Whilst Beyond the Compound is a well written story, with some excellent BDSM scenes, for me it just lacked that something that makes a great read. I didn’t feel a lot of emotion from the two main characters and as a result the story was felt fairly bland.
However I did finish it, which is more than I can say for a few recent DNF’s that were due entirely to my current reading mood – so perhaps I’m being a little harsh with this one. I’m just not convinced there was much to remember about this book. I wanted more passion, or angst, or… just something to get my teeth into. What I got was a pleasant enough palate cleanser of a read. A sugar and spice treat when you want a quick read.
Deeply submissive and highly trained, Hailey hungers for the profound connection all slave girls crave. Too bad her new Master has other ideas… Movie-heartthrob Ronan Wolfe doesn’t need the hassle of getting caught with a whip in his hand, but he misses having a sub under his control. When a friend gifts him Hailey’s six-month slave contract, the Dom in him just can’t resist. Too bad Ronan forgets one thing… The world is watching his every move. If you love edgy, romantic BDSM with plenty of sizzling plot twists and turns, you’ll adore Beyond the Compound. *A stand-alone novel within The Compound series
Five Stars Desire Island Series Book 5 by Claire Thompson
A scorching hot tale.
It’s not often that a novella really impresses me, but this one did. It had both plot AND depth of emotion – a rare combination in a shorter read. We saw some real character growth too, which is even more difficult to achieve but was done so well. This is the first book I’ve read from Claire Thompson’s Desire Island series, so they very clearly can be read stand alone. However this has made me want to read the first four books!
Adam and Shani had already met prior to the start of this book, though it had been as part of Shani’s job role as a slave on the island. Whether that happened in a previous book, or not, I’ve no idea but it really didn’t matter. The pair already had more than a passing attraction for one another and the author immediately set to, convincing us as to the strength and depth of those feelings. And for me she did a great job, because I definitely felt them.
We were treated to several very sexy and innovative kink scenes. Personally I would have liked a little more focus on how these scenes helped Adam and Shani deepen their connection. However I did like how the focus was on the scene itself, rather than it feeling more like foreplay or a prelude to sex. It made the power exchange and the mental D/s relationship more important than the sexual aspects.
I don’t want to give away too much, but there is a plot twist that the story is clearly building up to. How it played out was definitely out of left field but in an incredibly satisfying way. Then there is the wonderful epilogue that not only made my heart melt but possibly made me shed a tear or two. It wrapped the whole story up so perfectly.
If you’re looking for a well written BDSM story with an excellent balance between plot and kink, then I highly recommend this one.
Is a wounded spirit capable of love? Shani loves being a staff slave on Desire Island. No one there knows her dark secret, and nothing disturbs the outward tranquil serenity of her quiet denial. That is, until Adam Hawk bursts onto the scene. Adam, a dominant leather craftsman who travels the globe for his work, didn’t expect to meet the woman of his dreams on an impromptu visit to the island. Yet, the mysterious Shani captivates him from the start, and their sizzling BDSM scenes are off the chart. But when Adam accidentally stumbles on a terrifying physical trigger for Shani during their play, it becomes clear it’s connected to a painful past she can’t or won’t talk about. Aware he’s falling in love, Adam offers Shani a chance to face a past she can no longer outrun. Unless she can find the courage to confront her dark secret, he’ll never be able to penetrate the wall she’s built around her heart.
I seem to have been on a re-read bent of late. This book is one that, for some reason, I suddenly felt a need to give a second go. I’m so glad I did because I felt like I got so much more out of it this time around.
I appreciated the story more for the personal growth of the heroine, Remy, than the romance. In fact the romance part for me was a little rushed and a little more tell than show, which is why it got 4 rather than 5 stars. Though Eric is one hot, sexy but also very caring Dom, so who wouldn’t fall for him super quickly? I’m glad this wasn’t insta-love, the couple did spend time building a connection with one another, though mainly “off-screen”.
In my original review I didn’t mention that we don’t meet the heroine until roughly half way through the book. It feels like a spoiler, and I’m still unsure, however I know this is something many readers want to know about as it is a game changer for some. So in the first part we see Remy discover (uncover?) her submissive desires and undertake some challenging training as a novice in the slave corps.
I reminded myself of Amelia’s admonition that, even if I didn’t like what a particular trainer was doing, I could still draw submissive satisfaction from service for its sake.
I did have a few “issues” with the slave corp, NOT with the book though, let me make that perfectly clear right now. I really enjoyed this book, especially as of those issues was actually addressed, later in the story, by Eric.
My first concern was over trainees working with trainees. The wannabe Dom’s learnt their art on the novice subs. Yes there was a highly experienced master/mistress in attendance BUT this didn’t really make sense. It felt like the blind leading the blind a little. An experienced sub would have been able to offer as much guidance to the trainee Dom as their mentor would, as well as be able to understand and follow instructions more easily. A trainee/novice sub could so easily be traumatised by a bad experience with an inexperienced Dom. Given all the tenets of SSC and RACK, plus the military side of things, I’m not sure I bought that (very minor) aspect of the story. Or should I say, I felt the corps wasn’t well run.
