BDSM Reviews

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Fates Fulfilled: Book Three of the Eldritch Legacy by Katrina Strauss

Reviewed by Elise Logan
Title: Fates Fulfilled: Book Three of the Eldritch Legacy
Author: Katrina Strauss
Publisher: Aphrodite’s Apples
Genre: BDSM erotic fiction
Publication Date: 2007
Rating: 4 out of 5

This is the third installment of Katrina Strauss’s Eldritch Legacy. The story takes place in the New World portion of the world Strauss introduced in the first two installments – in a place called Eventide. The focal characters are a pair of Eldritch cousins, Devon and Marissa, along with their major love interests, Camille and Gareth, respectively.

First, this story is good enough to stand on its own, you do not need to have read the first two installments of the trilogy to read and enjoy this final installment. Though background from the first installments is useful, and certainly helps explain some of the dynamics of the story, it is not necessary. I always appreciate it when an author creates stories which stand alone – it is a sign that their world building, character, and plot are all excellent. Second, this is a very long read. At around 400 pages, you definitely get your money’s worth from this author! Third, this story is not for everyone. The overall plotting and character are excellent, but some of the scenes will not appeal to all readers. Primarily, the emphasis on sharps (well, truthfully, blade and blood play), may be too intense for some readers. I found the scenes with these elements well done and erotic, but the concept might be problematic for some readers.

Now, on to the story! It seems that the Eldritch clan has instituted a test. All children of the family must be cut from the family fold and prove themselves worthy – they must survive and flourish outside of the family for a year. The concept is really an interesting one – a twist on the classic idea of the Continental Year. In any case, our two Eldritch youngsters, Devon and Marissa, are now faced with their year of independence. They strike out together, and the first thing the reader notices is the strong contrasts between them. Where Marissa is ambitious and goal-oriented, Devon is more laid back. Part of this is the differences in their upbringing. For all that they are cousins, Marissa was raised by her non-Eldritch father outside the Eldritch fold. The instability and uncertainty of her early life have left her independent and definitely worldlier than her cousin. Devon has been pampered and sheltered for his entire life. He is the apple of his mother’s eye, and he is not really in touch with reality – so it is a shock when he comes face to face with it.

Early in their year, each meets a partner with whom they feel a strong connection. For Devon, it is Camille – a sexy, goth model with an abusive background. Together, the two explore Devon’s wakening sexuality and dark magic powers. For Marissa, the photographer Gareth stirs something inside her. She begins to let her inner dominant have free rein, with some very sexy results. The BDSM scenes in the book are varied and generally well done. Action moves from Domme scenes to blade play to intensely tender scenes of romance and relationship building.
The background plot revolves around the mysterious disappearances of goth young people, and the whispers of dark ritual and power. As Devon and Marissa gain more confidence in themselves and their own sexual and magical powers, they are drawn deeper into the gothic underground of Eventide. Simultaneously, they find out new (to them) information about their family background and the origins of the Eldritch fortunes in Eventide. I don’t want to go too far into plot and resolution, because there is a lot of room for spoilers, and this is a story I don’t want to spoil for anyone. Suffice to say that there are a number of twists and turns, a lot of interesting development, and – eventually – a satisfying conclusion.

However, as with previous offerings, the strength of the story lies in the characters. In this installment, there is a significant amount of internal dialogue from both Eldritch cousins, which gives a good bit of insight into the development of the characters. The characters are interesting and grow in meaningful ways over the course of the book. Strauss has a gift for creating little jewels of characters, not only in her main protagonists, but also in supporting characters. Brent, Devon’s manager, is a guy we all know and despise, a character that rings true with the reader. The completely stoned, ridiculously self-convinced club groupie that makes a clumsy grab at Marissa (someone many of us have encountered) is another small gem of characterization. Celeste’s former roomie – who we never even meet – is so well characterized that you feel as if you do meet her. The complete characterization represented by these and other examples throughout the story is the best reason to read the Eldritch Legacy books.
There were a few things which kept this from being a perfect read for me. The first is that it was a bit dragging in the beginning with regards to the plot. So much character-building was going on, in two different stories, that the plot was lost for most of the first 150 pages. Indeed, there is enough story and characterization here for two books – but the plot overlaps and combines them. That is both blessing and curse. On the one hand, there is a lot of story and a lot of really good stuff to read. On the other hand, there is a lot of background that has to be built for these two stories, so it is a lot to get through for the reader. Also, some BDSM scenes felt a little forced, as if the author had a predetermined goal with the scene, but the dialogue and action were just a little out of synch with that goal (this is particularly true of the scene where Marissa pulls a switch and subs for a Dom in an underground club on her first invitation to the club).

This book is an excellent read. Ms. Strauss delivered on the promise of the characters and crafted an entertaining and engaging tale. I would strongly recommend this story to fans of more extreme play, and I would recommend them to anyone.

