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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Take Your Pleasure by Jasmine Haynes

Take Your Pleasure by Jasmine Haynes
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (92 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/M, M/F/M, Ménage, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Natalie Beaumonde’s life turns upside down the day she walks in on her boyfriend, Van, playing submissive to a beautiful dominatrix. Not only has she been betrayed, but Natalie loses her belief in herself as a desirable woman. And when she starts making mistakes at work, her career being the one thing she’s always excelled at, she’s in danger of losing her self-worth and her job, too.

Lincoln Masters isn’t like most bosses. Instead of issuing a reprimand, he decides his sexy executive assistant needs a good spanking, something he’s been dying to deliver for almost a year. And afterward, he hatches a plan to help Natalie rebuild her self-confidence and show her wandering man the error of his ways: become the dominatrix her boyfriend is looking for. Being a Master himself, Lincoln’s the perfect dom to help her execute the punishment.

Lincoln’s terms for helping her? He wants a piece of Natalie, too. Now Natalie finds herself with a growing fascination for her boss. When Van’s punishment is complete, can she go back to being just Mr. Masters’ assistant?

Take Your Pleasure is a sizzling hot erotic novella with a premise that isn’t entirely what you may think. Although you believe you have an idea regarding the character motivations, the truth will undoubtedly surprise you.

On the titillating scale, Take Your Pleasure delivers. You have the betrayed executive assistant, her sexy boss, and their flourishing relationship. From the moment Lincoln offers Natalie a spanking as a punishment for her absent-minded behavior, the heat is on, and man-oh-man, does it get hot! The power exchange is fantastic -- Lincoln is a born dominant while Natalie is most definitely a part-time submissive -- as are the circumstances that bring them together. The two of them, to put it simply, have an amazing chemistry and it shows.

The issue I had wasn't with the way the all-important subplot involving Natalie’s significant other was handled. After spending two-years with Van, the hurt she experiences when she walks in on him with a Dominatrix is understandable. She’s not into “kink” and is unsure of herself and uncertain of their relationship. These elements of betrayal, heartbreak, and low self-confidence force the reader to relate to Natalie, and allow you to understand that while she submits to her boss despite understanding her needs or reasoning, there is something deeper involved.

What bothered me, however, was her eager readiness to deliver the brand of punishment she wanted to Van, without discussing the matter beforehand or trying to understand his needs as a submissive. Van’s behavior after discovery (a broken man pleading to introduce Natalie to his “therapist” to help her have a clear understanding of the lifestyle) is so very different from the man we are shown when Natalie chooses to master Van for himself, and leads to a very sexy but emotionally confusing scene near the story’s conclusion that I had a difficult time accepting. Van turns into a jealous and abrasive “brat” of a submissive, while Natalie struggles to liberate herself from a woman who was shunned into an enlightened sexual goddess. To be sure, there is emotion here, and it’s heady. However, I found myself detached from what I thought I knew and thrust into something else entirely.

The writing is fantastic and the sexual tension is so thick you can hardly breathe, ensuring that the above mentioned issue is only a very minor complaint if you delve deeply into the context of a story. I did enjoy the characters and would have liked more time with them to understand them better. As it is, they made an impression, which, either good or bad, is definitely the mark of something intriguing.

Those looking for an erotic offering that delivers on the butterflies-in-the-stomach action won’t be disappointed with Take Your Pleasure.

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