BDSM Reviews

Monday, November 05, 2007

Summon the Masters Anthology

Reviewed by Elise Logan
Title: Summon the Masters
Author: Madeleine Oh, Dominique Adair, Jennifer Dunne
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
ISBN: 9781419907616
Genre: BDSM anthology, e-book
Publication Date: 2007
Rating: 3 of 5

Reviewing anthologies is always tricky business. In this case, the three stories here are supposed to be about Dominants and their subs. However, I’d like to say right off the bat that only one of the three stories struck me as having any kind of real power exchange vibe going. The other two were more sensation play and bondage – a little role play – but not true submission as such. So the question of how to tackle the anthology? I’ve elected to do three short reviews individually. The rating is based on 3 star ratings for the first two stories and a 4 star rating on the third.

Interlude, the piece by Madeline Oh, follows Alex and Dai. Alex goes to Wales to look after her aunt’s cottage, and things get very interesting. I liked the fantasy (in the genre sense, not the role-play sense) elements of the story. I also liked the Dom (Dai) as a character quite a lot. Alex, though, I just couldn’t get into. She leaves for Wales with a relationship still intact – she has decided to end it, but doesn’t. Even when he calls her later, she doesn’t end it. Her internal dialogue over her reasons for wanting out indicate that she is extremely uncommunicative about her needs with her Dom, a key problem in a Dom/sub relationship. Communication is completely glossed over here, and the power exchange is therefore never fully realized. Her internal dialogue is not in a submissive frame, but rather in the frame of someone seeking sensation and bondage. This is not a bad thing, per se, but it doesn’t fit with the purported theme of the anthology. Additionally the sex scenes are repetitive – which is not something you want to see in a short story.

The Cajun by Dominique Adair finds Rachel and Etienne stuck together in a tropical storm in the Louisiana bayou. Rachel and Etienne knew each other growing up, so their banter seems natural, which is fun. Again, though, the power exchange just doesn’t work. Rachel tops from the bottom, a major pet peeve of mine, and his reaction is glossed over. There is a nice spanking scene, but that is really the most sensation in this story. The lack of sensation and the flat power exchange make this story feel more like a slightly edgy vanilla story rather than a BDSM story.

The best of the three stories, in my opinion, is Life Sentence by Jennifer Dunne. The couple here, Samantha and Giacomo, are facing a larger issue in that Giacomo is actually cursed, so that provides an interesting motivation. This story has a very natural, completely appropriate sense of the power exchange between them. The tension and sexual chemistry is excellent, and the initial scene between Sam and Giacomo is a hot masturbatory one. There is a reality about their relationship that makes this story work, though I must say I would have really preferred it to be longer, as I found the ending to be abrupt. Still, the interaction is much more satisfying in this story.

Posted by Elise Logan :: 9:15 PM :: 0 Comments:

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