I will admit that I have been enjoying these shorter Anthologies that have been put together by Alex Algren and the wonderful people over at Cleis Press. If you follow my reviews you will know that I recently read and reviewed, Stories Of O, which was short but very sweet as you can find out by reading my review HERE.
So I was pleased when I was asked to read this new anthology and all but jumped at the chance, especially when I saw the list of authors for this one. I am the first to tell anyone that asks about Submission, as a subject, I know very little about it. I’ve never really considered it my, ‘thing’ at least in real life, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a good story that revolves around the subject. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. So I settled down one night and began to read this new anthology.
The first story is titled: Truss Issues and is penned by Lux Zakari. As the title suggests this is a story about being tied up for the first time, but as I was soon to discover as I read, it’s about much more than that. It’s about trust, and this happens to be a reoccurring theme throughout the book.
The next story is penned by one of my favorite erotic authors, Alison Tyler, and is called The Art of Darkness. Again this story is about submission, but again trust is the biggest thing I took away from this story. That and the fact that this story is about overcoming a fear that many of us have: Being in the dark. I love this passage from the story as Alison describes her characters intense fear of being left alone in the dark:
‘Late at night, I would occasionally hear a telltale click, and I’d wake up in a shuddering panic, realizing he’s shut of my safety light. I’d scramble spiderlike across the mattress, all sprawling limbs and trembling fingers, fumbling in my haste to turn the light back on, and Killian would watch me the whole time. Head titled, as if storing up the information to use sometime in the future.”
The end of the story is as hot as any erotic story I’ve read but this story like the others in this anthology allows me to go deeper into the characters than many of the stories I have read into the past.
Next up is, Reclaiming written by Teresa Noelle Roberts. Again this story is about trust and in this story we are treated to a visual feast, as the main character transforms from her dominant business role, to submitting completely to her Master after returning from a business trip. The writing is not only beautiful but also insightful.
I Breath Your Name is one of my favorite stories with these, and for a variety of reasons. The main one being a passage that author Tess Danesi, places half way through the story, and really struck a chord with me:
‘I realize how this sounds, I do. You’re probably thinking, Oh poor deluded thing, she’s being abused and doesn’t even know it. But I assure you, this is not the case. I went into my relationship with Dar over two years ago with eyes wide open to the level of his sadism. He never lied about his dark desires: if anything, he made himself out to be far worse that the reality. And I carved it then as I still do now. ‘
The Weight by Rachel Kramer Bussel, was by far my favorite read of this entire anthology. The story is dark and yet so beautiful at the same time. From the first word to the last I was snared by the words on the page, but this story went way deeper for me than just words. I could at times literally feel what it was like to be Ms Bussel’s character as she lay on the bed beneath the weight of her lover. At one point, I actually found myself mimicking the breathing of that character, and I didn’t immediately realize that I was doing it. I took sharp breaths when she did and let out sighs as I read. This is not a story about smothering, this is a love story and one that became more beautiful as I turned each page. So it maybe a love story with a kinky twist, but I was right there experiencing this scene and just through words. Now that’s some powerful writing.
The last story, A Necessary Correction by Debra Hyde, had a touch act to follow and it was a good story for sure. It let me down gently from the erotic edge that both myself and her character found herself sitting on. Her characters like all those in the book, were obviously very deeply in love.
Thanks to the great writing in this book, I had a better understanding of what it was like to be a submissive. What it means to give yourself body and soul sexually to someone else. If like me you have never experienced this personally, or to the extent the characters in this book have, you will likely come away feeling not only hot and heavy, but also strangely satisfied. This is a quick read but if you are willing to submit to the words, you won’t leave disappointed.