A Modest Proposal by Felicitas Ivey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (118 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Cactus
Hagar is the captain of the cargo ship Midgard Serpent. Most of his shipments are legal, but he has a reputation for being an honest smuggler—a reputation that lands him some troublesome cargo. Shibito, an exiled member of the Nipponese imperial family, meets Hagar on Dunmore Station. Keeping his true identity secret, Shibito tells Hagar he'll do anything to get out of there. Never one to turn down an offer like that, Hagar accepts.
But Shibito doesn't have just any destination in mind, and Hagar is furious when he discovers that his mysterious passenger has altered their course without telling him. With no way to change course a second time, Hagar has no choice but to trust—and face the temptation of Shibito’s request for some rough handling, a proposal Hagar isn’t sure he can resist.
Far from home and trying to return, Shibito offers ship captain Hagar a deal he can’t refuse. Penniless and lost, Shibito knows he doesn’t have much to offer Hagar for a ride on his somewhat illegal shipping vessel. However Shibito doesn’t let that sway him as he offers Hagar the one thing the captain can’t refuse – free use of Shibito’s excellent body. The voyage turns out to be an experience neither man expected nor one they want to give up.
A Modest Proposal is a fun and entertaining erotica trip with just enough background and setting to keep the story interesting between numerous bouts of sex. The main purpose of the story is erotica and a lot of it. Shibito offers Hagar free use of his body in any way the other man wants. This leads to a pseudo D/s relationship with Hagar calling the shots. Shibito is all for it though and in fact he’s just as greedy and wanting as Hagar. Together the two have explosive and kind of repetitive D/s laced sex. It’s not heavy BDSM. It’s really light and only hinted at; a situation both men enjoy quite a bit.
The backdrop to all the sex is Shibito’s journey home and confrontation with his cousin, the man who psychically injured Shibito and shipped him off to a far away planet. There's a sci-fi element in that the setting is clearly futuristic, more so than science fiction/fantasy. The writing is very good and tries to include some complicated personal dynamics between the various relationships. This is all a backdrop to the focus, which is the sex and burgeoning relationship between the two men.
The ending is left somewhat hanging as Shibito’s future is uncertain and the two men are off on an adventure. What will happen to them and Shibito’s people is presumably going to be addressed in future stories. The characters are somewhat developed but, like the actual plot, this all seems to be secondary to the sex scenes. The world building is perhaps the best aspect of the story and the sex is hot and plentiful. I prefer the author’s more developed, complex novels and this novella fell short of my expectations with its focus on so much sex and not enough character development. However for a short novella, fans of D/s-tinged erotica may like it.