Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Never the Face: A Story of Desire” as Want to Read:
Never the Face: A Story of Desire
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Never the Face: A Story of Desire

2.42 of 5 stars 2.42  ·  rating details  ·  80 ratings  ·  27 reviews
In an age where every sexual frontier seems to have been breached, it’s hard to believe there could still be unexplored corners, dark desires that few people dare make real. In the tradition of Josephine Hart’s masterpiece, Damage, Never the Face uses riveting storytelling to tackle a complex and provocative relationship – where the most exquisite passions are also the mos ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published April 12th 2011 by St. Martin's Press (first published March 31st 2011)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Never the Face, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Never the Face

Captive in the Dark by C.J. RobertsSeduced in the Dark by C.J. RobertsComfort Food by Kitty ThomasConsequences by Aleatha RomigTruth by Aleatha Romig
Dark Erotica
341st out of 777 books — 2,174 voters
The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by A.N. RoquelaureBeauty's Release by A.N. RoquelaureBeauty's Punishment by A.N. RoquelaureSlow Surrender by Cecilia TanThe Kittens by Allison Angel
Books to Read when you HATE fifty shades of grey
37th out of 50 books — 12 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 171)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
mark monday
'tis the season...


despite being marketed as an erotic novel about a "power exchange", this really seems to be more about an emotionally and physically abusive situation that is disguised as a power exchange. the dominant is a sociopath; he is surprisingly well-developed, although the author overcompensates a bit much in the depiction of his need for ownership. the submissive is psychotically submissive; she is also surprisingly well-developed, although again the author
Apr 09, 2011 Jasmine rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: n-a
there are lots of really great books about sex. about boring sex, about kinky sex, about sex next to corpses, about phone sex, probably even about sexting. The one thing all those books have in common is that they are very honest about sex. Even a lot of the romance novels. with nothing for plot that are basically trash, they are still honest.

This book not so much. This book reads like someone offered someone 100,000 to write a book about sex and they didn't say no. I find it tasteless and bori
Hum what did I think. Well this was a first for me reading a book like this. I had mixed feelings about it. The book as I was reading it reminded me of watching 9 1/2 Weeks with Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger. After reading this I could not imagine being in that kind of situation and being part of such violence but to each there own.Reading this story my thought from the beginning is that someone is going to be hurt when this fantasy affair plays out for both parties or one. This book enlightene ...more
Fallon Blake
However well-written and compelling this work of fiction is, it's not what I would consider BDSM. It's a story of abuse and a woman so desperate to feel, so desperate to be loved, she allows it. Over and over and over. It's about obsession and perversion and lies and illusion and rape. David had absolutely no redeeming qualities. None. The book's only saving grace is the narrator. I felt for her, though I wanted to smack her myself at times. And even though I found the relationship portrayed rep ...more
If this was a movie, on the DVD, you could watch a deleted scene where they go to Burning Man.
I read this book in one sitting last night, on my first night off in a while. I picked it up from the library because of the cool cover art and a book-jacket-synopsis that made the book seem like it would be much better than it ended up being.

Here's the thing...I'm no prude by ANY means, and I'm all for spicing up a sex life with some new and possibly even controversial things/activities. I also understand that there are people out there who exist in relationships such as the one described in th
Disgusting. I have no problem with bdsm when done safely but this is emotional and physical abuse. Rape of the body and mind. This book had the potential of being a 5 star book if it showed the struggle of a person in this situation better. This is a problem in some relationships, and the author wrote about it as if it was entertaining. Absolutely disgusting.

David is a well developed character but he's a sociopath. His fantasies go beyond a healthy thought process. The protagonist is psychology
This book made me sick. By the end of it I felt physically sick. I went into it knowing that the book was controverisal, and wanting to see what all the fuss was about. However, it wasn't fantastically written, nor did I ever even find it very realistic.

