James Evans has been a police detective for sixteen years and an active participant in the local BDSM scene for even longer. So, at age 35, he knows what he likes, and for the last three years, he’s liked what he’s seen in Kelly Franklin. Pretty, feisty and submissive, the fact that she scurries off like a frightened rabbit every time she sees him, only intrigues him more. He would have pressed a lot harder to corner her, if she didn’t already belong to someone else. That is why, when Kyle Sinclair mentions he’s looking for a new Dom to top Kelly, Jim doesn’t hesitate to sign up for the job.
Taking his cues from Kelly, Jim quickly discovers she isn’t seeking pain and punishment the way Kyle thought. In fact, all of Kelly’s signals indicate she is scared of pain, which both puzzles Jim and brings his protective side to the fore. Why would a girl want to be a submissive at a BDSM club if she fears how a Dom might punish her?
As a Dom, Jim is pleased by Kelly’s open responsiveness, but as a police detective, he is determined to solve the enigma she presents. Their relationship grows even more complicated when he discovers Kelly has not only been keeping secrets from him, she has lied, and neither side of him tolerates any type of deception–ever. A point he is more than willing to make with Kelly draped butt-naked over his knee for a spanking until she finally tells him the truth
A Dom’s Dilemma poses quite the reviewer dilemma for me because there were parts of the book I enjoyed immensely and then parts that irked me. Fortunately the parts I enjoyed were really good and balanced out the parts I didn’t. I found the romantic suspense element to be the best part of the book and it’s actually what saved the read for me. As gruesome as the perpetrated crimes were, it heightened the action in the book as well as the intrigue once they were linked to Kelly’s past. The criminal investigation and the stakeout were great and I loved how that part of the storyline played out. While I found Jim’s Dom-mode to be on just this side of bullyish, I liked that Ms. Blake tempered his personality with concern and caring for Kelly and showed him comfortable with what can only be described as sweet moments of affection. For the most part (the non-bratty part), I liked Kelly and loved that her antics often forced Jim to actively refrain from laughing (thankfully as the reader I didn’t have to hold my laughter).
As for what I didn’t like, my biggest complaint was that their relationship moved WAY TOO FAST. Even taking into consideration that Jim had been watching Kelly at the club for three years, the fact that she scurried away from him almost every time he approached means that he didn’t know her. So for him to suggest that they spend the weekend together after only playing together once in the club surprised me. But what absolutely flabbergasted me was that she accepted. Granted, she said no at first, but before their session was over for the night she changed her mind. With everything that occurred during their session pointing at a history of abuse, Kelly agreeing to spend a weekend alone in the home of a man whose presence terrified a week ago made absolutely no sense to me. When we learn later on in the book the extent of the abuse she suffered in the past, her decision to spend the weekend with him becomes even more questionable. As if that were not bad enough, Kelly’s declaration of love coming after spending the weekend together was unbelievable and only outdone by Jim returning the sentiment and asking her to move in within a week’s time of becoming her Dom. If this had been a new adult book I may have accepted the speed with which the relationship moved (<= notice I didn’t say developed), but at 28 and 35 they are too old for such rash relationship decisions, especially for people who have been in the lifestyle as long as they had. Considering the book’s length, the storyline would have been more palatable had the author shown their relationship developing over an extended time period rather than the less than two-week period we’re given.
That said, A Dom’s Dilemma is a well-written book that will make many readers happy. This is not the first book I have read by Ms. Blake, so I know it’s not an issue with her writing style. I just didn’t enjoy A Dom’s Dilemma as much as I had hoped I would. As I have enjoyed her writing in the past I know I will read more of Ms. Blake’s work. This is one of those times where the book didn’t fit the reader (me). I recommend you download a sample and try it out for yourself – just because I didn’t love, doesn’t mean you won’t.
In this scene, Jim Evans is putting Kelly Franklin through her paces to see how well she obeys his instructions. After ordering her to present her ass for his inspection, he tests her ability to remain motionless and silent as he examines her. Kelly has seen the way Jim masters subs before, and his technique intimidated the living daylights out of her, but she does her best to do everything he asks of her.
