This was not a long book, but a heavy story. In this the author has created not only a story, but also what I hope is an eye opening experience to readers. I know it was to me. We delve into the laws surrounding bdsm type relationships. Let me tell you, some of them completely take away ones rights to personal preference. Some of it is still bouncing around in my head while I try to digest it all.
The story is bridged nicely with the first book, The Companion, also a great book that gives reader a look into a realistic bdsm relationship, not just whips, chains, and orgasms. The first book focused mainly on the submissive side of the relationship, this one follows a dominant new to The Scene (what the bdsm community refers to itself as). The main character is in a normal everyday relationship, but wants to understand how her friend is happy in a bdsm relationship. Well, she gets schooled. There are bumps along the way.
TThis is not hard core kink. Yes, there is some ugly bumping, but it's not the main focus. There is a lot of understanding to be gained from reading this. Some of this may give you uncomfortable feelings, and push you to really open your mind. I took a step back about halfway through the book to really survey my own marriage. In doing so, I realized that while I may not be a player in The Scene, but there is a dominant role, and a submissive role that both my husband and I play. Yes, that role bounces back and forth sometimes, but it's there.
The writing is top notch, but that doesn't surprise me when it come to this author, she has successfully written in this genre, and science fiction as well. It is obvious that this is written by someone well studied in the culture, it shows in neon lights.
This is high on my list of book recommendations. Especially to anyone curious about what it really is like to be in this type of relatiknship, for anyone wanting a little more understanding.