He shook his head. “I’ve talked to other people in the Slave Corps, both Doms and subs, and I have to say, I don’t really get the reasoning behind that kind of slave training they do. It almost seems like they want to make the slaves less mindful of themselves and their motivations rather than more so. It’s like they want the slave to ignore their own feelings…. The act of submission has to be a complete experience. I don’t just want your body – I want your emotions.”
The second part was the lack of genuine SSC within the corps, which also links back to concern #1. However this WAS highlighted by Eric, so it was a deliberately poor representation of the BDSM community. As a novice, Remy was put through some very intense scenes with no discussion of hard and soft limits, though we did get a safe word. I was surprised the corps managed to keep any subs interested with their lack of aftercare and their seeming disregard of the sub’s side of the experience. Perhaps being a cadet and used to following instructions that push both physical and mental limits, made the sub’s more adept at coping with their treatment. Callus is too strong a word for it but it definitely lacked any real regard of their wellbeing.
I loved how Remy used this experience though to learn about herself and her wants. She pushed through some scenes that, whilst she would not have chosen them, helped her to find her limits and herself as a sub. Seeing her grow into her submissive desires and wants was the best part of the book for me.
Overall Eric is great, but he did lose a few points for me when he pushed Remy’s limits so much SO QUICKLY. It wasn’t the pushing per se, so much as the fact that they hadn’t had chance to scene together before and therefore learn one anothers “tells”. I enjoyed how it was an exercise in trust and submitting for Remy, but I struggled to believe that Eric knew her physical and emotional responses well enough. Yes he was an experienced Dom but he wasn’t experienced withRemy.
The TL;DR summary is that I enjoyed this story, particularly Remy’s submersion into submission, loved her and Eric and do recommend it.
Bondage, discipline, sadomasochism… Masters and slaves, whips and chains… What have I gotten myself into? My name is Remy, Cadet Remy Harris, and I always show the world my tough-girl side—ready, willing and able to beat any guy at any challenge. When I enrolled at a venerable Southern military college, I never dreamed I’d be inducted into the secret BDSM society that pervades the campus and military at every level. My submissive fantasies explode as I’m drawn into a dark, edgy world of erotic servitude, training and punishment. Whipped, bound, caned, used and controlled—each new experience pushes my masochistic boundaries, but the yearning in my submissive soul remains. Though I’m assured the Slave Corps is the be-all and end-all for serious slave girls, my doubts and questions linger. Maybe I just don’t have what it takes for true submission? Then I meet Him…
I’ve been both beta and arc reading, but none of those are quite ready to be reviewed as yet, so I’ve looked back to find a book to feature today. It didn’t take long to discover this little gem and am surprised I haven’t shared it before now!
The Compound (Compound #1) by Claire Thompson
Whilst this was missing somewhat in the romance department, it is still a great read and one I would recommend to those who enjoy a good BDSM story. I loved following Alexis’ journey into true submission where the emotions, the desires, the need to submit were all wonderfully portrayed. This book is worth reading just for experiencing Alexis’ experience!
Alexis has so much more grit and determination than me, 😜😊😊! I would have said “blow it” on so many occasions where she found an inner strength and determination to endure. I found Master John to be more of a sadist then I was comfortable with, but then Alexis was more of a masochist too! So despite my initial reservations they seemed to be ideally suited in a ‘training’ aspect. Whilst there are plenty of BDSM ‘scenes’, Alexis is at The Compound for just that, training, and unlike a lot of kink books this didn’t automatically mean the trainer had sex with the trainee. So there were some scorching hot scenes, but without penetration. In fact there is very little actual sex in the whole book.
I occasionally got a ‘one true way’ vibe, mainly in what makes someone a ‘proper’ submissive. I really don’t believe it was the author’s intent to do that, nor did I feel she was sending a message or expressing fixed opinions. I think it was just a consequence of the restrictions involved in writing a story, it’s a piece of entertainment and the beginning needs to connect to the middle with needs to flow through to the end. There isn’t always the possibility of including ‘everything’ to make it totally realistic – plus that would make it boring!
There were two things I needed, in order for the book to have gained that extra star. The first was more conversations between Alexis and either the other submissives or Master John on the more mental aspects of submission. Several times Alexis was expected to be able to do or achieve something with no explanation or support from Master John. If she could do it on her own she wouldn’t have been at The Compound in the first place! The other was that whilst there is a love interest in this book, there was a lack of significant relationship building. It was all far to insta-love for me. Throw me a bone in the form of a few ‘real’ conversations, a genuine way to form a connection because all I saw was lust and one scene. It wasn’t enough.
