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Monday, March 2, 2009

Woman in Chains by Bridget Midway

Woman in Chains by Bridget Midway
Publisher: Loose ID
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full (216 pages)
Other: BDSM, M/F, F/F, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Eglantine

Former Dom, Dak Ricci is a part of a BDSM group called S.A.F.E., which means Security Away From Extremists. The group concentrates on saving abused slaves and submissives from their dominants. After an emotional save, he decides that's it for him. However, his friend and fellow Dom has another plan for him. He wants Dak to do one last rescue.

Brea Oliphant pushes her Dom to the limit to get the abuse she thinks she deserves. During a BDSM luncheon, another Domme sees what she perceives as abuse and contacts S.A.F.E. to help Brea.

Dak decides to help Brea when he learns her Dom is the same man Dak's last submissive left him for. He's going to make this save about revenge.

As soon as Brea and Dak get together, the sexual tension between them is so palpable that they both rethink their BDSM roles. But when the truth about Dak's involvement in her save and Brea's past comes to light, will their connection be enough to keep them bound together?

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Strong BDSM theme and content, anal play/intercourse, dubious consent, exhibitionism, female/female sexual interaction.

Is BDSM abuse? Even if the submissive or slave consents, is there not a case to be made that the treatment associated with BDSM is abuse no matter the circumstances? Can the argument not be put on the table that those asking to be dominated are sick, and need help? That those who answer their need for domination take advantage of someone who is mentally ill?

These questions are legitimate ones, and no-one can be blamed for asking them. However, even the most cursory examination of what BDSM truly is, will quickly bring answers. Fiction is not reality and should never be mistaken for it, especially in romance and erotica where orgasms are always explosive and sex is always great. However, well researched fiction can be a great way to get information across. The parable has been a teaching instrument for thousands of years, and stories can make fantastic therapeutic tools.

I was recently approached by someone who thought I might be interested in learning to become a Domme. As a result, I researched the lifestyle as well as I could. Coming from that experience into reading Ms Midway's excellent book, I recognised that she has in-depth knowledge of the BDSM lifestyle. Her story is an extraordinary one: what if someone with a history of abuse enters the lifestyle for the wrong reasons? What if that person ends up in the hands of a Dom who doesn't understand that BDSM is about an extraordinary amount of trust, about communication more honest than in most relationships, and a deeper intuitive insight into psychology than most people possess? What if the slave is saved by another Dom, one who approaches BDSM in an entirely different way?

Can a person with a history of abuse find healing in and through a BDSM relationship?

Though I reiterate that this is no more than very well researched fiction, the story of Master Dak and This Slave is an extraordinary one that has the sound of believability feathered into the background of every page. I highly recommend this book not only to those into BDSM, but especially to those, like myself (I turned down that offer), who are not in the scene. Reading this book will broaden your understanding of a lifestyle that may seem bizarre. If you're thinking of entering the lifestyle, I would consider reading Woman in Chains obligatory. Don't miss this one.

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