**Review Copy generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.**
New York City, Late Summer 2009
Like many single women who reside in the city that never sleeps, Micah Foster has had numerous encounters with undesirable men that make her want to renounce love. Just when she’s on the verge of calling it quits in her quest to find love and a sustainable relationship with a Dominant man, her friend Kisa requests her company for a girl’s night out at Spanxxx, a local fetish club. Both Kisa and Micah are seasoned submissive players in the BDSM lifestyle. Micah has been involved in the scene since her early twenties, but she has yet to meet a Dominant she meshes with and takes seriously. Now, at age thirty, she continues to search for a connection that repeatedly eludes her. Under duress, she crosses paths with Dominant Rick Thomas. Unusual and dire circumstances bring the pair together, and he’s exactly what Micah has been searching for.
The Sweetest Taboo is aptly titled. It’s an unconventional erotic love story that provides a different perspective of a relationship involving D/s and BDSM. The reader will follow Micah and Rick’s journey from beginning to end. You’ll laugh, you’ll be turned on, and most of all, you’ll find yourself cheering for their love.
*Disclaimer* If rough sex, an interracial pairing (Black woman/White man), D/s, and BDSM are of no interest to you, you should bypass this story. Intended for a mature and kinky audience. Recommended for adults 18+.
Contemporary, BDSM, Erotica
188 e-book pages
1st person, alternating POV
Edition I read:
As a debut novel by an Independent Author, I give mad props for a solid and enjoyable read. I liked this for a few reasons. Though, as a critical reader, I had a few problems fully connecting.
This is written in a unique style frequently found in the D/s community within message boards and chat rooms wherein pronouns and names of submissives are lowercase and those of dominants are uppercase in an effort to show place and respect. We’re not going to talk about how I know this! Therefore, the reader will find some odd case placement beginning and within sentence structure. It takes some getting used to, and can sometimes be jarring. However, I found this to be a bold and quite brave format that worked for me in overall tone and intent.
For the most part, the story was well constructed and organic. There were a few scenes that felt a little incomplete as they merged into others, but the pace was easily recovered.
I loved the characters. I thought they were well developed and nuanced just enough for the overall plot. As a greedy reader (and I mean REALLY greedy because I want to know EVERYTHING) I kind of wish there’d been a little less introspection and a lot more meaningful dialog between Micah and Rick as they built their relationship because D/s relationships require an immense amount of unfettered communication to work.
I loved how Micah is a strong and independent woman whose submissive nature is something she’s thought about deeply and knows is just a piece of her. She’s accomplished and capable in her own right—not the vapid, TSTL heroine often portrayed in BDSM stories. This was refreshing and allowed me to instantly respect her and want her story.
Rick…I liked him fine. He’s almost a little too perfect in the Romance Hero sort of way. But, for all that is him, he’s well grounded, intuitive, and shows a fun side. I almost feel the need to go faint outside a BDSM club….think that’ll work?
The story is interracial, a woman of color and her white lover. To me (white girl), I thought the few times this was touched on as a topic were very well done. I liked how how Micah’s family questioned Rick’s intentions and how Rick explained his love to Micah’s family. As an overall story line…it just doesn’t matter, it’s not a BIG THING. Micah and Rick fall in love and it’s plain ol’ believable love—as it should be.
On the sex and the kink element…Harper, I’m GREEEEDY. I don’t like sex scenes for the sake of sex…and I don’t want anything gratuitous or pages long freaky-business. But, this story could have easily supported one or two more kinkified playroom scenes and one or two more sweet-n-sweaty bedroom scenes. As the story progressed, it got a little more vanilla in the sex department while still maintaining D/s protocols in all else. I get it, sort of…or I think I do—but gimme!
Harper is an author to watch spread her writerly wings. There is some serious skill developing here and this book shows me that she’s fearless. I like that, and I’m going to be paying attention.
This review also posted on GoodReads and Amazon.