BDSM Reviews

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Dare to Dominate By: Claire Thompson

Title: Dare To Dominate
Author: Claire Thompson
Publisher: Elloras Cave
Rating: 2 out of 5

Jonathan Goldman's sexual fantasies are colored with dominant dreams of enslavement and control. As a liberated man who admires and adores women, his fantasies leave him feeling ashamed.

Laurel Jordan is a free spirit. She joyfully embraces her sexually submissive nature, understanding the road to true liberation lies not in upholding society's rigid mores and expectations but in being true to oneself. Yet Laurel has a secret too. Though ready for adventure, she keeps her heart carefully concealed. No man has ever penetrated the carefree, casual attitude she wears around herself like a shield.

When this unlikely pair meets, the sparks fly. Jonathan is forced to confront and come to terms with his dominant sexual impulses. Laurel finds her careful fa├žade being cracked by the only man ever to get close enough to break her heart. As Jonathan and Laurel move from casual BDSM play to a more serious D/s relationship, each is forced to decide if this is merely a game or a way of life and ultimately, of love.

If I had to sum up how I felt about this book as a whole I'd have to say I'm frustrated to no end. I know it's not a good way to start a book review. But, it can't be helped. An author with such obvious talent, I had hoped to see something better done with it. Through out her book, Claire Thompson constantly tells us the rules of play. Through dialogue she shows that she is a great teacher. Yet, through her characters actions she shows time and time again, that neither of them understand one thing they are doing. So, yes, I'm sorry, this review is going to sound a bit agro to the end.

What I liked about Ms. Thompson's writing is that she has this strange ability to make her characters actually speak. I could see that they would say this or that. Her dialogue is smooth and natural. Any writer would drool to have the opportunity to do what she seems to do so easily. I liked the fact that I couldn't name anything that I"d cut out of the book. It was long, it seemed for the most part real. There was real heart ache, real break ups, real scenes. This is a talent that is something that a person doesn't just obtain, you either have it or you don't. And here, she has it.

What went wrong for me was the contradictions throughout this book. The lack of communication between partners, something so essential to the most vanilla of relationships, yet a relationship built upon a power exchange couldn't have been afforded the same respect. The lack of safeword, because he'll just know when she's had enough, made me grind my teeth in utter frustration. You've signed your own death ticket as far as I'm concerned. Then, when there is an injury, we still don't see the couple sit down and discuss safe words. Worse yet, I don't feel the guy even practiced before he broke out the whip.I could have understood these mess ups IF and only IF two things had happened. One, neither person in the relationship really had any idea of BDSM and two both were growing, learning and improving. Of which I feel as though none of those things occured.

To top off my frustrated state I had to hear how a Domme, who had two full time slaves in her home was at Laurel's BDSM Club and was described as playing the part well and dressing the part to perfection. At that point I threw the book across the room and didn't pick it up again for two more days. I'd like to meet the Domme who appreciates her full time lifestyle being compared to someone just playing the part. This isn't halloween. This is a life for many. Day in and day out, they are who they are and would never appreciate being told they played the part well. And then as if I wasn't annoyed enough I got to read over and over again a sub being called a slave, a slave being called a sub. The two could not be more different than each other.

I'm sure there is more that I could name, but, it's been a long time since I've read a book by an author who frustrated me this much. More so because according to her dialogue in the story, I felt she at least understood what she was writing. So then I have to ask myself, do I blame the author or the editor? Who do you get mad at most? THe person who wrote the story without fully researching or the editor who didn't know it wasn't right in the first place. If for no other reason it forces me to get my bum in gear and update my website. I hope things have changed since this story has been written. I truly believe that growth can happen at any stage, a more researched story could have produced a better ending for all.

Posted by Miranda Heart :: 8:46 AM :: 0 Comments:

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