Posted by Elise Logan :: 7:17 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Breaking Skye By: Eden Bradley

Title: Breaking Skye
Author: Eden Bradley
Format: Phaze Fetish HeatSheet eBook
ISBN 1-59426-906-8
Published by: Phaze
Reviewed by: Canice Brown-Porter

Score: 5 out of 5

Skye Ballard is ready to relinquish control of herself for one evening just to experience her darkest and deepest fantasies. She's sure she'll get it out of her system once-and-for-all, so she places a personal ad on What she didn't expect was Adam Dunne. Dominant extraordinaire. Or, at least that's how she perceived him. Without being overbearing, he took control of her during their initial meeting in a public cafe. And, he had done it with little fanfare. Adam Dunne was the epitome of domination.

So, why didn't she run? What had made her agree to more than one evening with him? She should have said no and high-tailed it out of there. But, instead, three nights later a cab dropped her off in front of his home as he had subtly commanded of her. Even as she knocked on his door, her brain screamed 'run'…until his masculine figure stood framed in the doorway.

WOW! Ms. Bradley has packed not only erotic physical action inside this short story but the emotional aspects as well. By the end of the book, I was wiping away tears. The beauty of the BDSM lifestyle just shines through in Ms. Bradley's writing skills. If you haven't read a story by this author, you need to immediately purchase anything she has published out there. If you are a lifestyler, you'll love this author. She knows what she's writing about and eloquence and technique are merged into poetic soul mates. Thank you, Ms. Bradley, for getting it right!

Posted by Miranda Heart :: 5:05 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

For My Master By: Suz deMello

Title: For My Master
Author: Suz deMello
Publisher: Loose Id
ISBN: 978-1-59632-318-6

Score: 3 1/2 out of 5

Ross and Kathie head out for the mission of their lives. Kathie has to be his slave and Ross is her Master. It's all fun and games on the outside, yet both know that this is exactly how they wish it could be for the two of them. Before they can have their relationship however, they have a case that must be solved. There is no telling if they will make it out dead or alive, but neither is willing to put the experience behind them.

There isn't much I can say about For My Master. This is one book that didn't touch me and at times even irritated me. As a whole the idea isn't bad. However, half way through the book it began to lag for me. I felt the conflict resolution was a bit of a cop out. And then nothing was mentioned later about how it could have been that easy. If anything I felt as though Ms deMello tried to turn a complicated plot into something short and sweet. There are times when that works and there are times when it doesn't. This didn't work for me.

The action scenes in For My Master were very rigid, leaving little room for description. It was more of a telling than a showing of how the events occurred. Action scenes are difficult and I admire anyone that tries them. But, this did not do it for me. Another difficult part for me is the lack of descriptive words in general. There were a lot of was, were's across the book as a whole and it completely dragged me from the story. I feel if she was able to come up with such an action packed storyline she could have given us a more thorough story.

What I did like about the book was the sex scenes between Ross and Kathie. And the plot set up in the beginning. I enjoyed reading the tattoo scene, very erotic. I really enjoy what these two do for a living. That's why there is the 3 1/2. I'm indecisive about the book as a whole, because I enjoyed the first half but not the second.

Posted by Miranda Heart :: 6:30 AM :: 0 Comments:

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Pure Sin Partners in Passion By Sahara Kelly & S.L. Carpenter

TITLE: Pure Sin Partners in Passion
AUTHOR: Sahara Kelly & S.L. Carpenter
PUBLISHER: Ellora’s Cave
ISBN #: 9781419908941
RELEASE DATE: Available Now
Reviewed By: Heidi
Rated 4 out of 5

Tracy Harmon has always felt that something was missing in every relationship she’s had; her latest boyfriend Simon Travers just doesn’t do anything for her anymore. In the beginning there had been a degree of heat but now its not even tepid between them, and she feels like she’s just going through the motions. Simon must go, and this decision is made more definite when, whilst visiting a gallery, she sees the most intense photograph - one that instantly makes Simon recoil in horror because the woman isn ’t perfect. Whilst looking at the photograph Tracy happens to bump into someone who makes her heart race wild with pleasure; he gives her his card and they part ways. Its only by pure chance that she meets him again whilst working on some business, but that chance encounter causes both their lives to change when they peek in on something they shouldn’t have.

Pure Sin is an interesting book. Although it does have some BDSM elements to it the protagonists are both brand new to the whole idea and therefore don’t participate in anymore then some restraining and some Dominance and submission. The authors have created an interesting idea and some wonderful characters that will remain in the memories of the readers. The story line has a good pace to it, and as a reader I found it interesting to see the two main characters changing as people and becoming more aware of the things they wanted from a relationship. This isn’t a BDSM book for people who are more used to the scene, rather it is a book more for those who are dipping their toes in the water and want to know what its about.

Overall I found this book quite easy to read, the flow is consistent and I did sympathise with the characters. I was a little disappointed that the authors didn’t explore the world of BDSM more but by exploring the different feelings of the characters they have created an intriguing book and one that I would recommend to people who are unused to BDSM and everything that it encompasses.

Posted by Nicole Gestalt :: 2:52 PM :: 4 Comments:

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

A Change in Rules

I wanted to let those of you know that are still waiting for reviews to be posted, that they are being worked on. However, reviews would go much more quickly if we had a print copy on hand. You are not required to do this, it just goes faster. Reviewers can only allot so much time to being in front of the computer and having a book in hand would help.


BDSM Reviews

Posted by Miranda Heart :: 9:47 PM :: 0 Comments:

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