Subspace Anthology by Sierra Cartwright, Desiree Holt, Jan Irving, Justine Elyot, Elizabeth Coldwell, Mina Dorian
Length: Full Length (285 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Anal Play, Toys, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Peppermint
'Three-Way Tie' by Sierra Cartwright
Lindsey wins a weekend with a renowned Dom, and when she arrives, she is stunned to discover there are two men to tie her up and give her the experience of a lifetime.
Two Doms? Lindsey has no idea what to do with one renowned, unyielding, strict dominant, but when she wins a weekend with Master Rafael, she’s shocked to learn he’s invited Master Eric to join him. One sexy Dom is beyond her experience, but two gorgeous hunks focussed entirely on her...?
Rafael and Eric are determined to give Lindsey the BDSM experience of her lifetime. It’s not enough just to pleasure her physically, they won’t be satisfied unless she completes the ultimate emotional and mental journey into subspace.
In one unbelievable weekend, they take her to the edge of her limits, testing her endurance in a way only two skilled men working together can.
'Head Games' by Desiree Holt
When Diego Valdez took his sub, Kaci Ballard, on a trip to subspace, neither of them realised just how erotic that journey would be–or how it would end.
International businessman Diego Valdez had a reputation as a Dom for never keeping his subs more than two years. Then came the big gift and the kiss-off. But sculptor Kaci Ballard has been with him for three years and is wondering when her time will be up. Because Kaci has done the unforgiveable-fallen in love with him-and she’s not sure how she’ll handle the end when it comes.
When he tells her he wants to teach her how to enter subspace so they can raise the edge of pleasure/pain she agrees, hoping that will show him her total commitment-and give her the same in return. But neither of them is quite prepared for how this particular journey turns out.
'His Landlady' by Jan Irving
“I know I should have waited, bided my time like a good boy but...I am not a good boy,” seductive younger man Sloan Kent tells Diana Moore the first time they meet, when the martial arts instructor lures her into an act of unexpected submission.
Diana Moore is edgy around new tenant Sloan Kent, owner of a kick boxing school. From the moment she glimpses a martial arts poster of the lean, beautiful man, she wants him, but she can't see a focussed warrior athlete and an earth mother like her having much in common.
Sloan's calm Zen facade lulls Diana so that she submits to him the first time they are alone together. Diana has never had such an intense experience, but he's too young to be her master, isn't he?
'The Science of Submission' by Justine Elyot
Where do sex and science meet? Ailish finds out the answer – and it's yes. Yes. Yes, Sir.
Ailish's fascination with the shadowy figure known to her friends as The Scientist leads her to discover their mutual interest in some of the lesser-travelled roads of human sexuality. So when Rod suggests she assist him in researching some of the enduring questions of kink, she is too intrigued to resist.
They work together to establish the precise truth of the axiom that the brain is the largest human sex organ. What will they conclude? Will they be able to establish, together, a science of submission? And will that research partnership lead to a more intimate relationship?
'Away From It All' by Elizabeth Coldwell
Alyssa’s tired of playing by the rules, but when she meets Drew, she’s bound to obey him...
When the promotion Alyssa Morton worked so hard for goes to someone else, her friend, Kay, books them both into an exclusive spa for some serious pampering. Kay falls ill on the eve of the trip and Alyssa, tired of playing by the rules, decides to go on her own. The spa’s policy is to seat single guests at the same table, and she finds herself sharing her evening meal with handsome American actor, Drew Jefferies.
Drew recognises in Alyssa a submissive streak she’s never dared explore, and in the luxurious surroundings of the spa, free from distractions, he vows to teach her what it means to be dominated. He offers her a chance to give up responsibility, if only for a little while, and surrender to a loving, masterful man. By taking her into subspace, Drew offers her a whole new way to get away from it all. But can this ever be more than just a three-day fling?
Reader Advisory: This book contains candle play.
'The Accidental Sub' by Mina Dorian
On the run from her abusive husband Catherine has learned not to trust anyone—especially no one in the BDSM lifestyle. But will she be able to resist a powerful dom like Jon?
Catherine has been on the run from her abusive husband and former dom for years. Unable to trust anyone, she has also left the BDSM lifestyle. Or so she thought, until a strange but powerful voice told her to get naked and kneel right there, in the middle of her office, after hours. Will she give in to her sweet urges and submit to a strange dom if only for one night? Can she trust her own instincts, which had let her into a disastrous marriage?
