#BookReview #ContemporaryRomance // Claiming Cleo by Claire Thompson

Claiming Cleo
(Master’s Club #2)
by Claire Thompson

Having met Cleo in At His Mercy I was very much looking forward to reading her story and I wasn’t left disappointed. Claiming Cleo can very much be read standalone, though I do recommend book #1 in the series too! Whilst this features a Master/slave type relationship it didn’t feature the level of TPE I’ve witnessed in some M/s stories. Cleo retained a level of autonomy and independence and we were repeatedly reminded of how she also held the power to stop everything should she need or want to.

The main theme of this second chance story was communication and Ms Thompson demonstrated good character growth in this respect for BOTH parties involved. Whilst there were no huge surprises or twists I felt the story didn’t need them, as the focus remained purely on this couple learning to trust and commit, and for Cleo to truly let go and submit.

The backstory of each main character gave credence to their actions and the journey they took during the story felt very believable. We are treated to some incredibly hot BDSM scenes, some of the sex scenes in the second half were more vanilla but this only strengthened the story for me, since you could see a life time relationship developing. We didn’t just get told this couple had a deep connection and great chemistry, we were shown it again and again in a very believable way. A particular strength, more noticeable in that second half, was how this explored the mindset and trust of an M/s relationship.

In short this is another well written, well thought through story of romance within a kink relationship.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

BDSM Romance

Age 18+, Contains adult situations


Cleo’s got a secret heartbreak, one she flew across the world to forget.

Now he’s found her, and he’s determined to claim her for his own…

Cleo Chapman serves as a dedicated slave at the pleasure of the Doms at New York’s exclusive Masters Club. But even moving a continent away from the Dom who so casually rejected her isn’t enough to mend her shattered heart.

Jack Hartford spent two years coming to grips with a tragedy that left him a young widower at loose ends. Finally ready to engage in life again, his memories of Cleo draw him back to her, only to find she’s gone. Yet, no matter how he tries, he can’t put the charming, sexy girl out of his mind.

When he tracks her down, Cleo’s cool reception cuts him to the quick. The submissive passion that once burned so brightly in her soul is now barely a flicker…at least for him. Challenged and intrigued, Master Jack refuses to let anything stand in his way. But can Cleo trust that he desires more than just her submission this time? Because she wants it all—heart, body and soul.

Claiming Cleo is the second book in the Masters Club Series. Though each novel can be read as a stand-alone, reading the series order will enhance your experience.

If you enjoy powerful alpha men who aren’t afraid to take what they want, but give so much in return to the women they love, then this series is for you.

REVIEW ~~ Dark Erotica // The Prey by Claire Thompson

The Prey
Claire Thompson

How can a book as dark, twisted and tormented as this is leave me on an incredible high with a sappy smile on my face a glistening tear in my eye?

Mara’s story is not an easy one to read, but her resilience, her strength and emotional fortitude left me with a feeling of empowerment, despite the dark themes that run through the book. I really liked her character and was so happy with how the book ended when she got the future she so very much wanted and deserved. There is a romance in here of sorts, though it isn’t a conventional one and we don’t really get to see much of it. The main focus is on Mara’s suffering and the cruel, erotic treatment she is subjected to.

This is a gird your loins, buckle in and pull up your big girl pants read that is not suitable for those with triggers around non-con situations, including sadism. It’s a somewhat uncomfortable ride at times, pushing boundaries and definitely not relaxing. The situations it describes leaves me on edge, uncomfortable, emotions taut and heart pounding. I love that feeling! Whilst this won’t be for everyone it is Claire Thompson at her darkly erotic best and I do recommend it to all dark erotica fans.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Dark Erotic Romantic


Lured. Abducted. Trained. Hunted…

False pretenses brought Mara to the island, where she’s held captive. Forced to submit, brutally trained and harshly disciplined, Mara is determined to escape.

Dangerous, high-powered men claim her at their whim. Mara’s trainers demand far more than just her service as a pleasure sub to their guests. But nothing can prepare her to become… the prey.

Previously titled: Hunted

Warning: This Dark Obsessions novel is an edgy, explicit captive tale. Read only if you dare…

REVIEW – Contemporary Erotic Romance // At His Mercy by Claire Thompson

At His Mercy
Masters Club Series – Book 1 
by Claire Thompson

Claire Thompson sure does know how to write a scorching hot tale and At His Mercy didn’t disappoint! Not only do the BDSM scenes in this have enough heat to warm a small city, they are also powerful, intense and boundary pushing. The author clearly knows one end of a flogger from another and writes with authority on this subject, always ensuring a well rounded read.

