sac. Rare.

Now please bear in mind, that I haven’t read the previous books in the series, so I may have left out some vital characteristic of the above genetically engineered human groups.

Reeva has been sent as a consultant to Vandar’s remote military outpost to report on the prevailing psychosensological conditions. (Insert high-powered, top secret, behind the scenes machinations) Vandar is outraged by the presence of a fem on his well disciplined outpost and the scene is set for the fireworks to follow.

Ms Gabriel has drawn her hero and heroine with a very sure and knowledgeable hand. Both Reeva and Vandar retain character integrity for the duration of the book, no mean feat given the realisations both come to.

The power exchange on the sexual level has been superbly done. Ms Gabriel has given us a heroine with the courage to recognise, in perfect congruence with her profession as a psychosensologist, that she is attracted to the primale Vandar. The beauty of this recognition is in the raw honesty of her sexual response. This heroine is no simpering miss with a virginal reluctance to explore an intrusive, nasty desire. Reeva is sufficiently in touch with herself to acknowledge a raging sexual desire for Vandar, almost from the first contact. The conflict between her desire, yet her professional reason for being there and her determination to achieve her objective is very cleverly done. This is probably the first heroine I’ve ever come across that I didn’t want to shake, or at the very least, give a real fright. If you really want to categorise Reeva, you’d say she was a bedroom submissive. But you’d say it quietly!

Vandar is pure Dominant, yet capable of an emotional response that quite naturally, increases his capacity for Domination and sexual desire.

This is a story of mutual power exchange, synergic in its nature. Reeva freely embraces and acknowledges the effect of the primale’s nature on her, while Vandar conducts his own battle with his growing emotional attachment to Reeva, and the possible negative effect it may have on her. Reeva is not afraid of submission to Vandar; she is well aware of the separation of her submission from her professional ability and her self esteem. Vandar on the other hand, is aware of his desire to claim Reeva, acknowledging that his engineered biological nature to protect and cherish is about to overwhelm him and render him bonded for life to a woman who is not geared to live with the likes of a primale.

Reese Gabriel has demonstrated a beautiful control of her work. She walks an incredibly difficult line between some fairly stern BDSM scenes and romance. Ah yes, nearly forgot the BDSM. Lots of it – spanking, whipping, flogging, nipple clamping, labia clamping and a hint of sensory deprivation. There’s a nice little .. well we won’t call it a twist, but there’s a nice sense of completeness, drawn into a post-coital discussion towards the end of the book.

The plot? I’ve rambled on too long as it is. Get the book and read it. The real story here has already been told. Sure, there’s a bit of battle action with the Bugs which ties the futuristic environment to the story and there are a couple of nicely done flashbacks which serve the same purpose. But give yourselves a treat and enjoy a romantic novel with superbly done BDSM where the true beauty of a D/s relationship and its interdependencies is beautifully told. Brava!

Posted by Miranda Heart :: 6:45 PM :: 1 Comments:

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Sylvie’s Gift By: Adrianna Dane

Title - Sylvie’s Gift
Author - Adrianna Dane

Publisher - Amber Quill Press

ISBN# 1-59279-342-8
Rating -
4.5 out of 5
Reviewed by Kevin

He would have her. Just in the few short hours he’d spent with her, Daimaen knew Sylvie was meant to be his. He sensed that she was fearful, but excited. She was extremely sensitive to his voice, his touch.

Adrianna Dane’s juicy novella Sylvie’s Gift is a wonderfully sensual and erotic read. It traces an arc of awakening and finally submission in the life of powerful executive Sylvie Taylor, who is now running the company that was once her father’s. The story opens with a coltish woman who seems almost unaware of her true beauty, and afraid that revealing what she does know of it will grant those who possess this knowledge some sort of power over her. Little does she know that the truest power yet lay within her, yearning to be released and ultimately

Sylvie first meets Daimaen Sinclair at a party her best friend Allison drags her to. Allison knows exactly who he is, and what kind of man he is. It is all slowly revealed to Sylvie, once she agrees to take the escape from the party that Daimaen offers her. He guides their first sexual encounter, but only at Sylvie’s request. He gives her what she has never known before – bliss. And he does it while keeping his pants on and tightly zipped up.

We begin to see him control as well as guide her, even during this first encounter. She is compelled as much by her curiosity as her satisfaction to agree to a second encounter. Even before the encounter Sylvie begins to realize that Daimaen has a powerful and commanding way about him, and that she is drawn to it as a proverbial moth to the flame. All this despite her growing realization that he is a Dom. She comes to this through further discussion with her best friend, who is open with Sylvie about her own sexual predilections. Allison shares some of what she knows about Daimaen, and the knowledge does not dampen Sylvie’s undeniable desire for him.

