It is rare to find a way to completely escape a demanding and highly responsible professional life. Imagine taking a journey that enables you to give up control, forgo appearances and fears about ones reputation, and in this journey you can vicariously experience whatever wild sexual fantasies appeal to you.
Set in an S&M club, members can choose to act out their fantasies or enact and face what they fear most deeply and perhaps in so doing conquer their fears. Superficially this is one of the story’s premises, but for the main characters it’s more about dealing with feelings of alienation that started in childhood, and feelings of loss, and how these issues affect the ability to form deep emotional attachments.
In Tease the plot is original and unpredictable, which is unusual in the erotic romance genre, and the conflict facing the main character (Tess) is unique. Fortunately for Tess, she has a benevolent guide through the experience of learning to trust another human enough to give up control, surrendering completely, shattering, but coming out whole in the end. There is no cruelty in the process; surprisingly there is understanding and compassion.
One might be inclined to compare this to The Story of O, but there are significant differences. I found O to be full of the most graphic violence against women for the sadistic pleasure of abusive men, and was so put off by it that I had never before considered reading anything else related to S&M.
To compare this author's books to Gabaldon's Outlander series is like comparing pulp fiction to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. The story line is poorly developed, predictable, and pared down, devoid of historical references, and the kind of detail that brings the people, places, processes, politics, and beliefs of the period to life.The characters are uni-dimensional and never evoke feelings of empathy. The prose is so simplistic that it was difficult to finish listening to this book. Gabaldon, on the other hand, has written another 5 star book, An Echo in the Bones, wonderfully narrated by Davina Porter, worth every minute of the 45 plus hours, wanting it not to end.
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