This book was hot. I liked Nisey quite a bit and I really liked Caelan. Ms. Trace created a great cast of characters, down to the evil shallow mother. Nisey is a newbie into the lifestyle. I'm a little surprised she never went online to search for information. This setting is contemporary so I feel as though this could be happening today. Even the tiniest search would be able to provide her with some information. I guess I have to give her some leeway as she's only 21. I guess this means she's still to young too help herself, yet it contradicts the personality showing through by her other actions. This was one of the things that rubbed me the wrong way.
Caelan on the other hand is what I'd like in a Dom. He's not perfect, but boy is he so dominating. Whew! I was heavily turned on by his actions and words. He's the perfect Dom for Nisey and I'm glad Ms. Trace paired them up. The things he did to guide her were fantastic. I'd really use this book as a way to introduce new to BDSM lifestyle readers how it could be. What I also enjoyed was the contrast of the would be Dom, Nisey's ex-boyfriend. This comparison was good for me because it is realistic that there are the wanna-bes that give the rest of the BDSM people a bad name. In addition, his concept of BDSM was way off base.
There are two items that bothered me. One is a pet peeve of mine; the other was brought to my attention because of something my friend Joellen mentioned at one time. First one, the SSC - safe sane and consensual phrase bothers me. It's not one that I prefer to use. I know it's bandied around by many as the "Golden Rule" and if people in BDSM don't endorse this rule, then they are "bad" people. My take on it is, the slightly more than vanilla people who want to get their kink on use this phrase to vanilla-ize BDSM to what they consider acceptable. Instead, I go with RACK which is Risk Aware Consensual Kink. Why do I make the distinction? Because after trying several of these scenes, we have to really question what it means to be sane. By definition sane is having or showing reason, sound judgment, or good sense. Right... this is just a tad bit subjective, isn't it? And don't even get me started on SAFE. Many of the stuff I've tried are not "safe". They can be made as safe as possible, but there is ALWAYS risk of harm. ALWAYS. The only thing I'm totally into is the consensual. If it isn't two consenting adults, it's a no go. This is why that SSC bothers me. For others, they could care less.
The other thing that isn't a pet peeve but came across as odd was Nisey referring to herself in 3rd person. "This slave...". I'm not opposed to this protocol. In fact, I find it hot, given the right circumstances. In this story, to me it felt odd and forced because it wasn't inherently Nisey's personality make up. Nor was it really Caelan's style. From what I can tell, they are more the loving erotic couple. She isn't into objectification or humiliation. By using the 3rd person, it is a method to sort of dehumanize and objectify a sub. It's a type of play which can involve humiliation which can be very hot. Neither Nisey nor Caelan come across as lifestylers who enjoy this. Now if I saw Mistress Olivia requiring her sub to refer to themselves in 3rd person, I could see this happening.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I recommend it to both new and old to BDSM. This is one hot erotic book.