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.
Ever wondered how can someone describe subspace in a very alluring way to the point that it makes you desire it? If the answer is yes, then you should read that book.
The Story of Simon introduces different characters to the reader in a way that the reader gets to know their inner thoughts and desires which makes the characters intimately familiar. This is one of the strong sides of the book as it makes you want to read more. Every chapter leaves you with the desire to read the next and that makes the book easy to read which is great if you just want a light read to help you relax.
As someone without much experience in kink, I was able to relate myself to an extent with Simon and that gave me the opportunity to wonder "How would I react If I were in his place?". In my opinion, the book is good for both newbies and experienced kinksters and that is because the author shows a very good understanding of the psychology of BDSM and kink in general.
In conclusion, in my opinion, the book serves its purpose and I believe it will be appreciated by its target group.
AAAAAAAA! I loved this one so much! I'm honestly lost for words.
This was not only amazingly atmospheric, it was inclusive, it was honest, it was steamy and it was simply just so well written. I am so happy I had the opportunity to read this and I recommend it to everyone who is of age and interested in BDSM- not only because it was hot, but it was so informative and safe!
by NetGalley review
While this book is technically an erotica Rachel Loewen does a good job of separating BDSM from sex. While that isn't to say sex isn't a topic broached in the book it's not central to the telling of the story here. I really enjoyed seeing a Female Dominate as it something that I've rarely seen portrayed in books and other media. As someone who has had passing in the community, it's nice to see a more accurate representation for the community.
Seeing discussions of safewords and aftercare was something I really enjoyed and wished more books trying to cover BDSM would do. The ending however felt a little too quick and the epilogue, while leading into more books in an overall series, felt a little out of place.
by NetGalley review
New to me author, Ms. Loewen came to my attention as one of the author sponsors to the BDSM group on Goodreads. I saw this book cover and thought, wow, it is sexy and I generally don't notice covers. Then I read the blurb and thought, this I have to read. A new to BDSM submissive and a femdom... how could I resist?
When I first started this book, seeing the inner dialog from Simon concerned me a bit. The little insights from one of the dominants, Richard also gave me pause. Not that their thoughts are inaccurate or exactly wrong, but that this thoughts don't bode well for a healthy BDSM relationship. A dominant that never admits they are wrong and when they do make a mistake, they blame it on the submissive and take it out on them? Yeah... that's a hard pass for me. Is this realistic? More oft than not. Is it recommended? No. But then there are ways to have a very healthy non kink relationship and very few people are able to follow those ways either. I tend to be a little bit more sensitive about how the BDSM lifestyle is represented because it is so misunderstood by those outside of the BDSM world. Regardless, these are subtle elements that made this story feel more realistic.
Simon's interaction with Mistress Alannah is both thrilling and exasperating at times. The mistakes made are so true to life, especially with a newbie like Simon who connects sex with BDSM. I admire Ms. Loewen trying to explain why sex isn't inherently tied to BDSM. Although she did muddy the waters a bit with Mistress Alannah rewarding Simon a couple of times. There are several things in their interactions that caused me to wince, not because of the play, but because of how they thought or what they forgot to do. Yes, Simon is new and ill prepared to go off with a stranger w/o a safety protocol. Mistress Allanah is very experienced and yet she purposely doesn't bring it up. Different styles for different folks. When I play, or even meet up with people for the first time, I'm extra cautious because I definitely don't want cops involved incase of a misunderstanding or issue. I know people in the life style that play as hard or harder than Mistress Alannah and her dominant spouse. So none of that surprised more or made me think either one are especially hardcore sadists. Since I do both fire and electrical play ... blood play doesn't bother me nor does temp/permanent branding or fighting/sparring... the BDSM in this book is within my preferences.
Some of the interactions between Mistress Alannah, her spouse and their household did throw up yellow warning flags that let me know there is some dysfunction. The ending of this book did not surprise me. I liked and hated the epilogue because I wasn't surprised by the turn of events. But I feel like I'm missing a large backstory and now I want it. I immediately went in search for another book in this universe only to find nothing out there. Now I eagerly await a possible explanation of what happened in those 4 years because I can pretty much guess the salient points and none of them look good.
All this aside, the femdom in this story is well done. I liked how Alannah explained her style of what she needed as a dominant. The common misconceptions are revealed and highlighted. Showcasing different styles of dominants as well as different types of submissives/slaves is equally well done. It goes to show that there are many different flavours of kink.
Lastly, I have to admit, this story came across less of a fantasy creation and more of a retelling of real life events. Some things may have been changed, but this almost gives me a feel of something that happened in real life that needed to be processed and reinterpreted. This only increases my curiosity of both the author and what will come in her next book.
by NetGalley review
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.