Jon has been a dom for years, but recently he has become bored with the lifestyle—until he sees Catherine kneeling in her office stark naked and in a beautifully submissive position. Jon knows he has to have her. Can he convince the gorgeous submissive to trust him? And will he be able to keep her safe from the demons in her past?
Subspace is something many have sought for but not so many have achieved. It takes a lot of trust and talent for all parties involved for someone to reach subspace and that is a testament in these stories. This anthology had something for either the beginner BDSM reader or those who love the genre and read everything published.
Three Way Tie by Sierra Cartwright
This was definitely the way you want to start an anthology, with two sexy doms trying out a new toy named Lindsey. While I am not part of the BDSM scene, this story sure did give a girl a few things to think about. The way Rafael and Eric used their mutual understanding to teach Lindsey what true submission really is was amazing. I felt like I was actually in Lindsey’s shoes at times and could picture these gorgeous men standing over me. I have to say this author really set the bar high for all others to follow within this anthology.
Head Games by Desiree Holt
There is something about the name Diego that is exotic and enticing. The way it rolls off the tongue makes me want to say it again. The way this character commands the bedroom makes Kaci want to roll her tongue along his body.
While the physical attraction within this story was entertaining, I felt as if Diego’s reluctance created an emotional block I'm not use to in BDSM stories. One of the aspects of this genre I have always enjoyed was how the characters seem to have such a great connection both physically and emotionally. With this slight emotional disconnect, it made the relationship feel a bit hollow at times. I think more understanding about Diego’s personal issues would have made it easier for me to understand and appreciate his reluctance to give Kaci his all.
Even with this disconnect the story was a good read, especially because they had boundaries within their relationship which allowed each character to be themselves. Many times, in a BDSM relationship, it seems all consuming and the characters lose who they really are. Therefore, it was refreshing to see Kaci and Diego stay true to themselves.
His Landlady by Jan Irving
This is one of the few plot driven erotic stories I have enjoyed. I normally focus on the characters within a story and they help to drive the plot but within this story, I found the plot line captivated me more than the individuals did. I really enjoyed seeing how the relationship developed, and while I did not know much about the characters, I appreciated the progression of the romantic interest. I especially liked the little added subplot of Diana caring for Jeff, her deceased friend’s child. The BDSM element seemed pretty novice but that's because Sloan and Diana had a novice relationship so it worked with the concept. I found this story thoroughly enjoyable.
The Science of Submission by Justine Elyot
In this story, Ailish and Rod’s relationship development was wonderful. The relationship growth from beginning to end was stellar and I was convinced they could be a real living couple. The thing I would have liked to see more of is the physical connection between the two. They did participate in BDSM scenes, but I would liked to have had a bit more intercourse. The story revolved more around the foreplay and build up than the consummation of their relationship. The minor characters also added entertainment to the story.
Away From It All by Elizabeth Coldwell
If I knew I could go to a spa and get the ultimate sexual experience of my life, I would be in a car right now. Alyssa hadn’t anticipated meeting Drew at the spa. In fact, she didn’t want to deal with men at all, but it's always when you least expect love that it nips you on the bum. I have to say I really appreciated everything about this story from the plot, to the characters, to the candle play, which was a first for me within a story. One aspect of the tale I enjoyed was that the relationship was not forever immediately. Instead it's a happily for right now. I think it made the storyline more realistic.
The Accidental Sub by Mina Dorian
The beginning of the story was a bit puzzling to me; I mean how do you accidentally make someone a sub? I would have liked to have understood a little more about the mental/emotional state that lead to Catherine accidentally submitting to her co-worker. Other than that, I felt the story was right on target. Jon is the type of Master I can see many woman falling in love with whether they are interested in BDSM or not. He seemed to have an air of confidence without being arrogant that any woman can appreciate. I really enjoyed the subplot with Catherine and her past relationship as well. It added a bit of excitement to the story and made me want to learn more. A great end to a wonderful anthology.
Because of previous experiences with anthologies, I started reading this one expecting at least one story I wouldn't enjoy. Instead, I found every story entertaining and each could have stood on its own without the others. I was pleasantly surprised by the degree of exceptional writing and I'm sure any reader would enjoy Subspace.