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The Marketplace (The Marketplace #1)

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,317 Ratings  ·  105 Reviews
The first volume in the landmark Marketplace trilogy, the series that set the standard for contemporary SM erotica. The Marketplace offers a thrilling tour of the world's most discriminating sexual playground. After Sharon, Brian, Claudia, and Robert are accepted for training by Marketplace representatives, they struggle to overcome their shortcomings: pride, selfishness, ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published December 1st 1997 by Rhinoceros Publications (first published 1993)
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Maybe a 3.5* but somehow I can't bring myself to round up.

This book has reams of reviews, is considered a classic, and what not all. Yes. It's well-written, head and shoulders above most of the current batch. That's why I gave it 3 to 3.5 stars. But the rest is all that great sauce of US-American BDSM stereotypes rolled into one big burger, and I find myself gagging instead of enjoying.

Yes, maybe Antoniou was the first, maybe she's a hard-playing lesbian dyke, yes, I guess she's done a lot for
Lisabet Sarai
Apr 24, 2012 Lisabet Sarai rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you had a friend who was interested in BDSM, but who didn't have much experience, what fiction would you advise her to read? What books belong to the BDSM canon? The Story of O, certainly. Maybe A.N. Roquelaure's Beauty trilogy (although if the real author were not Anne Rice, I wonder if those books would get as much attention as they do). Perhaps Molly Weatherfield's Safe Word and definitely a couple of Rachel Kramer Bussel's D/s-themed anthologies such as He's on Top, She's on Top, Yes, Sir ...more
Mar 20, 2012 Becca rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bdsm
Well this is frustrating, after writing two paragraphs of review I lost it! I'll attempt to rewrite it.

This book is very difficult for me to review. I both liked and disliked it - thus explaining the three star rating. It was very interesting to read about the training of 4 wannabe slaves, yet the reason behind much of the training was missing. There were a few exceptions, notably Brian's treatment as the family dog for a few days. The main techniques were beatings and criticism. When dealing wi
Oct 04, 2010 Deanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about 4 potential slaves and their training. Which is unfortunate because the truly interesting story is about the majordomo Chris and his relationship with the trainers Alex and Gren. Chris' secrets are hinted out through the entire book & there is a lovely ending that goes into greater detail about him. And that just makes the main part of the book pale in comparison.

I did appreciate the reality of the slave training. It wasn't blowjobs and massages all day long. There was rea
DNF. It's just the wrong time for me or this sucks, but not I'm dying reading this either way. Since I read less than 10% I'm not rating it.

8/7/2013__FREE on Amazon
Jean Roberta
Mar 11, 2011 Jean Roberta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Those of you who have toyed with or even lived a term of service may wonder at just how hard it could be to attain the level of excellence required by the Marketplace. After all, you muse, these are people who will be called slaves. Owned chattel, their lives formed and polished for the pleasure and use and amusement of those whose need is to control and improve.

"Many of you believe that the right attitude combined with some physical charm would be more than adequate to the task. It is not. Ev
Aug 17, 2012 Katie(babs) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Marketplace by Laura Antoniou is a book that's a departure for me. The first time I heard about The Marketplace or Laura was when I read at the former Ravenous Nights, now renamed, Between the Covers. Laura was there and read from one of the books in The Marketplace series. I was enthralled by Laura’s reading and was told how The Marketplace is a book that has become a cult classic reading among those in the BDSM and GLBT reading community. I took a chance and decided to buy and read The Mar ...more
Oct 16, 2013 Bennita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bdsm, erotic
The premise of this book was very interesting. It was basically about a bootcamp for slaves. Initially I was a little confused because I wasn't sure who the main character was because there were several characters introduced, but then I realized there were several stories rolled into one. I was pleasantly surprised that I actually enjoyed the multiple points of view. This story takes four slaves on a journey of intense training that would eventually lead to them being sold at the Marketplace. Ea ...more
Aug 23, 2013 Michele rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Read this because of the good reviews. I was hoping to learn about the mindset of people who get into 24/7 slavery. The book did some of that, but the cruelty, abuse and brutality were over the top to the point of ridiculousness. Such continuous and severe beatings would lead to broken-down bodies in reality. One arrogant slave is punished by being given (unsupervised) to two strangers who horribly beat and rape her for hours, then she's beaten even more by her trainers, then sent to bed without ...more
May 03, 2012 Dawn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Seriously. 50 Shades of Gray is like the Beauty Series by Anne Rice. Did you ever notice that half the people are naked and the other half are wearing FUR in the Beauty series? Doesn't that strike you that someone is going to be very cold or very hot? If you're really interested in something uniquely different and well written, check out Antoniou.
D. Alexandria
Feb 11, 2010 D. Alexandria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hands down the BEST, most realistic, tangible, series ever written on BDSM. It will leave you feeling there really could be an underground organization...and will make you want to find it!
Vinnie Tesla
Jun 30, 2014 Vinnie Tesla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: smut
It's unusual for me to be drawn along so strongly by a pornographic story that is so thoroughly Not My Kink. The prose is brisk and vivid, subtly shifting tone to match the four central characters. The characters themselves are a lively, diverse bunch with engaging voices, who change and grow as the story progresses. I found myself going back to it eagerly to find out what happened next, despite never finding it really arousing.