We did get enough from the Hero’s viewpoint for me to believe in his attraction to Alexis AND for me to get a feel for him as a person. The author did a great job of allowing us to know and understand him in a fairly limited number of viewings. Great writing in that aspect alone.
Now before you forget I DO recommend reading this and I will definitely be continuing the series!
Prepare to submit, body and soul, to the total immersion BDSM training experience that is The Compound.
Craving the truly definitive submissive experience she has yearned for all her adult life, Alexis Stewart marshals her courage to commit to a month of training at The Compound. There she is placed in the hands of Master John, a stern Dominant with the reputation as an uncompromising taskmaster. Despite rigorous 24/7 sexual submission, erotic torture, endurance training and punishment, Alexis smashes again and again against self-imposed walls of resistance that keep her from attaining her goal.
Master Paul Evans is well aware of The Compound rule never to get involved with the trainees, and that’s never been a problem—until now. From the moment he sees the lovely Alexis, he feels the powerful allure of her sensual beauty and submissive spirit. Will he risk everything to steal her heart? This smoldering mix of dark, edgy BDSM and hidden desires threatens to combust into a firestorm of forbidden passion, lust, and ultimately, love.
NO SURRENDER – BDSM Club Series by Claire Thompson
An excellent short story
This book is free if you sign up for the author’s emails. It’s a very quick read, so there isn’t a huge amount of time to develop characters and relationships but that doesn’t detract from what is otherwise a great story. This wasn’t just a series of BDSM sex scenes strung together with a weak plot. In fact the BDSM element was very light with the focus being on their personal growth and development and establishing trust in their relationship.
I did feel as though I knew Emily really well, since the book is from her point of view, but the author also gave Harrison depth, with both of them being believable individuals. I liked that both characters were mature, and also how learning about D/s and building a relationship was approached in the book. Personally it felt as though the ‘slave training’ was rushed into, unless I was mistaken they’d only been seeing each other for a week or two. However I did like how Harrison supported Emily when she panicked during their dungeon session.
This is a lovely ‘taster’ to get an idea of the author’s writing style and the ‘world’ in which future books in the series are set.
I recommend it.
BLURB Emily craves erotic submission… Harrison will accept nothing less…
After a lifetime of keeping her secret dreams hidden, Emily’s longing for erotic submission is ignited at a BDSM photography exhibit. Harrison, watching her reaction, offers her the chance to explore that passion at a BDSM training academy. Now she just has to find the courage to submit…
I read this as part of a challenge in the Dark Erotica group. There are an awful lot of dark/BDSM books that start with the letter B but I’d really struggled with the letter N!
Personally I wouldn’t call this dark OR a romance, whilst there was technically no safe word there was always a choice. I would call it a well written, sometimes thought provoking and definitely well informed, both in physical aspects of BDSM play as well as the psychology and mental impact. There were times when Jaime struggled with her experiences, the author portrayed these incredibly well showing how she coped, as well as always reinforcing the consensual nature of events.
There is one incidence where a master steps over the line, which may be a potential trigger for some. I found it very refreshing how this was handled, with consequences that felt realistic. Indeed there were several times I felt this took a route less travelled in BDSM romance, feeling perhaps less glamorised but definitely more honest.
Jaime is in training to be a slave to, and serve, all the Masters and Mistresses of The Enclave. Most of us are conditioned to believe in and seek monogamous relationships, and to truly enjoy this story you have to let go of those preconceptions. Whilst later in the story there is a romantic element most of the story focuses on the mental acceptance of becoming a ‘slave’. Many of us would never be interested in entering a total power exchange of this kind. I certainly don’t understand the appeal that Jaime found in it but by opening my mind to the possibilities I did find her choices easier to accept.
My only ‘issue’ as such was that I didn’t really buy into the romance aspect of the story. There is a hero, whom we meet as the story progresses, and I totally felt their attraction and lust for one another. However there just weren’t enough one-on-one interactions/ conversations for me to believe it was anything more than a strong sexual attraction and the beginnings of building a relationship. I rather wish the ‘L’ word had not been used.
However not only did this book help me complete my alphabet challenge, it also introduced me to a new author who’s work I will be reading more of.
SYNOPSIS There is no safeword here… You signed that away…
Mark loves the rush of training novice slaves, bending them to his will as he teaches them the nuances and breathtaking power of erotic submission. There’s nothing more powerful than breaking down a would-be sub girl and molding her into a fiery, passionate and courageous submissive.
Jaime fantasizes about being bound in chains—the possession of a Master who takes what is due him, while cherishing her in return. When an offer comes to join a community that promises full immersion BDSM training, Jaime immediately accepts…but she is in no way prepared for the dark, wild ride that awaits her.
No boundaries, no refusals, no hesitation, no safeword, no…love? Don’t count on it…
No Safeword is a BDSM Club Series novel. Where erotic submission is not only accepted, but demanded.