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REVIEW: Natural Law by Joey Hill

Dear Ms. Hill:

Natural LawThis is the only book I’ve read that featured a female dominant and a male submissive. What makes this story so extraordinary is that the male submissive is an alpha male and remains an alpha male even while enjoying being dominated in the bedroom. I frankly didn’t know that it could be done but that conditioning likely comes from 17+ years of romance reading where an alpha male is always the dominant in the bedroom (to an unhealthy degree).

This is not a book for the faint of heart because it features the breaking down of physical and emotional barriers in an very explicit manner. However, like all really good erotica, the story challenges a reader and the reader’s belief system in what is right or natural.

Mac is a Tampa homicide detective who happens to be a sexual submissive. He recognizes a murder victim as one who visited a BDSM club that Mac himself frequents. In order to solve the crime, Mac must go undercover and infiltrate The Zone, a high end BDSM club, that seems to be the hunting grounds of a serial killer. Mac realizes that in order to pursue this angle, he has to come out to his superior officer. Reading this part of the story did more for showing what type of person Mac was than anything else. He was one who could put aside personal pride for the rights of a victim. He was someone you could cheer for.

Violet is a dom. She’s a new dom who didn’t realize the reason that she was sexually unfulfilled until someone recognized the dom traits inside of her. After her training has ended, she heads into The Zone on her first solo flight. She spots Mac right off and burns to have him. Only she doesn’t want his glib charm or his talented tongue or his impressive body. She wants all of him. The first part of this story is about the breaking down of all of Mac’s barriers. I was, at times, taken aback and wondered if it was going too far, but with each step, you were able to sell me on the idea that this was right and good for Mac, what he actually wanted. As a reader, I felt like I as being broken with Mac, my own inhibitions or reservations being torn away page by page.

Where this book faltered for me was the integration of the suspense thread with the erotic romance portion of it. Mac seemed to do little investigating while Violet and he were engaged in their bedroom battle. I could not find that you left any clues or foreshadowing as to who the serial killer was and so while it was a big surprise at the end, the villiany seemed out of character. I think that the book would have been even better without the suspense aspect. Note, Bam figured out the killer right away.

Vampire Queen's ServantOne description that I loved was the idea that an alpha male submissive is like the palace guard of a Queen. A truly devoted palace guard would do anything for his Queen, that he exists only to serve and she exists to fulfill his desire to serve. It’s a very enticing image. To say that I am anxious to read The Vampire Queen’s Servant which is your July 2007 Berkley Trade release is an understatement. Bring on the palace guard! B+

Best regards,

Jane

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She 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

11 Comments

  1. Karen Scott
    Dec 21, 2006 @ 06:14:09

    I read this one after many recs, and just couldn’t get into it. I’ll try again in a couple of months to see if I can read it with a more open mind.

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  2. Avaron Dale
    Dec 21, 2006 @ 09:54:46

    Um Jane…. I hate to correct you, but the name of the high end BDSM club that Mac has to inflitrate is “The Zone” not True Blue. The latter was his regular club as he couldn’t afford the membership fees at the Zone yet. :)

    I read this book, greatly enjoyed this book, which by the way is part of a series of books set around/at The Zone, and while some are much darker, they are all intense and thought-provaking reads.

    Avaron

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  3. Jane
    Dec 21, 2006 @ 09:57:11

    I should always be corrected. Thanks for pointing that out. I’ll make the change.

    ReplyReply

  4. Keishon
    Dec 21, 2006 @ 10:56:50

    I liked this one as well and would rate it a strong B read, too. I read it after Bam rec’d it some time back. I thought the book was a rather strong, solid story with a weak suspense plot. I was impressed with her voice. I had no idea that she has a paperback coming out. I’ll be on the look out for it.

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  5. bam
    Dec 21, 2006 @ 11:42:53

    Right on, homie. I wasn’t a huge fan of the suspense/mystery elements, either. I do feel that it was kind of tacked on. Nevertheless, the author’s writing made up for all of it and I did enjoy the closeness that develops between Mac and Violet.

    *rubbing hands fiendishly* Now on to the next review we talked about…

    ReplyReply

  6. TeddyPig
    Dec 22, 2006 @ 10:10:20

    Freaking Lizards! Being a big fag and an old bottom/slave boy in my better looking days um… I think this might be the ONLY straight BDSM romance I have read that actually made sense to me and mapped out the dynamics and the motivations in a believable and reasonable way. Butt plugs were kept at a minimum not the only devices used (I mean is that the only thing straight romance writers have ever seen? Boy do I have some toys in the old play chest to show you.) while describing different dungeon scenes and the straight male sub got his ass handed to him in a way that I thought made sense.

    But… The whole serial killer schmaltz was totally not need especially with what she did to the heroine at the end there with the first mishap not to mention going too far with the second mishap. I mean I was screaming at the author in my mind “Hey Lady! STOP! STOP THE BUS! Hey Lady, that was my stop!”

    I thought for sure she was gonna wussy out on the BDSM part of the relationship at the end with them seeming to swear off attending the club anymore even though that was a major part of their social events. What? Are they going just have BDSM dinner parties or something?

    Anyway big old A+ for doing the dungeon scene right and making the budding romance work around BDSM dynamics instead of negate them. The rest… well it was just too much a great big “why” and a big old “who cares”.

    My Leather blog by the way is http://www.leatherflog.com is you do not believe me. NSFW

    ReplyReply

  7. Teddy Pig
    Dec 22, 2006 @ 12:49:11

    Last question: With a name like Violet where was the “violet wand”????

    ReplyReply

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    [...] Dear Author’s Review of Natural Law [...]

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  10. Kathy
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 12:19:23

    This book was very challenging for me to read – but I am so glad I did.

    First, I love this author’s writing style. It comes across as very authentic for the characters. As for the story plot, I agree that the suspense/mystery could have been improved and integrated into the character development better. I did guess correctly who the killer was pretty early into things.

    As for the character development in the BDSM scene, this is where the real challenge came from. I agree with your comment that I felt like I was being peeled apart along with Mac. It was difficult to get through the breakdown of Mac without being judgemental … this is not my personal lifestyle, and trying to absorb and understand it through Mac’s perspective was at turns facinating and revolting, but always educational. I do believe that while I cannot totally understand the whole D/s dynamic, my frame of reference has changed. Facinating.

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  11. Legged
    Feb 23, 2013 @ 16:35:46

    Jane, I loved your review so much that it has inspired me to read the book. I am a middle aged good looking fit, successful alpha male who is searching for understanding? I Run a corporation durning the day, and When I come home I want to completely surrender to a smart, wise woman who will take complete control.

    A woman’s looks no longer is my trigger rather her mind, ediication and female domanance. I hoping I can learn something from this book.

    Thank you,

    Kegger

    ReplyReply

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