The Beauty of Surrender
Delta (Random House), Oct 27 2009, $15.00
“Serving the Master: Desmond and Ava”. In San Francisco submissive Ava Gregory seeks the trance state, but dominant Marina Marchant failed to get her Bottom to achieve that at the Pinnacle BDSM sex club. Marina introduces Ava to her Nawashi expert peer in the play of the Japanese Shibari erotic ropes Desmond Hale as her guru. They achieve more than just the ultimate in play as they fall in love. Although she overcomes her embarrassment of being a submissive that has limited her contact with her family in Seattle, he never overcame his need for control since his sister Nessie drowned when they were children. Love means ceding some control.
“Soothing the Beast: Marina and James”. Marina Meets James Cortez at a lecture she gives on Shibari erotic ropes techniques. He pleads with her to play him until he achieves the shadow place so he can get respite from his demons that haunt him after the horrors he seen as a reporter covering the ugliness of the world. She informs him she only plays with women, but his need persuades her though he is not a submissive by nature and prays with her on top will give him freedom from his nightmares. As they enjoy the bondage and more, their attraction turns to love, but she fears the emotion ever since her Nathan died from cancer four years ago.
These are two well written erotic romantic novellas that focus on the characters more than sex though there are several heated rope scenes. Fans of BDSM romances will relish both well written tales but also feel each one could have easily been novel length as Eden Bradley’s exploration of the relationships beyond just top-bottom play went deep and profound especially the fears of the dominants but the resolutions seem rushed for such profound tales.