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REVIEW: The Auction by Kitty Thomas

Dear Ms. Thomas,

Your work was recommended to me as an ‘out of the box’ self-published erotica writer that has a lot of fans, but whose works are not for everyone. I flipped through your works and settled upon The Auction because the blurb mentioned that she was bought by a monster. I was hoping for a Beauty and the Beast type of story. This is not even close. Instead, it’s a D/s story about a woman that is purchased by a dragon-like man and made to service him and his brother.

The Auction	Kitty ThomasBelle is a young woman in the city on a planet that is vaguely dystopian. From the worldbuilding, readers should infer that this is a planet that has been cut off from almost all society and the little colony lives a simple life. It made me think of the Shyamalan movie The Village in that aspect. At a certain age, all women are auctioned off to a man that they will belong to. Some women are happy to be auctioned off, but Belle believes in hedging her bets. She blows a lot of men behind the community center in the hopes that one of them will purchase her and secure her future. Instead, she is bought by a monstrous looking man – one of the ‘monsters’ on the outskirts of the city and sent to live with him. There, she exists in sexual slavery to him and must decide how she will cope with being owned by him.

While your writing is very easy to sink into, I had a number of problems with this story, and perhaps it is me not being a fan of Master/slave, it’s hard to tell. I found Belle rather unlikable. She waffles back and forth between hating Master (the only name she is allowed to call him) and adoring him. She’s quick to toss down blowjobs to secure a far-off future, but when her future is here, she’s suddenly reluctant to be owned by the man she was blowing, or her new master. She runs away even though it’s dangerous and she has nothing to run back to. I found this difficult to root for.

The ‘Master’ was a character that was very lightly sketched. All I knew about him was that he had sex toys on hand, a really high body temperature, and a big package. I cannot speak to his personality, and I think that’s a lot of the problem of this story – it feels as if corners were cut. I am not against his character, but I’m not for it either. I simply don’t care either way, because as the reader, I’ve been given nothing but a horrifying description (he looks like a cross between a dragon and a man and has a forked tongue) and am told he likes to dominate his human.

The titillating scenarios presented here beyond the slavery were edgy but I did not find them particularly erotic. Perhaps it’s the first person point of view that was throwing me off, and the constant addressing of the camera that broke the fourth wall. Either way, I found it annoying. I had the same problem with this book that I did Annabel Joseph’s Odalisque – the characters are presented in this emotional scenario (Master/slave) but they come across as cardboard and weak and ultimately emotionless.

I enjoyed your writing and found this to be a very brief, mostly grammatically clean read. It was 57 pages according to the Amazon webpage, and I think with double the pages, you could have made the sex a little more erotic, the characters a little more nuanced, the world fleshed out. As it was, this felt like it skimmed the surface. There was one scene that I found a distinct turn off, and I have to chalk it up, again, as not my kind of story. This will be an author I won’t be picking up in the future, I don’t think. The voice was very readable but the story ultimately lifeless.

All best,

January

AmazonBN

January Janes

January likes a little bit of everything. She's partial to unique paranormals, erotic romances, contemporary, and YA. She has a fondness for novellas and trying self-published works, though more of those are misses than hits. She still refuses to read anything that smells like literary fiction. January also changes this bio on a regular basis depending on her reading mood.

6 Comments

  1. Jane
    Mar 02, 2012 @ 20:28:33

    The only book I tried to read was Comfort Food which is apparently a very popular story within some circles, but I felt like it was such a classic case of stockholm syndrome. Girl gets kidnapped, treated awfully. Is released and then goes back to her kidnapper because he is the only one who loves her. He makes her sit outside in the rain over night (or maybe it was three nights) with a blanket and a bowl of soup. She is grateful for each gift because it shows he still cares. I think she lives in a cage for some time in his house. I clutched my pearls.

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  2. Ridley
    Mar 02, 2012 @ 21:05:18

    I haven’t read this one, but I have read Comfort Food and Tender Mercies both by Kitty Thomas. I got them because I totally dig noncon BDSM erotica with a kidnapping theme (don’t bother judging me, I can’t be shamed) and saw these were mentioned often in the Amazon romance as good reads.

    So, here I am, target demographic, ready to love them and…I was totally bored with them both. Comfort Food seemed to want to be an erotic psychological thriller, but was too sterile to be erotic, the characters too cardboard to be a thriller and too unromantic to be a romance. It totally lacked a point and a purpose. Tender Mercies, meanwhile, was a paint-by-numbers erotic romance with noncon wallpaper. Totally forgettable fluff.

    So your reaction to this book may not be a function of you not liking noncon D/s stories. I will say that I think the author writes well, prose and voice-wise, but her plotting and characterization is weak.

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  3. nasanta
    Mar 02, 2012 @ 21:06:52

    Comfort Food intrigued me because a) it *was* Stockholm Syndrome and the author didn’t try to persuade the reader that the heroine fell in love with her kidnapper, which I appreciated and b) of the psychology imbued in the work. So I was very interested in the rest of the author’s work. Lately, I read Guilty Pleasures which, well, turned out to be a bit disappointing. On top of what I’m getting from this review, I don’t know whether I want to continue with the rest of this author’s work myself.

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  4. anon4this
    Mar 02, 2012 @ 22:31:17

    So, here I am, target demographic, ready to love them and…I was totally bored with them both. Comfort Food seemed to want to be an erotic psychological thriller, but was too sterile to be erotic, the characters too cardboard to be a thriller and too unromantic to be a romance. It totally lacked a point and a purpose.

    yes

    i got almost halfway thru it before i put it down because i was bored. it was sad because it had alot of potential to really dig in but it didnt. technically, shes a good writer, but her zoe winters work has no passion either.

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  5. SHZ
    Mar 03, 2012 @ 01:54:54

    I have enjoyed some aspects of Kitty Thomas’ writing, but this was the worst book from her I have read.

    My favourite was Tender Mercies, but in the scheme of things it was not erotica – far too tame!! It wasn’t a masterpiece, but filled my Cinderella fantasies for the time I was reading!

    She does excel in fantasies where consent is removed, and thus the female lead loses the guilt associated with certain acts.

    However, my issue is mostly with her attitude to D/s and BDSM. On her blog she talks about how safewords aren’t for “real” kinksters, and how erotic romance readers are naïve and shouldn’t comment on what they don’t understand.

    She speaks for everyone, when her beliefs are only hers.

    ReplyReply

  6. Ridley
    Mar 04, 2012 @ 19:20:52

    Where’d the comments go?

    ReplyReply

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