The title says that it's a story of desire...but I never felt that the lead character was at all in the throws of desire. I just felt she needed some counselling, and her abuser, David, needed a dose of his own medicine. If it was possible for hi
Heartbreaking. I agree with others that this story has much in common with the movie 9 and 1/2 Weeks, but this book did not intrigue me as much as the movie did. I was especially disturbed by the last half of the book where the relationship crosses the line from dysfunctional to abusive. I gave it 2 stars because I was interested enough to read it to the end. Sadly, the ending of the book was in no way as satisfying as the movie ending.

**minor spoiler**

At least in the movie, I felt that the fem
This was a disturbing and violent story. The heroine's name is not revealed. We only know her as Kitten or Bitch. David was married and his wife Maria supposedly had no problems with him fucking another woman. The heroine did feel sexual relief and got off on some of the beatings but she ignored all the warning signs that David wasn't an honorable man and that she should run as far away from him as possible. I don't think David ever loved the heroine and was just using her to fulfill his sexual ...more
I really hated the male lead, but not for the obvious reasons; I don't think he started out as a purposely emotionally manipulative jerk, but had definitely gotten there by the end. The real tragedy in this for me was the narrator's inability to stay away--she knew the guy was awful, dangerous, destructive, but that almost didn't matter. The worst part is that toys is a book about abuse, and I think it comes across as every vanilla's worst fear (greatest judgment?): that BDSM relationships are j ...more
It's Me - Yvette
So intense!

This is a total rollercoaster. I enjoy books that give a realistic portayal of human, raw emotions. This book shows the psyche of two characters who are long-time friends. Although there is a lot of sex, for me, this was not about sex but about the deep emotional attachment that is formed when someone gives up total control to another and gives a realistic depiction of what happens when that is relinquished. Be warned that the sex is very dark (that works well in this intense plot).
I love reading novels about people or situations I've never fully understood but want to. This novel gets you into the mind of a woman who has longed to be in a submissive/domanating relationship (she being the submissive). Now don't judge! She's a successful career woman, has had boyfriends in the past, but nothing quite clicked. It's....interesting. A little sad, but not without hope. Give the book a try.
Totally not what I expected. I little too crass for my liking, I did not finish it. Don't remember why I ordered it through library, probably because I liked the cover and then when I started reading, it made me put it down, really quick!!
Not for the faint of heart or easily embarassed.
You owe me, Misty! I wanted to DNF after pg. 18, and I wanted to vomit after pg. 23. This book was definitely not for redeeming qualities AT ALL. Well, maybe one giggle..."Your left tit is being naughty." Too bad it didn't punch him in the throat...
Just EWWW and ICK...
Franchesca Guerrero
I liked how I was brought into another world but I hated how she could not stand up for herself. The end was not to my liking, I would of liked a resolution but I guess its the form of the style. Good book, it introduced me into Literotica.
Claudia Salgado-Mow
While I think the book is well-written and some of the psychology is insightfully represented, I think that the damaged or manipulative dominant is cliche. David is ultimately a coward and has no redeeming qualities. The narrator is pitiable.
I felt bad for the main character, the girl w/o a name. Thank goodness David called her Kitten.
It was a well developed story, but I'm not sure why Kitten was in such need of being tormanted and still went back for more punishment.
This book was a quick read. I liked many aspects of the book, and found others quietly disturbing. I am not sure I would put it on my re-read shelf, but I would recommend it to other readers of the BDSM genre.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hard to figure out how I feel about this. The story is very disturbing, but also compelling. One thing it's not is erotic in any way.
This book is so different and the relationship between the two characters was all about "OBSESSION".
The desire felt wrong.
Well written and explicit, but not my cup of tea. I don't like that we don't even know the lead character's name.
Sandy Crozier

Didn't like this book at all to brutal and the story was all over the place. Very poorly written!!!!!!!
Alejandra Quezada
So much pain and so much violence. this is deeply disturbing, and extremely sad :(
Very different than anything I've read lately. Not my cup of tea.
Kathryn Dale
Very strange novel, very disturbing in some ways.
Cj marked it as to-read
Jan 07, 2015
Meriamilla marked it as to-read
Dec 28, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
"Ariel Sands is a pseudonym for a bestselling author"-publisher.
More about Ariel Sands...

Share This Book