Saturday, 20 December 2014
Book: Bonds of Need by Lynda Aicher
Having suffered abuse in the guise of pleasure for years, Kendra has run from her ex, Eric, and promised herself that she'd never set foot in a BDSM club again. Until her friend, Cali invites her, she sticks to that, but after watching a few scenes she feels the urge to play. Deklan likes to know what is going on around him, and he's noticed his attractive neighbour before, but seeing her at the Den shows him that not only is she naturally submissive, but she's been in the lifestyle before. Following her to the Dungeon he takes over her scene when Lucas doesn't feel he should continue, where he notices that there's more to Kendra than meets the eye. Deklan can't help but be intrigued by her and want to help her see that her desires aren't wrong, and in fact they can be good...
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Me being me, I haven't actually read the Wicked Play books in order (or all of them for that matter, in fact I've read 2, 4 and 6) but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Though there is progression in what is going on in the club, each story is self contained about one couple and that makes them easy to enjoy on their own.
What I enjoyed about the other two books, and about this one, was how it was more than just about the BDSM aspect of the couple's relationship. Yes that played a part, and yes it was descriptive, but there was much more to it than that. For a start, though they both wanted it, Deklan and Kendra didn't actually have sex until very late on in the book (up until then they'd just participated in scenes, though actually not all that many of them were described), but they did do things like take a run together.
I thought that it was interesting to see a well played out relationship where the woman had been in an abusive dom-sub relationship. So often you find if that's the case in books then the heroine trusts the hero way too easily and the hero really doesn't question that, whereas in Bonds of Need you can feel the two of them beginning to trust each other more, but it still takes more time than that for them to act on the level of trust. I thought it worked well, and meant that the building relationship and trust between them felt realistic.
I also thought it was really well done that the characters weren't just defined by their sexuality. Though Deklan was a Dom, there were moments when he was incrediably vulnerable and moments where he was massively sweet, he also wasn't that controlling over all (just when playing). On the flip side, Kendra wasn't just a sub, she had a strength of character that couldn't be hidden. Outside of the Den it really felt like the two of them had a relationship of equals, which so often isn't felt in this genre, which interestingly did include the bedroom, where again they came across as equal.
As I'd enjoyed the other two books from the series that I've read, I knew I'd enjoy Bonds of Need, and it really didn't disappoint. This is so much more than a BDSM story, it interwines real relationships, real people and real emotions with the lifestyle in a way that just works.