Sunday, May 8, 2011

Alphabet Soup by CB Conwy


I loved A Russian Bear, so I jumped at Alphabet Soup as soon as it was available. The story takes place in the same world as A Russian Bear, and we even see Tom and Mischa a few times at the club. But the story is completely different.

I think there will be some people who will probably enjoy Alphabet Soup more than A Russian Bear. I'm not one of those people, though. For me, Alphabet Soup had too much angst, and too many therapy scenes. If you like angst, and if you like the idea of being restrained to a bondage table and forced to talk about your past while laying face up with your arms bound above your head and your ankles restrained to the other end of the table, then this one is for you. (Select the spoiler text to view it.)

Here's the blurbL

Andy knows exactly what he needs: scenes hard enough to take him out of himself. Then he meets CK, and everything is turned upside down. CK is relaxed and gentle and nothing like what Andy's looking for. Despite that, or maybe because of it, Andy's still attracted to the stranger.

CK is new to the city and the club, but definitely not to the scene. Andy's ideas of BDSM are very different from CK's, but there’s still something about the man that draws CK. Something fascinating and completely unpredictable. The results can be amazing scenes or complete disasters. Andy is difficult to get to know, and CK has to work hard to find the reason for Andy's erratic behavior. CK is nothing if not stubborn, though. He's very determined to help Andy, and Andy's ready for it, but there's so much Andy's trying to forget.

Like the conscientious Dom he is, CK guides Andy's recovery, one scene at a time. Very much against his principles, CK finds himself falling in love with the man he's trying to help. Now he has to fight not only Andy's past, but his own conscience as well.

I appreciated that these two had chemistry and that was the main draw for them. I also appreciated that both were willing to work to see if the relationship could work out between them. A few of the scenes were ultra simple, and yet still quite hot.

BDSM elements:
  • Bondage and Discipline: 2 of 3
  • Dominance and Submission: 2 of 3
  • Sadism and Masochism: This is where we have trouble, because according to the story, impact play for the sake of pain is wrong. There is masochism, but it's treated as being wrong, so I'm going to give it a 0 of 3. 
  • Extra Point: Yes
As for the writing elements:
  • The plot is the story of the characters coming together and working out their baggage.
  • The pacing was mostly good.
  • Prose and dialogue were fine.
  • Character development was nicely done. 

I've debated back and forth on the rating and finally settled on a 7 of 10. During parts of the story I was thinking closer to five of ten, but now that I've finished it and I take everything into consideration I think it deserves higher than that. Some people will likely rate it higher than a seven, but for me the emotional angsty stuff overtook the physical stuff and it just managed to annoy me in several places. CB Conwy is a gifted author with a knack for describing the physical as well as the emotional when it comes to kink. This particular book just didn't work all that great for me.
  • Book Rating: Alphabet Soup: 7 of 10
  • BDSM Intensity Level: 5 of 10
  • Heat Level: 4 of 5

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