The prose flows smoothly, and given that some of the scenes involve intense bondage the logistics of limb placement always worked well. It is a masterpiece of consensual BDSM play, well written with nicely rounded characters. I did struggle with Cameron’s weathervane behaviour, changing direction depending on which way the wind blew, though the author did account for this later in the story. I would have liked to have seen him have to work a little harder at earning Jess’ trust back, because his treatment of her was very hot and cold. He felt almost un-Dom-like a few times, but he does acknowledge this so kudos to the author for that.

For me there were times when the story lacked the emotional depth I wanted, but it didn’t prevent me from enjoying what is overall a great read.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

BDSM Erotic Romance


Intense. Exclusive. Invitation only. Do you have what it takes to be a pleasure sub?

Masters Club, a private BDSM venue for serious players, is perfect for Dom Cameron Lord, who gives the kink lifestyle everything he’s got—except his heart… When he witnesses a lovely sub girl enduring a botched scene at a NYC public club, he sees her potential. She’ll make an excellent addition to the Masters Club. But as he steps closer, he recognizes her…and all bets should have been off.

Aspiring young attorney Jess Cooper gets her release at the BDSM clubs around town, where she enjoys letting her inner sub fly. There’s nothing better than to be naked and bound, a stranger in black leather behind her wielding a whip. It’s the perfect anonymous relief from a stressful workweek. Until her worlds collide when Mr. Lord, the super sexy partner at her firm, watches her from the sidelines.

Any hope that he hadn’t recognized her with her clothes off vanishes the very next day at the office. No, he doesn’t say a word about what he saw. His invitation says it all…

At His Mercy is the first book in Claire Thompson’s new BDSM Romance series—Masters Club. If you enjoy powerful alpha men who aren’t afraid to take what they want, but give so much in return to the women they fall for, then this series is for you.

Then she’s faced with a choice…

// REVIEW \\ Six Signs of Submission

Six Signs of Submission
by Claire Thompson

… he wanted her to succeed tonight.
He wanted to show her that submission wasn’t a trial, but a joy.

In Six Signs of Submission Claire Thompson has produced a wonderful love story where the romantic connection between the couple is just as relevant as the emerging kink one is. The book was totally captivating and I only wish it was longer, so I could have spent more time with Lainey and Cooper. I couldn’t put it down, this pair totally captured me with their delicate dance into BDSM and with how Cooper didn’t bulldoze over Lainey’s trepidation and worries because “he knew her needs better than she did” or because “he knew what she needed”. Whilst Cooper may have believed Lainey was a submissive, he took her hand and let her gently down the path of self discovery, rather than strapping her down and rushing her headlong into something she wasn’t ready for.

Whilst this contained one of my most disliked tropes, instalove, the rest of the story was just so damn brilliant that I’m going to totally overlook it. Especially as the author did such an amazing job of conveying their thoughts, feelings and emotions in such a way that I could actually buy into it. Lainey is a strong, independent woman who isn’t sure if she is submissive or not, indeed she fights against using that particular label. Cooper frequently has to work hard for Lainey’s submission, actually encouraging her NOT to pin a name on their dynamic, but rather to just be in the moment with him. I very much admired how this pair were portrayed.

I found myself frequently on tenterhooks, waiting for the moment where Lainey caved like a souffle and became a slave to her Master, because that seems to be what ALWAYS happens when the female starts off as a tough cookie. The Dom only has to lift his eyebrow and this once self-sufficient female gives up most of her personality, in order to worship at the heroes feet. So I could worship at the feet of Claire Thompson that she chose not to buy into this tired and, for me, unwelcome trope. Instead Lainey retained her strength and freedom of choice.

Reaching down, he stroked her soft cheek and tucked a tendril of hair behind her ear.
He was touched by her willingness to trust him, despite the naked vulnerability in her eyes.
Silently, he promised himself to be worthy of that trust.

Indeed she frequently used inner monologues and conversations to convey deeper messages about BDSM and the dynamic of the relationship, along with how unique it is to every couple. There was a wonderful conversation between submissives where they discussed how all of them struggle at one time or another. In fact one of them refused to be identified as a submissive, referring to herself as a sexual masochist. A term that was fully accepted by her Dom. I loved this reinforcement of how there isn’t one set way to be in a D/s or BDSM relationship, it felt very refreshing.

My first impression was that the hero was going to be an arrogant, pushy Dom. I was as wrong as could be on that score. Cooper’s thought processes were also very effectively used to show us what a responsible, caring and most of all respectful Dominant he was.

“I know this is scary for you. Letting go is scary. But it’s what you want – what we both crave.
If I’m wrong – if I’m totally off base and just being a bully, tell me that now and I’ll back off.

But he didn’t have a condom with him, and he hadn’t wanted to presume by bringing one along that morning. Nor had they discussed sex beforehand, and he didn’t feel it was gentlemanly to take advantage of her arousal in the heat of the moment.

he added softly, “Please, Lainey. Give me the gift of your submission. I promise to cherish it.
I promise to keep you safe.”
She stared at him for several more beats. He held his breath, barely daring to admit to himself how much this mattered.

