Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Agony/Ecstasy

Agony/Ecstasy Anthology: Rebecca Lawton and “Taken”

Agony/Ecstasy Anthology: Rebecca Lawton and “Taken”

Optimized-agonyNescstasy

The captivity narrative has a long tradition in the romance genre dating as far back to the 1912 publication of The Sheik by E.M. Hull  In the 70s and 80s, the captivity narrative often took the form of the Noble Savage and the White Woman.  The racist undertones were perhaps unintentional.  In Taken, I found a modern look at the captivity narrative, a riff off the 80s bodice rippers.

And yet, when he moved again and brought himself down next to her, almost touching her leg with his own thigh, he seemed very much a man. A tall, muscled, almost graceful man, smelling of peat and smoke and sweat, and the peppery combination shocked her nose, which did not, strangely, object to the combination. It had been so very long since she had been interested in the smell of a man, so long since her body acknowledged its own desire for those sensations. Fear must have heightened her senses; that was the only explanation. That, and the witchcraft, of course. Still, when he was sliding down next to her, she wanted so badly to reach up to his solemn face, to find out if his lips were as soft as her bewitched body knew they would be.

Which is when she remembered her bound hands. A hysterical bubble of sound pushed past the terror clogging her throat as she raised her bloody, chafed wrists, first up to her face, so she could witness her own self-treachery, and then over her head like a club, awareness of what was about to happen pushing her desires in an entirely different direction.

The final entry “Transformed” by Anne Calhoun.

Agony/Ecstasy Anthology: Shoshanna Evers and “The Wooden Pony”

Agony/Ecstasy Anthology: Shoshanna Evers and “The Wooden Pony”

Optimized-agonyNescstasy

Of all the stories in the book,  “The Wooden Pony” by Shoshanna Evers seemed the most traditionally BDSM but the set up was so nicely done (the couple meets through an online ad).  It dovetailed nicely with Christine d’Abo’s story, Bruised Ego.  The female protagonist here was searching for an outlet for her need for pain. Before, it was cutting. In Bruised Ego, the male protagonist used unsanctioned fights.  Like Bruised Ego, sex isn’t the ultimate goal, it’s an emotional release and through that emotional release, an emotional connection.

“Wow,” Natalie said as she looked around, taking it all in. “Impressive.”

“When we are in the basement you don’t speak unless I grant you permission,” Eric said softly. “And you address me as Sir. Do you understand?”

Natalie’s mouth dropped open as if in surprise, but Eric didn’t say a word. She needed to get with the program right away. If she wasn’t up for his rules then she certainly wasn’t up for a whipping.

She raised her eyebrows and looked at the stairs to the exit for just a moment. Then she looked back at him. “Yes, Sir. I understand.”

Good girl. She was going to be fun to initiate.

Next up is Taken by Rebecca Lawton