I normally don't care for erotica by men because they seem to concentrate on the sex and miss all the tension and romance and inner feeling. And I especially don't "get" most BDSM which just seems like sadism to me. But I bought this book on the advice of some friends who said it would change my mind on both male authors and BDSM, and I must say they were right! This one was a real surprise and quite an erotic eye-opener, and I don't think I'll ever look at BDSM or men's erotica in quite the same way again.
The story's very sexual and very hot, but what makes it truly special is the character of the passionate but ne'er-do-well Professor Conner Devlin, the hero and narrator of the story. Devlin is three things that most men are not: sensitive, emotional, and articulate enough to communicate the emotions and feelings that drive him to have this illicit BDSM affair with a much younger student. Hearing Devlin's story is like taking a guided tour through a man's brain as he deals with lust and love and desire, and the trip is a lot more interesting and informative than you might imagine. His passions and emotions spill out of his story, and in his anguish and desire to possess his lover, we get a new appreciation of just how BDSM works as an expression of love to those who practice it.
The actors have done a lovely job with the performance, and the story is most definitely performed and not merely read. Peter Klein brings a wry, worldliness to Conner Devlin, and Alicia Roberts as Emma is his perfect foil in her semi-naivete and innocent-yet-knowing ways. As much as Conner pushes her into the relationship, she for her part pulls him in too, for her own reasons, and it's fascinating to see how this relationship, which a purely physical arrangement at the start, blossoms into an obsessive love almost etnirely on the basis of their sexual experiences.
This is one you can listen to over and over, always learning something new.
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