So I wanted to review all Thomas’s books before Awakening came out, and I managed pretty well – 3 out of 4? Guilty Pleasures, while not my favorite of Thomas’s simply because it was a little more predictable than the others, was still fantastic and a definite buy for any lover of serious BDSM (this goes far beyond a few swats on the ass, ladies). Thomas writes classy BDSM erotica – which is so amazing because classy erotica is really hard to find. Her stories include great character development, excellent dynamics, stimulating plots, and lots and lots of hot BDSM sex.
Vivian Delany and her husband, Michael, live a totally boring, vanilla life – when they even get it on, that is. Vivian hasn’t had an orgasm in years and Michael, despite being pretty talented in the bedroom, is frustrated by his wife’s unresponsive bed manner. Finally, the tenuous hold Michael has on reality snaps and he orders Vivian to see a sex therapist. He’s made her an appointment already, and Vivian doesn’t dare disobey no matter how disgruntled she is. The therapist sends her to a massage therapist by the name of Anton saying she needs to loosen up and learn to enjoy touch. Anton, however, is more than just a massage therapist – and Vivian doesn’t find out about his darkest pursuits until it’s too late to turn back. Caught in a world of ownership and 24/7 BDSM Anton and his goons (who are, of course, incredibly attractive and not named Igor or something equally nasty and villain-like) mold her into the perfect slave. But will she be able to keep up with her good behavior when she gets sold to her new master?
What I seem to like best about Thomas’s books is her ability to write the psychological submission to perfection. Long after Vivian’s body submits, her mind holds out, and I loved watching her mind’s defenses slowly crumble – her protestations gradually quiet. The submission of a person’s mind takes much longer but is even more essential than the body’s submission. Without it, there is no ‘perfect slave’. What I also loved was the contrast between Vivian’s old and new lifestyles. When you compare her at the beginning and end of the book, her situations are relatively similar in everything but her submission. And yet, she is so much happier. Thomas shows how, for some people, submission truly is the happier way of life (although she does include a disclaimer stating that she doesn’t condone kidnapping or dubious consent, etc).
As usual, the writing and pace were superb, the sex scenes and erotica splendidly written with the perfect balance between too much and too little description. Too much and the reader doesn’t get to fill out the fantasy to their liking, too little and the reader has no idea what’s going on. The care and thoughtfulness of the Doms in this book was really intriguing, even as it was scary (the level of premeditation was truly creepy). In the end, another splendid BDSM erotica read by Thomas and be sure to look for my review of Awakening coming next week!
“We are not selling broken dolls no one wants to play with.” (Gabe)
“Sexy”ness rating: *eyes glaze over*
Overall Rating: B+
Bottom Line: If you like intense BDSM books and you don’t mind situations of dubious consent or kidnapping, this is a good book for you! The psychological elements, as well as the sexual, emotional, and physical ones, are phenomenal.
Published: Dec 20, 2010
Genre: BDSM erotica