|The Delicious Torment|
Welcome to the second book of Alison's adventures in kinkland. This one is a treat for me, because I just adored, loved, delighted at the love triangle, as it were, this book hinges on. I waited gleefully, because I know this book would be The Book of Alex.
In fact, it was more so than I imagined, as the story has been distilled down to focus around that particularly complex relationship between Sam, Jack and Jack's personal assistant Alex and their difficult and interesting dynamic. I loved reading about it on the blog, it left me breathless, full of gasp! moments (my favourite kind), from the moment Alex walks into the apartment and commands Sam to bend over so he can plug her.
Sadly, the book leaves out that little moment, as well as others that clarify the challenges of the relationship with Jack - in doing so it glosses over some of the more testing experiences he puts her through - the first caning isn't there - reading that, what, six years ago? made me genuinely react in fear, it seemed such a scary thing. Though at that stage, caning in porn was still something I covered my eyes for... funny how things become less shocking over time.
I want it all back in the story - I wish each moment could still be there, as I said before, but edited as it is, the book becomes a concise description of how the love affair develops as Jack tests Sam and pushes his own emotional fences.
I've seen it suggested that you can read this book as a standalone story, but honestly, I think you'd be doing yourself no favours to do that. Read it as part of how this intense, scary, deeply romantic relationship builds and grows, how every day of it goes unwasted, it seems like, the characters live every moment given to them to the maximum. Ponder that, next time you're choosing Brussels sprouts in the veg aisle, or watching another day just like the last one disappear into yesterday. You read this and you think, god, what did I do today? It's a whirlwind of tension - Sam might come across as a passive heroine, stirred this way and that by the elemental force that is her lover. It is a little like that, there seems no other way it could be, but her reactions and actions are also at the heart of the story, her being who she is that creates a story at all. I think that's why I like this cover more than the glossy UK one. The shiny lipstick-red demon heels and black background, for me, seem to miss the crux of the story, of who the heroine is. I like this one, with its feminine charm, its soft, pretty colours contrasted with steel handcuffs and willingly trapped girlish hands. The other seems to me a movie version, impersonal and titillating. This one feels far more real, to me.
So yes, read it, read it - and petition her publishers to give her more pages for the next one! I want more.