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Topping from Below

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  1,144 ratings  ·  202 reviews
An explosive, erotic novel about two sisters, each of whom embarks upon a voyage into the heart of evil and a game with a seductive man who knows no rules or limits. Only one returns.

Successful, attractive, and in control, Nora seemed so different from her shy, terribly vulnerable younger sister. Grieving for Franny, Nora reads her diary and is stunned when it reveals a s
Paperback, 384 pages
Published April 15th 1996 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published June 1st 1995)
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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
63rd out of 763 books — 2,148 voters
Captive in the Dark by C.J. RobertsSeduced in the Dark by C.J. RobertsConsequences by Aleatha RomigForbidden by Tabitha SuzumaComfort Food by Kitty Thomas
Taboo Reads
70th out of 703 books — 1,237 voters

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Community Reviews

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What's a nice reviewer like me doing in a book like this?

Well, I have been disturbed recently by the gradual infusion of BDSM into popular culture, culminating in the chart-rogering 50 Shades of Grey, and the song by Rihanna called S&M ("pain is my pleasure… chains and whips excite me") which was No 1 in various countries, enjoyed by millions of teenyboppers. Reviews of 50 Shades and co-incidentally or not Story of O have been popping up all over Goodreads lately. BDSM has gone mainstream.


So, I have read quite a lot of dark and twisted books...

But I think this is by far the most twisted, messed up book I've EVER read. It managed to shock and surprise and horrify me all at the same time.

The story basically comes down to this:

Nora is a journalist who's younger sister Franny was brutally murdered almost a year ago. The police never found evidence as to who might have been her killer and now Nora has decided to take matters into her own hands. After reading Franny's journal Nora f

Christine The Dark Romance Junkie *Mafia Princess*
Nietzsche wrote; "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that he does not become a monster in the process."

This isn't "Fifty Shades of Grey" ladies...

This was the most twisted and vile book I've ever read in my entire life! Although the subject matter was an abomination, I cannot and will not give it a low rating, I don't know who this author is, what her internal dialogue was while writing this book. Where she got the material for her book is a very disturbing thought! But I will say this, th
JaHy♕ Bitchy  Goddess ♥'s  everything CrAzY  ☿
*The book (duh, obviously)
*Dictionary: exorable,tropism,ersatz,tessellated ,crepuscular claustrophobia..WTF? (this is way above my grade level)
*patience (the author tends to overkill EVERYTHING)
*A strong heart (honestly, this book is NOT for the faint of heart)
*A bottle of your favorite alcoholic beverage(trust me on this one)
*Barf bags<----plural
*Pepto (Costco size)
*Sleeping pills (extra strength)....J/k.

*****Okay you are now ready to enter the twilight zone****

Lady Vigilante (Feifei)
Thanks to my dark read cohorts (you know who you are!!!) I didn't get an ounce of sleep. Finished at 6:30 am and had nightmares about dogs and woke up to a Facebook newsfeed about dogs *heads for the loo*


Still, I don't regret reading it...but this is not a book I would recommend to 90% of readers. Maybe to fellow dark readers and my enemies ;)

Oh hey friend! If you recommended this to me, here you go:

This book have been giving me nightmares for the second night in a row. And here I thought that CJ Roberts crossed the line, author of this book crossed it, took it and ran with it. This book made me realize that I am not as openminded as I thought I was and that there is a line I would never cross and places I would never go :-S. With that being said, it was very well written psychological triller, with no likable characters or happy ending (or it depends on what outcome one is expecting). Bril ...more
Ian Heidin[+]Fisch
A Question for You, Reggie

Hi, Reggie, I normally love Paul Bryant's reviews, but his review of "Topping from Below" has me perplexed.

Does he take the novel too seriously or not seriously enough?

Please help.


Reggie Responds

Thanks for your question, Ian.

Paul is one of my favourite reviewers on GR, too.

However, when he takes the side of feminism in his reviews, he allows his normally astute views to be whipped into a frenzy (see "American Psycho").

Two passa
♆ BookAddict ♨ ✒ La Crimson Femme❇ ♐
Mar 31, 2011 ♆ BookAddict ♨ ✒ La Crimson Femme❇ ♐ rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to ♆ BookAddict ♨ by: Dark Fantasy Group
Shelves: bdsm, mystery, sadistic
This was one of the books in my GR's book of the month in March 2011. I read this and honestly, it shows a bad side of BDSM that I'm not thrilled all. It comes across as those in the BDSM are callous sociopaths who can easily kill a person w/o a problem. It perverts and twists a lifestyle into a horrible lie. I'm very disappointed in this book and don't recommend it to anyone.

