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REVIEW: Nisey’s Awakening by Dakota Trace

Dear Ms. Trace:

A reader recommended this book to me and I can see the appeal of the younger female’s sexual curiosity being met by an older, desirable and experienced Dom. I could not overlook the problems sufficiently to enjoy the story.

Nisey's Awakening Nisey, while living at her parent’s house, encouraged her boyfriend, Derrick, to explore the BDSM lifestyle and one night he restrains her.  When her parents come home unexpectedly, he leaves her to be discovered as punishment for failing to ensuring they would not be interpreted.  Nisey supposedly becomes adverse to the lifestyle but she still has serious fantasies about her sexuality controlled and dictated by some one else. These fantasies are so powerful Nisey cannot achieve release and she begins to have problems completing regular day to day activities such as eating and sleeping because of it. Luckily her best friend Kalinda has a solution. Kalinda’s brother, Caelan, is a well known Dom in the Chicago area.  Kalinda encourages Nisey to talk to Caelan.

Caelan is of Irish descent and apparently still talks with an accent. I only mention Caelen’s heritage because it is referred to over and over. He’s a “demanding Irish bastard” or that “Irish bastard” to virtually everyone who knows him. He prefers to use the Irish versions of Master/Slave. Nisey refers to him as “that stubborn Irishman”. You would have thought he immigrated yesterday or that his “Irishness” imbued some special qualities.   Caelan doesn’t want to train a newbie and initially he balks over coming between a dom and his sub.  This is a refrain that repeats itself throughout the story as does the issue of punishment.  No matter what a dom is doing to his sub, so long as that relationship exists, no matter what the sub says, no one will interfere in this construct.

What’s troubling is that the relationship between a dom and sub can be corrosive  and dangerous but if the person has submitted to being collared, the nature of the relationship prevents anyone from interfering.  There are several scenes wherein the subs (always females) protest some treatment and the only difference in determining whether the treatment is inhumane is the sub’s reaction. So when Derrick goes after Kalinda and attempts to force sex upon her, Derrick’s sin is that Kalinda isn’t really his sub and that Kalinda doesn’t want to be his sub.  When another dom does virtually the same thing to Kalinda’s roommate, it’s uber sexy because the roommate wanted it.

There were other things that I found troubling outside of the Dom/Sub presentation:

First, the book opens with several rape jokes. Ie. “I wanted this anymore, I’d rape you myself.” This continues for several pages.  “That sounds rather ominous. You’re brother isn’t a serial rapist is he?” She meant it as a joke but was worried when Kalinda fidgeted. “Kalinda?”

The heroine uses a really offensive saying, I was busier than a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest today.

I should also add that there are rape triggers in the book itself.

The heroine is attacked by her ex boyfriend and the local Dom community catches him. He is punished because the act takes place outside the dom/sub relationship. A female Dom rapes him anally while the hero watches. The scene isn’t described with a lot of detail, but I know this is a trigger.  When Caelan says to Nisey, “‘Safe, Sane, and Consensual’ is more than our motto, Nisey, it is the core of our lifestyle” it should have come with an addendum that sex is also used as punishment to those who transgress.

The writing is very obvious and I felt that the concept of punishment as a core part of BDSM was over emphasized, really degrading the women in the story.  For those that like the nice but firm handed (har har) Doms, perhaps this will appeal but I probably won’t revisit the Chicago Doms series.


Best regards,



Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. JenM
    Jul 17, 2012 @ 13:53:18

    I once got a free download of one of this author’s books, but I really disliked it and rated it an “F”. It featured a rape scene and aftermath to it that I found particularly offensive. I wondered whether that book was an aberration, but this review confirms that her books are definitely not for me.

  2. Jane
    Jul 17, 2012 @ 13:54:05

    @JenM: Another one of her books has a rape scene? Egads. I just think that should be used carefully in books.

  3. Laura
    Jul 17, 2012 @ 14:15:29

    Gah. Epic BDSM fail.

  4. JenM
    Jul 17, 2012 @ 14:16:21

    @Jane: Oh, it gets worse. In the book I read, the hero’s ex-girlfriend kidnaps and rapes the heroine, is arrested, but not jailed, because the arresting officer instead spanks her in the back of his squad car, then starts dating her. But wait, there’s more. Two months later, the cop and ex-girlfriend show up at the hero and heroine’s engagement party at the invitation of the hero!!! WTF???

  5. Isobel Carr
    Jul 17, 2012 @ 15:13:44

    ***These fantasies are so powerful Nisey cannot achieve release and she begins to have problems completing regular day to day activities such as eating and sleeping because of it. Luckily her best friend Kalinda has a solution.***

    I have a solution too, it’s called therapy. There’s nothing wrong with kinky fantasies, but when fantasy (regardless of what it’s about) begins to interfere with your ability to function, that’s a serious red flag.

  6. Barbara
    Jul 18, 2012 @ 13:26:57

    pssst! two typos: ‘adverse’ for ‘averse’ and ‘interpreted’ for ‘interrupted’.

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