The book is a story about particular characters, but it's also a man
Diane Hughes
Aug 18, 2013 Diane Hughes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read all the books in the Marketplace series about once a year, every year since the first time I discovered them over ten years ago, and I am eagerly anticipating the next one. And, I read them over and over because of the characterizations and the plot. The sex scenes are wonderfully written erotica, but what makes these novels and short stories so absorbing and worth revisiting is the depth of the characters and the events that move their lives and growth along.

If I must restrict mysel
AղցҽӀɑ W.
The Marketplace is a secret society catering to those who wish to own well-trained slaves and those who wish to be sold as slaves. The book focuses on the four slaves Robert, Brian, Claudia, and Sharon, who all get accepted into a rigorous training program under Master Grendel and Mistress Alexandra on a beautiful estate in the countryside. Grendel and Alexandra are representatives for an international organization devoted to trading in submissive slaves, and Marketplace - the name of this organ ...more
Oct 22, 2013 Joelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Normally I avoid reading reviews until after I've finished reading a book, or at least have written my own review. I broke that tendency with this book. When I saw complaints about typos, grammar errors, I got incensed for Laura; I'd already read this lovely book once and had noticed only a few small things- if I could take off half a star, I might to do that, but it wasn't bad enough for some truly savage reviews I saw. Further I was angered by "this isn't the BDSM I know" type of comments; whi ...more
Feb 21, 2014 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m, bdsm, m-f, f-f
Well-written, intelligent BDSM erotica. One star deducted because though I loved Chris I was left puzzled and confused by his physical and emotional state, despite the book telling me it'd revealed his secrets and issues.

Loved the short story about the dinner party that went wrong; the humor was a relief after the seriousness. Being/training slaves is hard work...who knew? ;-)
Alexandrea Ward
Sep 02, 2013 Alexandrea Ward rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't expect to get pulled into this story as fast as I did but I was rooting for Claudia and Robert, somewhat agitated by Brian and I honestly wanted to claw Sharon's eyes out. She really needed to learn something about being silent and learning to be humble. I love this book and I randomly came upon it based on a recommendation from a friend. So glad I downloaded it because I couldn't put it, even convinced a couple of my friends to download it as well. I believe that this series, this book ...more
Oct 04, 2012 Brittany rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
This was recommended to me by someone in one of my IRC chatrooms after a discussion regarding 50 Shades of Grey being touted as exposing the average person to the BDSM lifestyle. She recommended this series as a harder, more accurate, more in-depth view.

This book is not what I would consider recommending for the sexually timid or those who are not particularly sexually open-minded, if you are not already familiar with some of the intricacies of the lifestyle and master/slave relationships.

Feb 04, 2008 Darby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Marketplace series is BDSM fiction by Laura Antoniou. It is about an underground organization that operates around the world in slave training, selling and buying. The books main focus is the training of slaves. And each book offers compelling characters that unfold into an extraordinary story and world.

You will meet all the reoccurring characters from Antoniou's series. You will form strong opinions about each . This isn't soft and romantic erotica. This deals with BDSM but without all the
Feb 13, 2014 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ahhh I've been hijacked by a series! My tbr shelf is huge and I read this on a whim and now I'm hooked! I'm happy though. It's not like getting trapped in a behemoth like the Outlander series which is my absolute favorite, but a solid 3 month commitment. This was an intriguing look into slave training facility, told through the experiences of 4 new trainees. Their stories were personal, believable, humorous at times, and heartbreaking the next. And I have to learn more about Chris. Glad I'm off ...more
Dec 30, 2007 Msstressa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What I like about the Marketplace books (as opposed to the godawful "Beauty" series of Anne Rice) is that Laura Antoniou gets the scene details right. I get sidetracked by details if they don't make sense, and I don't find my brain wandering to things like "wait, you secured the person to the wall with that?" when reading this series. Of course, they are fictional -- where are all these mysterious rich owners, and in the current economy are they doing rent-to-own slaves? -- and it bugs me a litt ...more
Jan 25, 2016 Coral rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was recommended by a friend (to a whole group of people, not to me specifically), so, after some waffling, I read it. And then I waffled about whether or not to talk about the fact that I've read it. (CW: sex, consent, references to slavery)

