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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Book Review: Claimed by Stacey Kennedy

**Warning: This title is a BDSM erotica novel**

Claimed, a Club Sin novel
by Stacey Kennedy
Publisher: Random House Loveswept
Published: August 2013
Length: 230 pages
Edition: ecopy
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Presley Flynn is ripe to experience her secret fantasies . . . and Dmitri Pratt wants nothing more than to fulfill them. Once inside the elite Club Sin in Las Vegas, Presley is nervous but excited—and determined to surrender to her every desire. Dmitri is her Master, and his touch is like fire. With each careful, calculated caress, he unleashes her wildest inhibitions, giving her unimagined pleasure.

Presley is different than the other submissives Dmitri has mastered. The BDSM lifestyle is new to her, and so are the games they play at Club Sin. From the start, Presley stirs emotions in him far beyond the raw purity between a dom and the perfect sub. For the ecstasy they share goes beyond the dungeon igniting a passion that claims the very depths of the heart.

Review: I'm not quite sure where to start with this review. On the one hand, I liked the blossoming relationship between Presley & Dmitri. I liked the rules he has for his little house of pain and that she had a strong friend who is already in "the scene." On the other hand, I thought found some of the writing awkward (although to be fair I guess there is only so many ways to describe increased breathing, but sometimes I thought Presley may be asthmatic) and her ex's threats to be ridiculous. Back to the first hand: who doesn't like when an alpha male knocks down a weasel into his proper place?

This book opens with Cora, Presley's roommate, telling her that "he will not be expecting sex" as she leads her down the hall to an office. Actually, she grunts it at her. :-/ Yeah, I didn't like that word choice. It bothered me enough to stick with me throughout my read. Anyway, Presley is a woman who has broken it off with her high school sweetheart, Steven, after discovering he has cheated on her. She moved in abruptly with her friend, Cora, and is getting her life going. Cora discovers that her best friend reads copious amounts of BDSM erotica, seems like the submissive sort, so asks for permission to bring her to the dungeon and that's how Presley starts her journey into BDSM.

I had a problem with this. I don't see someone who has only ever slept with one selfish asswipe of a man suddenly jumping into a sex club because she READS so much about it. Maybe a dominant personality would, but would a submissive? Hmmm. We later discover that she had a few experiences with Steven where he would spank her or tie her up, but that she was "just bored."

The dungeon, Club Sin, sounds comfortable, non-sleazy, and a good safe place for those participating, seeing as how it is invite only and must be a personal connection. And it's like Fight one talks about it outside of the dungeon. There are no fees, just absolute rules, with five Masters, who check in on every scene to make sure that nothing is going awry.

In her first night, we have the almost-virginal Presley shocked, appalled, and ready to bolt as she observes all the happenings in the dungeon. She can barely say the word sex without blushing, but she's going to dive into this lifestyle. She calms immediately when Dmitri touches her and talks to her and holds her in his compelling stare. Dmitri will discover that she isn't really turned on by the lifestyle so much as turned on to the lifestyle with him. I liked that. While she thought she was diving into a scene, instead she is knocked over by this intensity with Dmitri.

This was a fast read for me. And although  I didn't hate it, I didn't love it either. It falls to that "okay" spectrum! The sex scenes were enjoyable and very focused on Presley and her pleasure as opposed to Dmitri, which I thought was great.

Thank you to Random House Loveswept and the author for allowing me to read this advanced copy via Netgalley!

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