Monday, August 23, 2010

Willing Victim by Cara McKenna

Willing Victim Cara McKenna

Willing Victim isn't your normal BDSM type book, but that's okay because it didn't really claim to be. Everyone has their own kink, and nothing says it has to conform to what has turned into the "norm".

There is an incredibly sexy boxer who likes rough sex, likes for the woman to fight him and tell him to stop... but he stops the instant the safe word is uttered. He's a really nice guy. And sexy. Did I mention sexy?

The author does give the warning that anyone sensitive to rape, even simulated rape that is totally consensual, may not want to read Willing Victim.

Here's the blurb:

For the past couple years Laurel's been coasting, hiding in the backseat while her life drifts off course. Then one summer afternoon a tall, built bruiser named Flynn strides in and steers her straight into an infatuation she never saw coming.

Flynn introduces Laurel to things she’s never imagined before—to the violent but exciting realm of the underground boxing circuit, to rough sex and even rougher role-playing, and to an attraction she craves even as it intimidates her. As Flynn invites her deeper into his world and his life, Laurel has to make a choice—let fear keep her holed up where it’s safe, or take a chance and fight for the man who makes her feel more alive than she’d dreamed possible.

One pretty major thing didn't work all that great for me. Without giving spoilers I'll just say that Flynn has a friend that kind of gets tossed out on her butt when Laurel steps in, and considering how nice the girl is to Laurel, that bothered me.

I appreciated the humor interspersed throughout, enough humor that I put my netbook down and had a good laugh a few times. Several things come out of left field and catch you off guard, so you snort yourself into laughter and then your husband gets to make fun of you for snorting.

Our couple starts out just a little rough and then work their way up to some pretty rough stuff. Nothing that leaves marks, but still, some of it gets intense. 

The nice thing about this particular story and situation is that she watches him get punched in the face by people who weigh more than twice her weight, so she doesn't have to hold back when she slaps him or hits him -- she can fight back full force without worrying about hurting him, and without worrying about actually getting away from him. And he's strong enough, and in control of himself enough, that it's safe to do that -- he can control her without actually hurting her.

BDSM elements:
  • Bondage and Discipline: As I said, Willing Victim isn't actually BDSM in the traditional sense of the term. There is bondage, but not really discipline. 1 of 3
  • Dominance and Submission: Yes, sort of. But not really. He kind of looks down on the BDSM scene, says it's like the civil war reenactors. But he still uses a lot of their tricks, ways to simulate what he wants and still stay safe and make sure it's consensual. Even though it's not the traditional form of D/s, it's there. He gets off on being in charge and she gets off having someone else in charge. 3 of 3
  • Sadism and Masochism: Again, it's not the "normal" form of S&M, but he enjoys hurting her and she gets blazing hot when he hurts her. 1 of 3 
  • Extra Point: Yes, the role play and power exchange is an integral part of the story, it gets the extra point.
As for the writing elements, the plot just follows the sexual games and the relationship, not much else going on. It's a fairly short story, so there are no pacing issues. Prose and dialogue are very well done, the author is skillful enough to make the dialogue make me snort in laughter, that's pretty skilled. Character development was also nicely executed.

  • Book Rating: Willing Victim: 9 of 10
  • Heat Rating: 4 of 5
  • BDSM Intensity: 6 of 10

If simulated rape is a turn on for you then Willing Victim will be a nice way to treat yourself. It isn't really one of my kinks, but the story still worked for me. It feels wrong to call it a charming little romance, but I'm going to, anyway.

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