I would like to point out, Ms. Reese possesses an excellent writing style. She also wrote a very good mystery
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Topping From Below is a twisted tale of sex, lies, and suspense but all done in a manner to find justice and retaliation. It's written intricately well. Your always second guessing your theories and assumptions until the bitter end. Just when you think you have things figured out, it smacks you right in the face with new revelations.
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The story is told in Nora's point of view but also through tidbits of information through her sister's diary (
Poisongirl 0101
Aug 30, 2012 Poisongirl 0101 rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: NO ONE!
Shelves: hated-it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carla ☺Did I Say That☺
No Rating....No Review....DNF!!!
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This is a misrepresentation of safe, sane and consensual BDSM.

At first I really enjoyed the female POV, and found the mystery intriguing. I chalked up the judgmental tone to her inexperience with the BDSM lifestyle. However, as the story progressed and the play became more and more extreme even crossing the line into bestiality and child porn, it became clear that the BDSM lifestyle was purposefully being misrepresent as corrupted and evil.

(view spoiler)
Update 3/10/12 I've been reading about Fifty Shades of Grey and while I have yet to read that book - probably won't -- it would seem to be very similar to this one. I'm wondering if perhaps James is a pseudonym for Reese.

I stumbled across Reese truly by accident. has some very nice features, and one of them is links to books that their computer program calculates you might be interested in based on previous purchases and queries. Reese's name popped up under mysteries, so I poked arou
Wow where to start? well here's good

This book ticked all boxes for me it was a crime well it had extreme BDSM an epic whodunit?

and I have walked away with more questions than answers (even though the book does tell you own done it)

<<<<<----the look on my face after this book.

even though I quite like the idea of a bdsm lifestyle and I have read quite a few books and visited quite a few websites on the subject (I do not live the lifestyle), but based on my know
Lady Raven RAVE!
Story: FAIR
Intimacy Level: HARDCORE BDSM
Enjoyment: OK

OK, I'm always open to things when reading my romance and erotica books. I've read disturbing and dark erotica, but this one, took it to another level. I really don't have much to say on this book. Franny has always been a loner, until she met Michael aka M. M took his time to introduce Franny to his style of sex and intimacy. But after months of being together, Franny is found dead. Enters her sister Nora, who wants to find her killer, and af

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Great twist near the end! Never expected it.
So this ended up interesting. I originally bought this book to see if it was REALLY as disturbing as some the reviewers said it was. I bought it, and then put it down and walked away at barely 25%. It wasn't the content that I found disturbing however, it was so boring! The first whole section about Franny bored me to tears. It felt slow and drug on and on. The first section with Nora felt much the same. I needed a break.

I don't like walking away from books. A story left unfinished nags at the r
Belle Aurora
Well, you know when you read reviews and most of them are either 1 star or 5 star reviews then either someone's done something right or they've done something wrong really right...This book just topped my TBR and I'm not sure if I'll go through with it. Truth is, I love dark and I love effed up so this might just be my cuppa tea. To be continued...
Hikâye Nora Tibbs'in kız kardeşi Frances 'in ölümünün yahut öldürülüşünün arkasındaki sır perdesini aralamaya soyunması ile başlıyor . ''Öldürülüşünün '' diyorum çünki Nora , kız kardeşinin pek bir acayip sevgilisi Michael tarafından öldürüldüğünü düşünüyor ve artık Nora 'nın tek gâyesi kâtili deşifre etmek .

Bu şekilde başladığından sebep hoş bir hikâye karakterine bürünüyor kitap , fakat zihnime salgın bir hastalık gibi yayılan şu düşünceyi üzerimden silkip atamıyorum : Pek sevgili Nora Hanım
I would have given this book five stars if it didn't contain scenes of bestiality.

I enjoyed the book, especially the beginning + middle. Also, learning and understanding the complexity of Franny's inner demons added depth to the novel.

However, it got a tad too melodramatic towards the end.
In my opinion, the writer got carried away with trying to develop twists (banal twists to make it worse)to keep us engaged, resulting in a conclusion that was over-the-top and corny.

