Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Deep in the Woods by Annabel Joseph

Deep in the Woods is a charming story of healing, growth, and love, all wrapped up in a nice warm D/s relationship that happens to have a Sadist and a Masochist in it.

I like that the book doesn't span just a few weeks before we see a HEA, we have a few large jumps in time, so we get to see them grow over time.

Here's the blurb:

Sophie finally finds the courage to reenter the Atlanta BDSM scene after extricating herself from an abusive relationship. At a local munch, she meets Dave, a funny, laid-back erotic photographer. When she sees him again later at a dungeon, Sophie is surprised by her strong attraction, and nervous about starting a new relationship, but Dave eases her fears. They embark on a sexy, thrilling D/s relationship and Sophie finds healing and fulfillment in Dave’s arms.

But Sophie is still haunted by nightmares of her past. On a dark night in the woods with Dave and his friend Ryan, frightening memories overtake her. She knows that in order to move on, she must uncover the tragedy that haunts her subconscious.

Sophie’s quest for answers brings her face-to-face with her previous tormentor. She finds herself once more in the deep woods, not only fighting for answers…but also for her life.

I only had one issue with the book: It was bothersome that Sophie wasn't honest with her therapist - a year in therapy sounds good, but with her therapist not understanding what happened and why she was in therapy to begin with, I'm not really sure how that could have helped too much.

It is good that Sophie found someone who wouldn't take advantage of her again, because I wasn't convinced that Sophie was healed in the "she won't ever let that happen again" way of being healed. However, by the end of the book I do believe she was healed where it concerns the memories and getting beyond them.

There were a lot of things I liked about Deep in the Woods. I liked that Dave teaches her martial arts so she can defend herself. I like that he insists she keep up with her therapy appointments, and that he keeps her in contact with her family. I liked that he went slow with her at first, but that once he was sure she was ready for it, he didn't go easy on her. I also loved the menage scenes in the book. Yum.

Deep in the Woods speaks to the fears of many submissives -- what happens if the Dom you are in a relationship with gradually takes you deeper and deeper until you are in an abusive relationship -- but, as with the story of the boiling frog, it's done gradually so that you don't realize it? For submissive men or women who want to be in a 24/7 relationship, that's a scary thing. (As someone who has been around for a while I'll say that if you have those worries then your biggest red flag will be a Dom who tries to take you away from your friends. If your lifestyle friends think something is wrong - listen to them, don't get defensive. Okay, I'll get off of my soapbox and get back to the review.) We don't see the abusive relationship, we just see the aftermath of it, and that's enough. I'm not sure I'd have enjoyed reading about the abuse, just seeing it in flashbacks was painful for me.

BDSM elements:
  • Bondage and Discipline: Yes to both. Not too heavy on the bondage, but there are a couple of punishment scenes that are quite yummy. 2 of 3
  • Dominance and Submission: Yes. Deep in the Woods is a good example of a D/s relationship that works.It's 24/7 without being over the top 24/7. She doesn't have to say Sir every time she speaks to him, only when he's using his "Dom voice". They find a nice balance of D/s and real life.  3 of 3
  • Sadism and Masochism: He's a sadist, she's a masochist. They work well together. 3 of 3
  • Extra Point: Yes, the BDSM is woven nicely into the story.
As for the writing elements: the plot is original and well done, the pacing was good, prose and dialogue were nicely done, and character building was excellent.

Book Rating: Deep in the Woods: 9 of 10
Heat Level: 5 of 5
BDSM Intensity Level: 9 of 10

Deep in the Woods is a nice little romance with enough plot twists to keep it interesting, and is written by someone who gets the world of BDSM. Annabel Joseph manages to get the physical stuff right, and the mental/emotional stuff right.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for the great review, Kirsten! I'll be sure to link to it from my site. :-)