As she falls more and more for the enigmatic man two decades her senior, there is something about him that she cannot quite figure out. She can tell he is keeping something from her and even as that gulf stretches between them, she falls further and further in love with him.
When the truth comes out, can she accept it? Or is this the end?
Bane of My Existence proved to be far more interesting and mildly more confusing than I anticipated. Let me explain my “confusing” statement first. When I began reading the book late last night, I vaguely recalled that in addition to being a BDSM romance it was also supposed to be a paranormal romance. As I enjoy both separately and combined, this was not a concern for me until I got farther and farther into the book and there were no paranormal elements. I should explain that once a book is on my review schedule – whether it’s a review copy, a book I’ve bought, or I book I’ve won (as is the case with this book) – I rarely reread the synopsis before I begin it. So the farther along I got into Bane of My Existence I convinced myself that I must have confused the book with another in regard to the paranormal aspect. This wasn’t a big deal because the author does such a good job with the focus on the BDSM romance that I was enjoying it for that alone – that is, until I got 93% into the book and the paranormal element was revealed. When this occurred my knee jerk reaction was why now? What purpose did that serve to the story because it seemed to be an unnecessary addition to the storyline? As this is the first book in a trilogy, I can only assume that the subsequent books in the The Shift series continue with Antonia and Master Bane’s story and that it will become more important to the series thread. I do worry that BDSM readers who miss that the book is included in the paranormal romance genre will wonder why the author veered off course and will abandon the series. In the same vein, readers looking for a paranormal romance will likely wonder why it took so long for it to be revealed as such, assuming they make it that far into the book. I for one plan to continue with the series and can only hope others do as well.
As for what made Bane of My Existence so interesting to me – the author does an excellent job of creating three intriguing primary characters in Antonia, Bane, and Kayle. While the focus of the story is on the relationships (<= that’s pluralized on purpose) between Antonia and Bane, Kayle’s status as Antonia’s surrogate brother adds an unexpected element to the relationship dynamics within the book. Because of the fact that Kayle is gay and is like a brother to Antonia, I found it quite funny that Master Bane felt his possessive hackles raise when she asked for an exception to being allowed to be alone with Kayle. Even better was that the situation provided Antonia an opportunity to assert herself in the relationship and learn that submissive did not equal doormat. While Kayle is the one responsible for introducing Antonia to the BDSM lifestyle and placing her in Master Bane’s care when it becomes obvious that’s what they both want, Kayle has no problem pulling the big brother card out on Bane when needed (which I loved).
Without spoiling too much, the primary relationship that develops between Bane and Antonia seemed closer to that of a Master/slave relationship than simply Dom/sub. Granted the number of and seemingly all-encompassing nature of the rules that Bane gives Antonia may be largely due to her being new to the lifestyle and in training, but it did not feel that way to me. Again this was not an issue for me nor will it be for most BDSM romance readers, but because of it I would not recommend the book to someone new to the genre. I found the secondary relationship between the two to be a fascinating concept considering Bane’s age, yet understood it completely once the big reveal occurred towards the end of the book and no I won’t spoil what it is either. As Thianna D. is an author I have read several times, I was not the least bit surprised by the scintillating nature of the sex scenes except to say that they’re possibly some of the hottest ones of hers I’ve read to date. Whew!!! While Bane of My Existence is the first book in the series and it left several questions unanswered, it did not end on a cliffhanger but rather laid the foundation for its sequel which I hope will be out soon as I am looking forward to reading it. I NEED to know what is to become of Antonia and Bane’s relationship once his family learns of it.
Two subs at Master Bane’s BDSM club have insulted Antonia. Bane found out about it.
“That wasn’t very smart of them. I wonder what he’ll do?”
“Shall we go look?” Tommy asked eagerly and Sue nodded. Before she knew what was happening, Antonia followed the two out of the bar into the main room. Every piece of equipment seemed to be in use and try as hard as she could, she could not stop gaping at the table where a sub was tied down with one dom fucking her mouth while another fucked her ass.
“Ooh, that’s fun,” Sue said in her ear, nodding.
Trying to ignore the way her body reacted to the scene, she glanced around, spotting Master Bane over near the hallway to his office. Both girls knelt in front of him with Kayle standing behind both of them. Her master looked furious.
“Ah, hell,” Tommy said, backing up a few steps. “That’s one pissed off dom. Maybe I don’t want to see what he will do.” As he turned and grasped hold of Antonia’s arm to guide her back to the bar, Master Bane looked up and caught her eye. Immediately, he beckoned her over.
“Master wants me,” she said and Tommy immediately released her arm. Taking a deep breath, she walked around the room, keeping her eyes on her master, even though he did look pissed. The only thing that kept her going was hoping his anger was at those girls and not her. As she got close, he looked at her and his eyes softened. Taking her hand, he pulled her in front of him, facing the girls.
“Genie, Clarissa, this is Antonia; my girl, my sub, my property. As you both know since you have been in the lifestyle for a while, when you insult a dom’s property, you insult the dom. And it’s not smart to insult me,” he said with a growl. Both of them flinched. “You will be punished immediately. Master Kayle, will you commandeer the spanking bench for me, please, as well as the table near it.”
With a nod, Kayle turned and left after winking at Antonia. Master Bane wrapped his arms around her and began playing with her breasts which made her gasp. “Watch,” he commanded and the two girls looked up cautiously. “My girl,” he reiterated making Antonia wonder at what point he would pee on her leg. Or was this the BDSM version? “Neither of you will be in this position ever. Understand? I do not take on bratty subs or individuals who act submissive only when they want to.” He turned and nodded, his chin rubbing against Antonia’s hair. “Go join Master Kayle at the spanking bench. Now,” he said roughly when neither moved. Jumping up, they both dashed over to where Kayle stood next to a steel bench.
Turning her around, Master Bane looked her over, as if looking for a physical manifestation of their cruelty. “I am sorry those girls were rude to you, little one. Besides them, are you enjoying your evening?”
Smiling cautiously, she nodded. “I really like Tommy and Sue.”
“Good. Now, I would suggest you might not enjoy watching this punishment, dearest. It is going to be intense. Both of those girls cause trouble no matter where they go. Tonight they will learn never to do something like that again. Go join Tommy at the bar. I will join you as soon as this is taken care of.” He slid his fingers down her hair. “I think it’s time to make sure everyone knows you’re mine, little one.” His eyes darkened. “Yes, definitely time.”
Thianna likes to say she’s eclectic, fun, and just a bit naughty. And not just in her personal life. A writer of romance with a side of spice, she enjoys a wonderful tale that combines romance, strong characters, humor, and an intriguing plot. Oh, and of course, all the little salacious bits that pop up in her works as well. While her writing has mostly dealt with BDSM and DD relationships in the past, she is also a major fan of paranormal and is vastly excited about a new series she has coming out called Drakyl Ranch.
A resident of the Pacific Northwest part of the U.S., she would prefer to be overrun by the beauty of the Rocky Mountains. One day, she’ll get back to the most beautiful mountains in the world…at least in her opinion.
Creator of and acquisition editor for the Corbin’s Bend spanking romance series, she wants to know: Who else wants to be safe, secure, and spanked in Colorado?
M/F romance is under the name Thianna D. and M/M romance is under the name Thianna Durston.