Ni_kii's Reviews > Control

Control by Charlotte Stein
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Oct 29, 13

really liked it
bookshelves: received, bdsm, erotica, steamy, strong-female-charcter, voyeurism, fem-dom

** spoiler alert ** When steamy book seller Madison finds herself in the midst of a steamy clinch with an interviewee, she realises that maybe she hasn’t been fulfilling all her needs. Sexually aggressive Andy (i.e. Mr-Make-a-good-Impression on the interview) isn’t up to the grade, but maybe the man that she eventually hires will tend to her every whim. Uptight, repressed and a little bit weedy, Gabriel doesn’t seem to be attracted to her at all. Unable to resist trying to get a reaction from him, after realising that he has seen her mid-Andy clinch, Madison does everything in her power to elicit some kind of response. From going to work without pants on to leaving butt prints from sweaty sex on the counter at work (I kid you not!), she tries every trick in the book to get him to make him blush and aroused. Eventually, he gives in to her persistence and they embark on a rather steamy affair. Gabriel needs control, he craves the bossy Madison and the orders that she gives out. Andy (who appears sporadically throughout the book) craves control and likes to exert it over them both. The question is what does Madison want; does she want the lovely Gabe and the power that he gifts her? Or does she want the rough and slightly smug Andy, along with the submission that he craves?

Well, this book led me through a variety of emotions from start to finish! I always admire authors who write from first person POV; it’s so risky if your main character isn’t relatable. Luckily, although I didn’t always agree with her decisions, I did relate to Madison. She wasn’t afraid to go out for what she wants sexually; unfortunately I did feel that at points this made her a little selfish. I was a little scared for poor Gabriel; I didn’t think he actually knew what to do with himself when she started to pursue him so viscously. Although I found her a little selfish personally, I found her completely selfless sexually. Once she realised what Gabriel needed sexually, she gave herself over to her role completely. She gave him what he craved, she encouraged the side of himself that he was ashamed of, and accepted him. I loved the fact that she didn’t ever make him feel stupid, even when the requests were slightly weird to her, she just considered whether she could do them or not. I understood her attraction to Andy but I honestly wanted her to end up with Gabriel.

Gabriel was a hard character to like, but once I started to understand him, I fell for him hook, line and sinker. I’m used to a certain type of male sub in fem-Dom erotica and they tend to be strong, butch men (not sure why this is!) Gabriel is the complete opposite. He is a repressed, slightly nerdy man who needs to be told what to do. Yes, his background slightly explains these character traits, but it wasn’t enough for me to do anything more than pity him. It wasn’t until he started to trust Madison and let some of his crazy show that I started to love him. When Madison finds him reading erotic fiction, when he confesses to masturbating when she told off a supplier on the phone…..all these things made me realise that he was a man I could adore. Once they start having mad monkey sex (and seriously, the sex in this book starts at page one and continues to get more kinky with each page) I realised that, although the outer shell p*ssed me off something rotten, the person he becomes when he is accepted for what he needs, is amazing. The scene where she finds him wearing her pyjamas…..well read it and see for yourselves.

So why 4 stars and not 5, I hear you ask. This is going to be a little spoilery so you may want to put your fingers over your eyes. Andy appears periodically throughout the book as a contrast to Gabe, to confuse Madison over what she wants and to generally irritate the crap out of me with his smug attitude. There is a particular scene where all three of them are in bed together (although this scene starts off so well….one Dom controlling two subs..be still my beating heart :D) Unfortunately, the ending of this scene left a bad taste in my mouth. Personal preference means that I only like sex in a book for the sake of enjoyment of ALL characters involved. One of the characters was left a little tied up and out of the action therefore didn’t enjoy the sex…I didn’t like it and it stuck with me. Still, one scene out of the book is a fairly good ratio.

Overall this book is a fabulously sexy tale that made my palms sweaty and my heart race. I grew to love both Madison and Gabe and, although I didn’t agree with some of the decisions that they made, I wholeheartedly routed for a situation where they could both be happy. I didn’t like Andy much but he served a purpose and he made for some fabulously hot sex scenes :D
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10/29/2013 marked as: read

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