Daimaen begins to push the envelope of their budding relationship with a sailing voyage on their second encounter. Daimaen slowly begins to draw Sylvie toward a greater depth of knowledge about what truly thrills and excites her. Here Dane’s story is an excellent demonstration of how the exchange of power begins inside the submissive. Marvelous possibilities, both sensual and emotional, open up for Sylvie when she begins to explore the freedom of opening up completely to someone who pushes her to become intimate with her deepest desires, and will do anything to protect them as well as her. But first there must be demonstrable trust between them, and Daimaen begins to build it, even as he weaves his web of mastery over her without lifting his own hand.

It becomes apparent as the story moves on that their relationship has become even more deeply D/s. But this is implied, rather than explicit. We never see them making love. We never see Sylvie being bound, or disciplined in any way by her Master. Still, it becomes obvious that she has given herself over to him.

Then the story takes a dramatic turn. Sylvie’s very life is put into peril, and Daimaen rushes back from out of town to (hopefully) save her. Here we see their relationship deepen further after she is released from the hospital. In the pivotal scene in their relationship, we find Sylvie fearful of Daimaen after having driven him to a moment of anger. She is afraid that he could become physically abusive, as she remembered her father with her mother. He demonstrates to her that his control over himself is every bit as great as that which he extends over her. Her complete trust is finally won.

Finally we see the Master and his sub have a fully sexual encounter. Although it is a bit tame from a bondage standpoint, this next encounter is nonetheless torrid enough to peel the paint from the walls. Mentally and emotionally, Sylvie is already bound to her Master. He doesn’t need much to physically demonstrate this to her. But he still must protect her one last time.

The rest of the storylines are resolved as Sylvie and Daimaen prevail over those who endangered her. The slightly predictable twist at the end of the story, but not enough to spoil the story. As the story closes, Daimaen proves once and for all that he is Master of all facets of Sylvie’s life, going so far as to help bring her a bit of closure with her past. We can safely assume that the spankings will continue until behavior is perfected. But never
too perfect. As a piece of fiction, this novella is a very good read.

As a piece of erotic fiction, it is paced perfectly, and well worth the read. As a piece of BDSM fiction, it possesses enough elements to hold ones kinky interest. The psychological and emotional aspects of a D/s relationship are thoroughly explored here. I recommend it enthusiastically.

Posted by Kevin :: 6:29 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Season's Spankings By: Evangeline Anderson

Title – Season’s Spankings
Author – Evangeline Anderson
Publisher – Ellora’s Cave
ISBN # 1-4199-0867-7
Reviewed By: Lanna Morris
Rating – 2.5 out of 5

Despite the intriguing title, this is not really a spanking story. Season’s Spankings is a tried and true formula story – Dominant boss and ‘not yet aware of submissive nature’ sexy, female colleague. It’s an old theme but always good for a bit of light, escapist reading. Ms Anderson has written a sizzling erotic romance with a spanking utilised as foreplay. She has done it very well with an astute eye to mainstream romantica-reader requirements, and a somewhat tongue-in-cheek approach to the naming of her main characters.

Lucky Starr is a smart girl working as an accountant. She’s efficient, productive and has an itch that needs scratching. Specifically by her boss, Eric Payne. Lucky (short for Lucinda) is a supremely confident little minx with a ‘love ‘em and leave ‘em attitude’ towards the lover du jour. She knows her strengths, is aware of her impact as an incredibly sexy woman, and has not the smallest intention of ever being locked into a relationship. She gets bored very quickly, has no illusions as to the long term nature of her conquests, and plans on flushing Eric out of her life by New Year. She also has a cat that … nah, you’ll have to read the story. (Note to author – discipline the bloody cat next time!)

So, Lucky is on a mission. She’s after her very own special Christmas present – Eric’s cock. Eric, however, has not taken any notice of her (so Lucky thinks), despite a really good work effort. (Hmm. Not surprising, really. When was the last time you got horny over a list of Accounts Receivable?) Lucky changes her strategy and decides to make some deliberate mistakes on a major client’s account, which certainly gets Eric’s attention. (Good move, girl! Nothing stirs an accountant’s blood like an accounting error!)

This is a lovely, fluffy, predictable little read. It has a rather hot’n’nasty fantasy scene in the early part of the book, which whets one’s appetite for the spanking promised by the title. It has all the required elements of a spanking novella, being (not necessarily in order of importance) brat, Dominant alpha male, brat being unaware of her true submissive nature, denial when confronted with her true nature and an unsubtle use of blackmail from the alpha despite the aforementioned brat’s howls of protest. Oh, and the hero has a big vital statistic. There is a twist to the story, and it’s an interesting one, which I’d have loved to have seen developed a little further.

Season’s Spankings is a pleasant way to fill in an hour. Erotic romance readers will love this book, vanilla ladies with a penchant for exploring their inner submissive will enjoy it and spankos will feel a bit let down. But give it to someone you’d like to spank and see if you get a nibble. It may just do the trick.

Posted by Miranda Heart :: 7:39 AM :: 1 Comments:

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