Saturday, April 13, 2013

Review: The Submissive

Reviewed by Shelly
When I read the book blurb for this story, nothing jumped out at me saying no – I’ve read blurbs before where I not only say no, but HELL NO, and this wasn’t one of those at all. Maybe I should have dug a little deeper when the Goodreads description starts by telling me ‘…seductive and scandalous has enthralled million…’ but we all know that both of those things are in the eyes of the beholder. And this beholder expected something different that what I got.

Book blurb:

Abby King has a secret fantasy. New York knows Nathaniel West as the brilliant and handsome CEO of West Industries, but Abby knows he’s more: a sexy and skilled dominant who is looking for a new submissive. Yearning to experience a world of pleasure beyond her simple life as a librarian, Abby offers herself to Nathaniel, to fulfill her most hidden desires. After only one weekend with the Master, Abby knows she needs more, and fully submits to Nathaniel’s terms. But despite the pleasure he takes in Abby’s willing spirit, the Nathaniel hidden behind the rules remains cold and distant. As Abby falls deeper into his tantalizing world of power and passion, she fears that Nathaniel’s heart may be beyond her reach—and that her own might be beyond saving…

After I started reading I thought I was reading the wrong book – I double checked and yep, I’m reading the right one. Abby King does have a secret fantasy alright, but to me, it has very little to do with being submissive and instead has everything to do with being a sexual servant. I don’t want to call it being a slave because to me (and Merriam-Webster) a slave is involuntarily dependent on another and everything about Abby screamed use me, use me, which is fine, but that’s not even in the ballpark of what I find seductive.

I had so many problems with this book, they’re too many to list but I’ll give you top three.
1) Even though Nathaniel’s and Abby’s arrangement weas only on the weekend, he told her what to eat, what kind of exercises to do and how much sleep to get during the week. To me none of that is okay at any given day, time or universe.
2) If Nathaniel allowed Abby to sleep in his bedroom in his home, she slept on a palate on the floor. If I was okay with that, I would have lost my ever-loving mind.
3) I’m not sure what universe Abby lives in, but it’s not the same as Nathaniel, because while these and other similar things are going on, she’s wondering when he’s going to tell her he loves her. I know this is fantasy but goodness alive, make me wanna believe in your fantasy.

For kicks and giggles there’s a #4) Abby and Nathaniel having sex at a football game, surrounded by spectators, during the half-time show. Folks, I think (scratch that I know) I’m pretty opened minded – the plot can be sketchy, but if the people are likable, I’m in. Last, but not least, the last quarter of this book read completely opposite of the first three-fourths. I've since seen mention of the similarities with FSoG; I didn't read that so I have nothing else to say there.

Overall, I just didn't understand who would fantasize about being treated the way that Nathaniel treated Abby. I didn’t like anyone in this story, not one. As a matter of fact, I’ve never given an F to a story before but there’s a first time for everything.

Happy Reading Folks!

Rating: F

*ARC provided by NAL for review

Click to purchase: Amazon
The Submissive
by Tara Sue Me
Release Date: February 7, 2013
Publisher: NAL

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At Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 11:19:00 AM CDT , Blogger Book Savvy Babe said...

there really is a first time for everything, and not every book fits every reader- that's just fact. I'm surprised you made it all the way through the book, you made it much farther than I would have. Hope you enjoy the next book! Book Savvy Babe

At Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 10:29:00 PM CDT , Blogger MeikkiBeibi said...

Oh boy! But yay! I love it when a reviewer doesn't go with the flow but lays out why the book is not up to par. :) And I think you did a negative review very well here! For The Love of Reading

At Sunday, April 14, 2013 at 6:23:00 AM CDT , Anonymous Danielle said...

I think the blurb you cited is very clear that this book involves a bdsm relationship. If anything, the words "dominant" and "submissive" (D/s) would serve as clues. Perhaps doing a little more research on D/s would have been fruitful for you in helping you understand this consensual relationship. It's evident that YOU the reviewer just don't get it. And even if the idea of bdsm turns you off (which is perfectly fine), you do your readers a diservice by slashing a book just because YOU do not find it "seductive." Due to your lack of research (either surprising or not surprising for someone who works in the news), I rate your review an "F".

At Sunday, April 14, 2013 at 8:22:00 AM CDT , Blogger Jen at Red Hot Books said...

Shelly often reviews BDSM books for the site and has given many positive reviews to books in the genre. This book simply did not work for her. She knew it was BDSM from the outset, but the characters, the relationship, and the depth of submission outside of bed-play did not appeal to her.

Her review is her opinion of the book, which she is entitled to... just as you are entitled to your opinion of her review. She didn't like it. She said why. I stand by that.

As with all negative reviews, the things that did not appeal to her may be exactly what another reader is looking for. By explaining her reasoning, she will effectively warn away people who don't enjoy that type of scenario or help build a connection to the book for people who do.

And for what it's worth, Shelly does not work in news. I do.

At Sunday, April 14, 2013 at 8:41:00 AM CDT , Blogger Brie said...

"I've since seen mention of the similarities with FSoG"

I think that's because this used to be Twilight fan fiction, so I'm not surprised people see it as derivative because it *is* derivative.

Also, Tara Sue Me? Best pen name ever! If I ever write a book I'll go by Penny Tration.

Great review, Shelley!

At Sunday, April 14, 2013 at 9:20:00 AM CDT , Blogger Patti (@TheLoveJunkee) said...

I like erotic fiction and I loved 50SoG. I've also loved D/s stories that are MUCH more explicit and involve much worse than the things mentioned above that turned you off. That being said:

I did not like The Submissive; I forced myself to finish it (because I paid full price for it and I'm stubborn like that) and gave it 1 star. It felt the author followed an 'erotic book checklist' and made sure to put in what she thought should be included but didn't build on any of the ideas.

At Sunday, April 14, 2013 at 11:57:00 AM CDT , Blogger Shelly said...

I couldn't not read it because I was for sure it was a dream and the book would get better. I'm keeping the hope alive though ;-)

At Sunday, April 14, 2013 at 11:58:00 AM CDT , Blogger Shelly said...

Thanks Niina - I really appreciate that.

At Sunday, April 14, 2013 at 12:00:00 PM CDT , Blogger Shelly said...

Thanks Brie. Appreciate the good vibes.

At Sunday, April 14, 2013 at 12:03:00 PM CDT , Blogger Shelly said...

Patti - that sucks you didn't like this one either but hopefully next time huh.

At Sunday, April 14, 2013 at 12:17:00 PM CDT , Blogger Shelly said...

BTW - the pen name totally cracked me up too...who does that??

Shall I call you Penny or Mrs. Tration? hilarious...


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