And when Lainey did offer her submission it felt very much a considered decision rather than her mindlessly being led by her libido.

The icing on the cake was that Cooper didn’t throw Lainey in at the deep end. They slowly explored BDSM, the pace realistic, the scenes sexy and hot but not extreme. Don’t get me wrong, I love a boundary pushing kink scene, but not when it’s only the second time a submissive has ever taken part in a scene. It’s unrealistic and leaves a sour taste.

Submissive training – of which this evening’s experiment was the first step, though he didn’t want to scare her away by laying it ous as such – was not about playing with a sub’s head in a particular scene to get your own rocks off.
Quite the opposite – it was a purposeful and mindful building of a new way of thinking and behaving, built slowly, with subtlety and care. With each surrender of her self-will and control, Lainey was offering him the gift of her submission. He wanted that gift to come from a place of knowledge and strength, freely given.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Goodreads ~~ https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56851808-six-signs-of-submission

Genre ~~ Erotic Romance

There’s more than one way to claim a sub…
Cooper loves a challenge, whether in business or as an experienced Dom. Now, after selling his company, he’s ready for a week of the casual but intense BDSM action offered on Desire Island.
Lainey couldn’t resist the allure of the kink-friendly island when they offered her a position as their new fitness instructor. Not that she’s submissive. Sure, she’s fascinated by BDSM, but her super competitive and fiercely independent nature won’t allow her to submit to a man. That’s just not happening.
When the sexy hunk of a Dom invites her to scene, Lainey is reluctant, but her friends encourage her. And she is curious to see what all the fuss is about, even if it’ll never lead anywhere.
For Cooper, that one incendiary scene proves what he already suspected. Despite her denials, he understands Lainey better than she understands herself. And he’s going to prove there’s more than one way to claim a sub… 

// REVIEW \\ Tricked by Claire Thompson

by Claire Thompson

I’ll start my review by repeating the warning on the blurb – this is NOT a romance, it is a dark, erotic suspense. A story that totally captivated me and that I read in one sitting!

Callie was more than a little naive, but I won’t judge her initial choices and actions because one needs to remember that she was the victim here. She didn’t go out looking to be abducted, raped and kept as a sex slave. The fault totally lies with her captor, Damon, who lied and manipulated an innocent young woman for his own nefarious desires. How dark you find this will depend on how affected you are by non-consensual acts, it’s also a very subjective description. The hope and determination Callie fostered within herself kept this from feeling overly hopeless or black.

I loved the honesty of Callie’s responses, her silent, and very barbed, responses to Damon proved what a brave and resilient young woman she was. She chose her battles and actions wisely, she used her common sense to keep herself as safe and sane as was possible in such harrowing circumstances. I want to say Damon was pure evil, but that would be untrue. He was unbalanced, he was bad, but he did have some moments of decency. His childhood recollections/flashbacks and the way his father treated him did offer some insight into how his psyche had become so twisted and corrupt but ultimately his selfish nature had him making the wrong choices.

As this is most definitely not a romance of any shape, size or description, I would class the ending as HEA. However it is a very positive ending, one filled with hope and possibility. Go on, be brave and give this a try.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Genre – Dark Erotic Suspense
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56217037-tricked
Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08PXD4FJP/

She dreams of a dark Master who claims her as his captive. Until the fantasy becomes all too real…

Callie is an innocent, her head filled with submissive ideas of a strong, sexy guy taking full control. When she connects online with a kindred spirit on an adults-only chat site, she shares all her secret abduction fantasies. They agree to meet for dinner, but when Callie arrives, it’s not her new friend Diana who is waiting for her, but the dark, sexy Master of her dreams… or is he her worst nightmare?

Warning: This Dark Obsessions novel is an edgy captive tale. Read only if you dare… 

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// REVIEW \\ Beyond the Compound

Beyond The Compound
by Claire Thompson

Photo by Paul Deetman on Pexels.com

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.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Genre- Erotic Romance

Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23363905-beyond-the-compound

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

// Review \\ Five Stars by Claire Thompson

Five Stars
Desire Island Series Book 5
by Claire Thompson

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Genre– BDSM Erotic Romance


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.

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.co

Review //\\ Collaring His Cadet

Collaring His Cadet by Claire Thompson

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 with Remy.

The TL;DR summary is that I enjoyed this story, particularly Remy’s submersion into submission, loved her and Eric and do recommend it.

Title – Collaring His Cadet
Author – Claire Thompson
Genre – BDSM Romance

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…

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

REVIEW //\\ The Compound

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.

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1482302497/

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1482302497

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17354797-the-compound


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.

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…


No Safeword
by Claire Thompson

Quite different to most other BDSM stories

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.

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.