Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Auction by Kitty Thomas

The Auction is set on another planet, far in the future. Humans have seeded this planet, and the species that lives there allows them one city in which to live. If they leave the city, the monsters kill them.

Human females are auctioned off when they turn 18. We are shown that it's not such a different idea than the dowries of old, the main difference being the money goes into the city's coffers. Most girls have someone buy them and set them free, a family member or boyfriend. Some are bought for the purpose of being owned, but society tries to ignore that when it happens. I liked the build up, the thought processes that went into building this society, this world.

Here is the blurb:

Belle Walker lives in a strict society where women are treated as property, sold to the highest bidder soon after their eighteenth birthday. But the auction isn’t the only danger. Though she’s never seen them, she knows monsters live outside the city. These creatures have allowed the humans a small area to inhabit with the promise to leave them in peace as long as they never cross the boundary. On the day Belle is sold, one of the monsters breaks that promise and enters the city, intent on having her as his own.

Kitty Thomas, as a general rule, focuses more on the psychology behind slavery and submission than she focuses on the physical. Tender Mercies was the exception, where she gave us a lot more description of the physical acts. But with The Auction, she gives just enough for our imaginations to take hold and finish the picture in our own way. I appreciate that, I really do, but sometimes I could do with a little more description.

BDSM elements:
  • Bondage and Discipline: 2 of 3
  • Dominance and Submission: 3 of 3
  • Sadism and Masochism: 1 of 3
  • Extra Point: No
As for the writing elements:
  • The plot was predictable but that was okay, I enjoyed the process of getting there.
  • Pacing was fine
  • Prose and dialogue are always very well done when Kitty Thomas is writing.
  • Character development was superb
  • World-building went above and beyond for such a short story, describing not only the physical aspects but the general rules of society.
I've gone back and forth on a rating and I'm settling on a 9 of 10.
  • Book Rating:The Auction: 9 of 10
  • BDSM Intensity Level: 6 of 10
  • Heat Level: 3 of 5
I recommend The Auction even if you aren't normally a sci-fi fan. Sometimes, taking us to another world allows an author to give us non-consensuality in a way that is hot without pushing our squick buttons. It's far enough from our reality to allow our inner conscience to keep quiet, and close enough to our fantasies to allow our libido to enjoy it. Kitty Thomas has once again done an excellent job of giving us a non-consensual relationship that ends up working for both people, and letting us travel along the thought processes from beginning to end.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sold, A Hammer Novel by Sean Michael.

I've been reading so many short stories lately in the erotica genre, it was really good to sink my teeth into a longer BDSM flavored book.

Sold is more psychology and feelings than it is physical scenes, but that's okay. Even though the main couple don't have many really intense scenes, there are other scenes that are talked about that give the story that kind of intensity.

Here's the blurb:

Matt is new in town, and he’s excited to be vying for a membership at the Hammer, a club he’s heard is the best in the business. He has to admit that his first encounter with a sub at the Hammer makes him believe it. Adam is like no one Matt has ever met, and he wants the professional sub to be his and his alone.

Adam has some issues that might throw a monkey wrench into Matt’s plan. While Adam thinks Matt is the most amazing top he’s ever met, he also has to make a living. He’s never wanted to have a private contract with anyone before, and he’s not sure how to be a sub to Matt without making the man jealous because of his job.

Matt thinks he has the answers to all of Adam’s questions, but they have to work it all out between them gradually. Meanwhile, Adam still has to work, and some of his old clients may not like Adam having a relationship with another Dom. Can Matt and Adam find a balance between work and play?

We see the trust element going both ways here, both the sub trusting the Dom and the Dom trusting the sub. The story also shows us the difference in a service submissive focused on servicing and pleasing and in a submissive who gives up all control. Not that one is right and the other wrong, just that there is a difference and it is pretty apparent here. For this couple it works for the submissive to give up all control. For other couples the service submissive who anticipates the Master's needs and provides for them is the right kink.

BDSM elements:
  • Bondage and Discipline: 1 of 3
  • Dominance and Submission: 2 of 3
  • Sadism and Masochism: 2 of 3 
  • Extra Point: Yes
The power exchange is shown very well. The physical aspects aren't used to cement the mental stuff with this couple, and that's okay. It works for them, and it's a very sweet story.
  • Book Rating: Sold: 8 of 10
  • BDSM Intensity Level: 6 of 10
  • Heat Level: 4 of 5


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Claiming by Addison Brentley

I have a new author to watch for now. Addison Brentley can write a smokin' hot scene.

The Claiming is a very short story, but it packs a wallop. Here's the blurb:

Master Jace is forced to deliver a punishment after his submissive, Evan, loses control in front of their peers during a play party. Master Jace must try to overcome his conflicting emotions of jealousy verses control in order to be the Master that his sub deserves, the Master he needs to be for them both. Can he keep himself in check and claim back what is rightfully his?

The punishment is actually in two parts - physical punishment that night, and then correction the next day. And it is the next day where the point is really made. I was a bit disappointed at the physical punishment given that night. I mean, sure, the punishment given was harsh, but it wasn't really written to show how harsh ten strokes of that particular implement can actually be. Also, the punishment didn't really address the crime.

But then the session they have the next morning was just... wow. It worked for me. And the correction most certainly addressed the crime.

BDSM elements:
  • Bondage and Discipline: 3 of 3
  • Dominance and Submission: 3 of 3
  • Sadism and Masochism: 1 of 3 
  • Extra Point: Yes
As for the writing elements: the plot has to do with the emotions present and was nicely wrapped up; pacing was well done; prose and dialogue were fine; and character development was efficiently done for such a short story.
  • Book Rating: The Claiming: 9 of 10
  • BDSM Intensity Level: 8 of 10
  • Heat Level: 5 of 5

I Like You by CB Conwy

I Like You is a brief follow-up to Alphabet Soup. Here is the blurb:

Everything is good between Andy and CK, especially since they said those three little words to each other. Well, their very own version of them, anyway. That's why CK's so surprised when one day Andy is reluctant to have sex with him.

It turns out that Andy wants CK, but he doesn't want the pain that his abusive ex-boyfriend inflicted on him when they had sex. CK is too much of a Dom not to seize the opportunity to push and take care of his sub, and giving in to someone you like turns out to be hotter than Andy could ever imagine.

As a follow up, it was pretty good. If you enjoyed Alphabet Soup then you will probably enjoy I Like You. If you haven't read Alphabet Soup then I would recommend Conwy's A Russian Bear over it.

CB Conwy has a good handle on the lifestyle - the toys, the sensations, the power play, and the trust elements involved.

I'm not giving I Like You a numerical rating, as it is so short, and honestly, if you haven't read Alphabet Soup I don't think it will mean that much to you. So if you enjoyed Alphabet Soup get this one, if you didn't enjoy it then you'll probably want to skip this one.