Hot, well-written, kink-positive
This was so hot and incredibly gripping – I stayed up far too late reading it, and only managed to stop because the idea of not having any left to read the next day was too upsetting!
You can tell that the author is an insider on the kink scene; the fetish club and play scenes are depicted authentically and in candid detail. If you were bothered by the parts of Fifty Shades that were unsafe, questionably sane, and non-consensual, then this is the book for you. It is thoroughly kink-positive, with no lazy ‘explanations’ about an interest in BDSM being ‘caused’ by childhood abuse or similar. It is also poly-friendly and, although the main pairing is m/f, queerness is completely usualised throughout. But just as importantly, it is also incredibly hot; the violet wand scene was particularly good.
The author builds tension really effectively throughout; the reader completely shares Simon’s sense of anticipation edged with mild terror. Simon himself is an incredibly endearing and believable character. While the novel centres on one main pairing, secondary characters are introduced in enough detail to give a sense of a world beyond this, with its own complex human relationships.
My only real criticism was that I wanted it to be longer! However, the author has noted elsewhere that there will be other books in the series. In the meantime, I shall go back and read this one again.
Rachel Loewen lives in East London beneath a veneer of respectability which belies the way she spent her earlier years. She discovered BDSM at nineteen, and spent the next decade topping a selection of lucky victims at various fetish clubs and private parties before deciding that a normal job was less work.