Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cruel to be Kind by Stephanie Vaughan


Before beginning the review of Cruel To Be Kind, can we all just pause for a moment to admire the cover? I'm not wired as a Domme, but the idea of topping this particular guy does something for me. To have all of that power at your beck and call? Wow.

Here's the blurb:

Steve Eriksson is a regular guy. He likes basketball and beer. He works hard in his family's construction and restoration business. Steve’s normal life is about to change. Because he's about to meet Megan.

Professional chef Megan Mussina returns to her home town looking for some peace and quiet. A place to put her life back in order after the disaster of a relationship gone publicly wrong. A new man in her life is the last thing she wants. Until she meets Steve.

From the first they share an overpowering physical attraction. Steve is just the sort of powerful, successful submissive man Megan never knew she needed. And Megan knows the one thing Steve never knew he craved. Sometimes, you've got to be Cruel to be Kind.

I love the way Megan seduces Steve into it, the way she takes control, and the care she has for him as she pushes his boundaries. She isn't really cruel, she seduces him with her power, but not with cruelty. It's a catchy title, but not the way she really treats him.

BDSM elements:
  • Bondage and Discipline: 1 of 3
  • Dominance and Submission: He's new to this, so it's the very beginnings of D/s for him. 2 of 3
  • Sadism and Masochism: None. 0 of 3 
  • Extra Point: Yes. The book is about Steve submitting to a woman for the first time, and realizing that while he's not sure about what Megan is doing, that he needs it.
As for the writing elements -- the plot is a good one, pacing was fine, prose and dialogue were well done, and character development was nicely done and much appreciated. 
  • Book Rating: Cruel to be Kind: 9 of 10
  • BDSM Intensity Level: 4 of 10
  • Heat Level: 4 of 5

My biggest complaint? Cruel To Be Kind ended too soon. I wanted to see how far she was going to take him. I wanted to experience a much more intense scene. That's not to say it was a bad ending, it was a perfectly good ending. I enjoyed the characters and story though, so I greedily wanted more.


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