Then Master James ran a long finger down the crease in her buttocks as a test. Kelly held herself perfectly still, thinking he’d stop when he reached her anus. Instead, he spread his fingers to expose it. Unable to restrain the small whimper that escaped her throat, Kelly managed to hold her position.
“Good girl,” the Dom praised. And despite her fear and humiliation, Kelly felt caressed by molasses again. “However,” he added as a stern caution. “I expect you to remain silent unless I ask you a question, or give you permission to speak.” Kelly closed her eyes and concentrated on holding still and keeping quiet, all the while quaking inside with uncertainty over what he intended to do next. Then his fingers slipped even lower as he plunged one deep into her vagina.
Oh God! Kelly’s head came up with a gasp. When he rewarded her lapse with a much firmer smack on her left buttock this time, she couldn’t restrain her yelp, though she tried not to move since his finger was still embedded inside her. Her nerves were so taut, she couldn’t believe she hadn’t burst into tears already, but somehow she’d managed to hold it together.
“What did I tell you, sub?” Master James growled as his broad silk-covered chest covered her back and he spoke directly into her ear. He may have meant the action to be intimidating, but the strength and heat from his firm, muscular body actually calmed her. Even the feel of his finger still lodged within her, neither pressing nor moving, served to center her.
Taking a deep breath she answered, “That I am not to move or make a sound, Sir.”
“And what did you do?” he demanded, giving her no quarter.
“I moved without permission, then gasped and yelped, Sir. But I couldn’t help it, Sir. Your first touch surprised me, and that punishment hurt…Sir,” she added, knowing the excuse wouldn’t do shit to save her, yet needing to provide the explanation anyway. Then she tightened her buttocks in self-defense, expecting to feel the full weight of his hand descend sharply again for her impertinence. But nothing happened.
After a long moment, Kelly felt his finger slowly pull out of her, making her acutely aware of a sense of loss and the lack of warmth when he stood up. She remained in position, since he hadn’t given her permission to move.
Finally, he said, “Rise up on your knees and present your wrists to me, sub.”
- Spanker or Spankee?
I’d have to say I’m a spankee, though I do occasionally give my husband a few teasing swats, none have been as serious as the ones he’s threatened to give me, or as painful.
- What’s your favorite spanking implement? Either for you personally or that you have researched?
I’m not too fond of implements, so I’d have to say the bare hand is my preference, though the wooden spoon has occasionally come into play, along with a few rubber spatulas.
- What’s the best thing about writing in this genre?
What I like most about these stories is that they generally hark back to the traditional values of mutual respect and honesty. There’s something pleasingly old-fashioned about the heroes both in their protectiveness and their dominance. In addition, the genre in general allows readers a wide choice in heat levels. Providing something for everyone.
- Who is one celebrity that you would want to spank, or have spank you?
Yikes. I’m not sure I’d want to be spanked by a celebrity, but I did cast one of my heroes as a young Noah Wyle or Matthew McConaughey, so maybe….
- What’s one piece of advice you would give someone who wanted to write in this genre?
If you don’t live a spanking lifestyle (say of DD or BDSM), you should reach out to people who do and ask questions. Pain tolerances can be relative. For some, twenty stripes of the cane merely get them warmed up, for others, five can top their tolerance level. You can give your characters any pain tolerance you want, but be reasonable. Five swats on the buttocks with a bare hand won’t put your heroine in the hospital or cause her problems sitting the next day. Unless he’s Superman.
Though A Dom’s Dilemma is Kathryn R. Blake’s first BDSM novel and second spanking romance (a romance where spanking takes a prominent place in the plot), it is not the first book she has written in which the hero spanks the heroine. In fact, most of her novels have some sort of spanking in them. To date, all of her heroes are Dominant, alpha males who are extremely protective of the women they love. However, part of that protectiveness includes the desire for a certain amount of control. They do not suffer defiance or disobedience lightly. In fact, it is something they refuse to tolerate, and will take firm steps to ensure the undesirable behavior is not repeated.
Besides writing, Kathryn enjoys reading and acting in the community and regional theaters. Though a passionate lover of animals, she currently has no three four-legged beasties underfoot. She does, however, own a tank of small, finned entities that say little and eat much.
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