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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Firebird by Annabel Joseph

Firebird by Annabel Joseph
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (183 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Spanking
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Prosper is thrilled to be plucked from the corps de ballet to dance the lead role in The Firebird. But Jackson, the guest choreographer, is as sexy as he is demanding. Prosper soon finds herself flustered by his closeness and his unforgiving gaze. She gets caught up in kinky fantasies that make it difficult for her to concentrate on his steps. She imagines him as her Dominant, turning her over his knee for flubs in rehearsal. Just as sensual tension at work builds to an impossible level, a surprise encounter outside the studio results in Prosper’s fantasies being realized. Jackson takes his protégée home and ties her to his bed. Soon Prosper is receiving the discipline and domination she craves -- and much, much more.

The pair maintain a secret off-stage relationship -- scorchingly intimate encounters several evenings a week. But Prosper feels the burden of carrying the Firebird ballet on her back, and Jackson knows that his time in New York will draw to an end all too soon. Will Prosper crack under the pressure of pleasing her lover and bringing his vision to life, or will Jackson find a way to help his Firebird take flight?

As a fan of the BDSM genre, I am always excited to discover authors who have a grasp of the complexities of a D/s relationship. The emotional aspects of the story are of equal (if not more) importance than the plot. Finding material that focuses on this versus “kink in the bedroom” is like searching for the needle in a proverbial haystack - difficult and, at times, incredibly frustrating. For this reason alone, Annabel Joseph’s Firebird is worthy of notice.

From the moment Prosper and Jackson appear on the page, an intense chemistry is present. She can’t help but notice the captivating man who exudes power and domination, just as he cannot help but be drawn to the woman who embodies beauty and strength. When he chooses her as his principal dancer in his newly created vision of the Firebird, they are placed within a close proximity to each other. It doesn’t take long until they are denying what they crave most - each other - and take a chance on an ad that Jackson has placed into a paper in order to ease his sexual frustrations.

It’s serendipitous that Prosper would respond to the ad that Jackson has placed, but one can’t help but wonder what part fate plays in their agreement for a no-strings, sexual relationship in which they will meet, share in a D/s partnership, and continue as if nothing exists between them. It’s apparent their feelings go much deeper than either is willing to admit, especially after their first official encounter. It’s a carefully constructed dance that keeps you turning the pages to learn what happens next. While portions of the plot are predictable, it’s the flourishing trust and attachment Prosper and Jackson experience that is the heart of the work.

BDSM enthusiasts who lean toward works on the darker, more intense side of the D/s spectrum will enjoy Firebird. The writing is excellent, the characters are beautifully developed, and the story is one that doesn’t disappoint. I look forward to more offerings from this author in the future.

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