The Serpent’s Lair by Kaye Sykes
Publisher: Changeling Press
Length: Short Story (70 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Spanking
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Fern
The daughter of an eccentric horticulturist, Ivy is devoted to plant science, but craves an intimacy that embarrasses and excites her. When her father is caught trespassing on Marcus Faraday's estate, Ivy has no choice but to offer herself in exchange for her father's freedom.
Marcus makes her darkest desire come true with his whips and chains, but he harbors a secret that might cost them both their lives. Can they learn to trust each other before it's too late?
The Serpent’s Lair is a BDSM story that has a Beauty and the Beast, gothic romance, kind of feel. When the town spinster, Ivy Shelton, sacrifices herself to protect her father, she has no idea that the man she falls prey to knows her innermost desires and longs to fulfill them. Of course, the mysterious Marcus Faraday isn’t entirely who he appears to be. Bondage, whips, and a huge display of trust will bring them together, but will it be enough to form a bond that can survive Marcus’s serpentine nature?
Though The Serpent’s Lair gets off to a slow start, it quickly gains momentum when Ivy travels to Marcus’s Mansion in search of her father. You’ll begin wriggling and squirming in your seat the moment Mr. Faraday arrives on the page. It’s apparent he’s not what he seems, but the mystery is a slow burner, and you won’t discover–though you will suspect–what he is until the big reveal. He is the most captivating part of the story, and the reason you don’t want to put the book down. That isn’t to say that Ivy isn’t memorable or likeable, because she is, but when Marcus is on the page, everything fades into the background. Nothing beats a tortured hero searching for love and understanding. Through him you’ll become invested in the story and what is sure to be a nail-biting climax.
The material itself is well written, and moves along nicely when Marcus and Ivy are interacting with one another. The sex and bondage scenes sizzle, and the unexpected twists along the way add necessary tension and intrigue. One of the things I really liked was the wow-o moment that arrives near the end. The reader’s attention is intentionally homed in one direction for so long you won’t see the sucker-punch of a sub-plot that has been carefully constructed and hidden away until it whaps you between the eyes and leaves you pleasantly surprised.
The Serpent’s Lair is a story best enjoyed when you need something warm to keep away the cold. Good thing the holiday season right around the corner. Be sure to put this one on your TBR pile.