I don’t know that I’ve ever reviewed a full-length piece of erotica before. I tend to stick to anthologies, and most of those stories are quite short indeed. I’ve avoided 50 Shades of Grey for reasons of sanity. I’ve read the first book in the Sleeping Beauty series, but it’s not very long at all. In comparison the approximately 225 pages of Wrapped Around Your Finger seems like a Tolkien tome. However, it’s really not that long. I read this cover to cover in 3 or 4 sittings, and in one of those I consumed at least half of the book.
Wrapped Around Your Finger is actually the third in a series about a BDSM relationship by Alison Tyler. It’s part fiction and part memoir, and I don’t personally know where the line is drawn, but I don’t think I want to know. That’s part of this illusion. While this is the third in the series, you certainly don’t need to have read the first two. It might help clarify a few things, but it’s not necessary.
I started this book knowing nothing about submissive Samantha and her dominant partner, Jack, but it didn’t take long to get to know them and the dynamics of their relationships, which is 24/7 power exchange. Samantha is young, perhaps in a cliche, but Alison Tyler’s writes a character who is aware of this and what her well-to-do partner’s status means in regards to her youth and perhaps naivete.
In spite of that all, Samantha and Jack manage to pull off a relationships that allows them both to grow through power exchange and the introduction of Jack’s assistant Alex. Samantha isn’t blind or abused. She’s intelligent. In fact, she’s a sex writer in the story, and this plays out in her interactions with Jack.
Because of Jack’s money and status, the couple is afforded a somewhat more lavish life, which Samantha isn’t accustomed to, but it’s not limitless. Jack has connections, but he’s not magical. He has power and dominant characteristics, but this isn’t all he is. As the characters learn more about one another and themselves, we understand how intricate these relationships — any relationships — can be, and how that can both be damning and a blessing. This, folks, is good storytelling.
With the impending 50 Shades of Grey movie and a miniseries featuring Sleeping Beauty in all her erotic glory, I could see Samantha on screen. Not only do I think it would make a better movie, but I think that Ms. Tyler’s descriptive writing would work well in live action, especially when it comes to Samantha’s intricate outfits.
I cannot help but compare this to 50 Shades of Grey. There are obvious similarities, but skilled writing, more three-dimensional characters and general forethought on the part of the author makes this read both more interesting and more sexy. In fact, I can say that I am not a fan of Samantha’s personality or even her relationship with Jack as a whole, and I still found Wrapped Around Your Finger to be rather enjoyable. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a more realistic view of BDSM or simply a sexy story that’s decently written.
You can buy it from Cleis Press or any of the retailers that stock books from the publisher.
You can also enter to win this giveaway if you’re from the US. I’ll be leaving this giveaway open for two weeks. It expires on November 1.
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Wrapped Around Your Finger