It's several shades more hardcore anything else I've read in the erotica genre (this isn't even a little bit "romance," let's not kid ourselves) (haha, I said "shades"), and it is also, uh, not for me. Turns out, the idea of full-time submissives is far
Mar 21, 2014 Lucia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So my problem with this book is that it is a fantasy. I know that this sounds a bit 'duh' but stick with me here. The premise of the series is that there's this underground consensual "slave" market where the slaves are trained in various kinds of service and then sold. In theory that sounds like an entertain idea (to my little perverted imagination) but my experience while reading the books was that I'd be immersed in them nicely and then something would happen that would highlight the specific ...more
Brian, Sharon, Claudia and Robert are in an exclusive slave training academy, part of a secret society of Owners, Spotters, Trainers and Slaves. They've each felt the need to serve; to be useful and used, in whatever capacity. Claudia and Robert have been brought in by the owners they've given themselves over to. Brian and Sharon consider themselves submissives, who want refining and training, hoping for long term placement and contracts. The Academy is run by Alex and Grendel, along with their ...more
Crys Harris
I read The Slave more than 15 years ago and I captivated by the description of that type of submission and the lengths that people will go through to achieve it. It was pure fantasy, but enjoyed it and read many other 'lifestyle' books afterward, like Mr. Benson: A Novel. So, naturally, when this book came up as a free read on, I jumped at the chance to re-visit those characters and that world. I was disappointed.

Perhaps it's because I'm a different person now than I was then. I think
Apr 02, 2015 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is first book of this type(BDSM) that I have read. I was intrigued enough to finish it though I can't say I would read the next book. It provided plenty of ideas for my personal catalog. I enjoyed the anticipation, but this was more of psychological stroll for me. It is worth reading if you know very little about the BDSM lifestyle.
Jan 26, 2013 Geoffrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bdsm
In this pure fantasy exists an underworld consensual slave trade. Incredibly hot sex scenes, and true-to-the-scene protocols. The characters are a bit campy, but the book does a pretty good job of using these characters show the pitfalls of having the wrong expectations when going into BDSM.
Feb 22, 2015 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I have read that many people who have this lifestyle say that this book/series is the closest to the actual real life experience, I am still hesitant to give it five stars. There was very little detail, and I'm a big one for wanting to all of the details. Also, certain characters, in particular Sharon, were so over the top that they almost seemed like they were very one-dimensional and just...static. I am forced to agree with others that while some of it seems rather juvenile, I also want ...more
Jamie Schmidt
Jan 29, 2015 Jamie Schmidt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Laura Antoniou's Marketplace series is a must for those who want an authentic glimpse into BDSM. She makes you feel like an honored guest at one of Grendel & Alexandria's dinner parties. You get a behind-the-scenes look at slave training with realistic and humanizing situations. It's a sexy, thrilling ride guaranteed to peek the interest in a newcomer to the scene and to satisfy the more experienced palate. If you wanted to know what pain and punishment have to do with eroticism, this first ...more
Jul 04, 2008 Rachael rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: erotica
I was irritated and annoyed by pretty much every character in this book, which made it pretty difficult to enjoy. Add to that the tedious, predictable BDSM scenes, excessive gender stereotypes, and lack of any significant plat, and I figured I'd rather be reading Anne Rice.
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West Michigan Boo...: September Book Club Meeting 5 12 Oct 02, 2013 05:57AM  
  • Under Contract
  • Carrie's Story: An Erotic S/M Novel (Carrie’s Story #1)
  • Under Her Thumb: Erotic Stories of Female Domination
  • As She's Told
  • Holden and Yves – The Early Years (The Slave Breakers, mini-prequel)
  • Master Class (Master Class, #1)
  • Gamble Everything (Gamble Everything #1-7)
  • Mr. Benson
  • Catalyst
  • Macho Sluts: Erotic Fiction
  • Crossroads (Master & Apprentice, #1)
  • The Copper Horse: Fear (The Copper Horse #1)
  • Remastering Jerna (Remastering Jerna, #1)
  • Big Sky
  • Above the Dungeon (Dungeon #1)
  • Carried Away
  • Angel and the Assassin (Angel and the Assassin, #1)
  • SM 101: A Realistic Introduction

Other Books in the Series

The Marketplace (6 books)
  • The Slave (The Marketplace, #2)
  • The Trainer (The Marketplace, #3)
  • The Academy (The Marketplace, #4)
  • The Reunion (The Marketplace, #5)
  • The Inheritor (The Marketplace, #6)

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