Looking back, I suppose
no option for really hated it?!?!
scarification, mummification, cutting, the verbal and physical degradation that was nothing... the beastiality... in horrifying detail... SICK!!! I really wanted to root for the sister who claimed she was trying to avenge her sis's death when law enforcement seemed to drop the ball ... but the brutalizing, torturous death was at the hands of a sado-masachist how you can do a 360 & willingly participate on the premise of learning from him directly what he did
Charmaine Stephens
Omg! I'm still in completely shock. Still reeling from this brilliant story. I'm still back in the "training room" at Michael's house while it catches on fire! The feel of this almost feels as if it was based on a true story? I wonder if it was? The writing style the author uses here was just amazing & brilliant. I loved it! A couple moments made me cringe. But it was an interesting journey to get on. This by far is one of the darkest I've read! And by dark & twisted I mean…Golden Sh ...more
Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen
The first thing I have to comment on, is that I wasn't appalled by the book in the least. The author may have gone outside the box a bit with the BDSM but I think it was needed in order to build up the immorality of M. It was substantial to the story and kept my rapt attention throughout the book.

This story had so many twists and turns and while reading I actually believed in the killers innocence. I even found myself rooting for his HEA. I also have to add that this book is very very deep and t
Mind-Boggling! I finished this book late last night and had to think about it a while before being able to write how I really felt. Not that it could be forgotten easily due to the disturbing content. No matter how unwelcome, I think it will stay in my mind for quite a while.

I'm going to have to go with a 3.5 for the story itself and a 4 for the superb writing. The taboo nature aside, this dove deep into the human psyche. Unraveling a twisted story of what a human will go through for control, ac
Akanksha❤ Søren♰
Soraya Naomi and Christine the Dark Romance Junkie you crazy loons! ;) Thanks for finding this disgusting book! LOL
An explosive, erotic novel about two sisters, each of whom embarks upon a voyage into the heart of evil and a game with a seductive man who knows no rules or limits. Only one returns. Successful, attractive, and in control, Nora seemed so different from her shy, terribly vulnerable younger sister. Grieving for Franny, Nora reads her diary and is stunned when it reveals a secret sadomasochistic affair with a mysterious professor known only as M. Nora vows to seek justice for the sister she never ...more
I cannot believe this book has been in existence since 1995!!!!! Why did I just now hear of it? I have to tell you first, you may need a strong stomach for the one! I have o say this book was chaos!! I have never been so freaked out!! It was very well written, the subject matter, well it bordered sick to deranged throughout! So many times I feel if I could have gotten a hold of Nora, I would have choked the piss outta her! And then M., I think there may be a special place in hell for him, lol! T ...more
Topping From Below by Laura Reese.
Picked up at a yardsale for $1.00.
It was only worth one dollar. To each his own, but this, was too much into the weird.
It was supposed to be on the lines of a girl investigating on her own, into her sisters death... into the world of S&M. Um... ew... and than, it read more like severe mental abuse to me.

I would not pick up again, nor would I recommend. However, once I can find it, I'd be more than willing to just give this one away!!!

zero out of 5
kitapla ilgili ne yazsam bilemedim...
ama su kadarini söyleyebilirim ki grinin Christian'i Micheal'in yaninda melek kaliyordu...
M.'ye mi ya da Nora'ya mi daha cok kizsam bilemedim, M.'nin sadist, sapik vs. oldugunu anladikta Nora'in bunu kabul etmesini ve istemesini hic anlayamadim (güya kardesinin yasadiklarini anlamak icinmis ama kendisi daha cok hevesliydi)
bu tarz kitaplari fazla okumadim onun icin de kisaylama yapamam ama sunu söyleyebilirim ki grinin serisi bundan daha iyiydi bence...
Eto, moja znatiželja je zadovoljenja :-D Toliko različitih mišljenja da sam morala vidjeti o čemu toliko se prašina diže. Pa ok je! Erotski triler, ima par šokantnih scena i završnica je stvarno dooobraaa!
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LAURA REESE is the author of the critically acclaimed Panic Snap. She lives in Davis, California.
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Panic Snap A gyönyör sötét oldala Sottosopra

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“willingly.” “I don’t believe that.” Joe shrugs noncommittally. He leans forward and rests his elbows on the table. “If he killed her, chances are we’ll catch him. But so far, there’s no physical evidence pointing in his direction. You’re going to have to face the possibility that we may never know who killed her, or why, or how. A transient may have come through town, saw an opportunity, killed her and left. The killer could be in Florida or Illinois or out of the country.” 0 likes
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