Saturday, July 31, 2010

Claudia's Surrender by S J Lewis

The full title of this books is Claudia's Surrender: The case of the reluctant submissive.It was enough to get my attention, as the title and description sound like there is D/s involved.

Unfortunately, the D/s dynamic isn't what I thought it would be, based on the title and blurb. If anything, Claudia is the one giving orders, as she turns around and demands that Sam bind her hands and use her hard. She's the one giving the orders, not him. And often, once he gets her bound she fights him and he must avoid her (very real) kicks and other attempts to keep from being "taken". She is not reluctant, and she does not surrender.

True, once she orders him to "tie her up and use her hard", he does a really good job of it. There is some intense bondage and some really hot sex. But it is not what I expected. Here is the blurb:

Two years before, the lovely redhead Claudia enjoyed a wild vacation of kinky and submissive sex, surrendering body and soul to the dominant Sam. Now Sam Pender is back in Claudia’s life and he expects the same kind of sexual surrender he enjoyed with her before. Once she’d bound, gagged and forced to submit, she can stop being P. I. Claudia Cole, respected businesswoman, and turn into the lusty, horny, kinky submissive ‘Red’. All it takes is her surrender. But submitting doesn’t come easy for Claudia; she questions herself at every turn. When Sam is abruptly called away on business and suddenly requires her assistance as a professional P. I., Claudia answers his call, and finds not only a twisted mystery to solve, but some answers to her own sexual dilemma. From author of the best-selling Female Prey.

BDSM elements:
  • Bondage and Discipline: Lots of bondage, no real discipline.There is some spanking and face slapping, but it's part of the kidnap role play they do, not a D/s type of spanking.
  • Dominance and Submission: Sam is not a Dom, and Claudia is not submissive. They have kinky sex that recreates kidnap scenarios, but they aren't in a power exchange relationship.
  • Sadism and Masochism: I can see a bit of a Sadist in Sam, and a bit of a masochist in Claudia. But that isn't really the dynamic. Mostly, I think Claudia likes the bondage for the sake of being bound, rather than for the sake of the pain. At least once she needs the pain, when she demands he use duct tape even though she knows it will hurt. But for the most part, I think it's the act of being bound and helpless that does it for her.

This is one of those your-kink-is-not-my-kink things, which is normally okay, except that the title and the blurb seemed to specifically say the book is about something that it is not. Claudia is not reluctant, and she does not submit. True, she turns around and gives Sam her hands, surrendering her freedom, but she then tells him exactly what to do, and pretty much demands he does it.

As for the writing elements, the plot is actually a very good plot. Claudia is a private investigator and the non-kink parts of the plot were pretty interesting. The pacing was... okay, not great but not terrible. Prose was good but dialogue needed some help. They say each other's name almost every time they talk to each other - real people don't do that. Character development was good.

If the idea of being roughly bound with a whole lot of really hard sex from someone you really care about turns you on, then this book is for you. If you need the D/s aspects to be involved though, then Claudia's Surrender may not do much for you.  I'm going to give Claudia's Surrender a 6 of 10 for a misleading title and for the dialogue issues.

Book Rating: Claudia's Surrender: 6 of 10
Heat Level: 3 of 5


  1. Hello. I'm S J Lewis. I'd like to thank you for your well-thought-out and detailed review of my book. This is the sort of thing that I think I need to become a better writer.
    For what it's worth, the title and the blurb were my publisher's idea, not mine.

  2. Ohhh, your publisher owes you an apology, then. In my opinion, anyway.

    The story was a pretty good one, but it really should have been marketed as a kinky sex book, or a BDSM book involving mostly the bondage aspects, instead of a BDSM book with major elements of submission.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  3. "Claudia's Surrender" was only my fourth book, and I figured that the publisher knew more about marketing it than I did. She told me that it was a good story but probably wouldn't sell as well as my previous titles. It hasn't, but it has gotten some good if simplified reviews. (e.g. 4 or 5 stars out of 5 with little or no comment.)
    And thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed review. I'm gratified to hear that you thought that the story was a pretty good one and that the character development was good. It's also helpful to learn about the dialogue and pacing.