Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Topping from Below” as Want to Read:
Topping from Below
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Topping from Below

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  1,522 Ratings  ·  248 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
Paperback, 384 pages
Published July 17th 2012 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published June 1st 1995)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Paul Bryant
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 Wallflower & Dark Romance Junkie
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
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:

JaHy☝Hold the Fairy Dust
*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****

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
♆ BookAddict  ✒ La Crimson Femme
Mar 01, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to ♆ BookAddict by: Dark Fantasy Group
Shelves: mystery, bdsm, 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
Ian "Marvin" Graye
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
Apr 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
 photo tumblr_mit5u8hQHr1s0xrqjo1_500_zps1541bc65.gif
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.
 photo CRYING3_zps551f8edf.gif

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 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NO ONE!
Shelves: hated-it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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)
Nov 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
Mar 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-dark
3.5 Stars - The writing was excellent but I cannot for the life of me like this disturbing and very dark read and I like dark reads! WELL ACTUALLY YES, YES I CAN! THIS WAS ONE SICK RIDE!

Great twist near the end! Never expected it.
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
Aug 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dark-and-twisted
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
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
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...
Charmaine Stephens
May 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bdsm, epic, dark-side, taboo
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
Apr 22, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews-i-wrote
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
Jul 19, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jettie Woodruff
Dec 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dark-erotica
Hmmmm???? I don't know what to say. I am never at a loss for words. It's not in me, buuuuut I am at a loss for a lot of words. I can't give this book a 5 because some parts were down right disgusting. UGH!!!! But, I have to give it to the author for not giving a shit and doing it. This book as absolutely NO boundaries at all. I have never in my life read anything like this. I'm a little bit ashamed of myself for reading it, however it was well written, easy to follow, and definitely kept my atte ...more
4 star story. 5 star twisted WTF ending.

After finishing this I feel the desperate urge for a hug… or to forcefully hold my cat and rock back and forth. What a story literary adventure!

Nora Tibbs, a journalist living in bustling California, is devastated by her little sister’s murder. Francis “Franny” Tibbs leaves behind a diary detailing a secret S&M affair she had with a music professor. Deplorable and dehumanizing acts were committed against her and Nora is sure that the Master whom Fran
Nov 03, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hate myself for liking this - such a twisted story and the only reason I'm giving it a "like" rating was because I actually FINISHED it - I had to skim some parts because they were just tooo disturbing. The book should come with stronger warnings about just how depraved it is...#1 in the WTF did I just read category.
Akanksha❤ Søren♰
Jul 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dark
Soraya Naomi and Christine the Dark Romance Junkie you crazy loons! ;) Thanks for finding this disgusting book! LOL
Varian Rose
Jul 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of dark erotica
Recommended to Varian Rose by: Melissa B, though I know you didn't mean to
Overall rating is 4.5.

Disclaimer: The reason I rated this so highly is because the author wrote the story in such a way that I couldn't put it down, even when I wanted to. There were some very disturbing things in this book--I wanted to look away but something kept me reading even when I cringed and felt sick. There's something to be said for a writer who can do that.

I would never hand Topping from Below to a vanilla person who knew nothing of BDSM, as this book paints the lifestyle in a horrif
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • As She's Told
  • Carrie's Story: An Erotic S/M Novel (Carrie’s Story #1)
  • Lethal Obsession (Lethal Obsession, #1)
  • Red
  • How to Rape a Straight Guy
  • My Masters' Nightmare Season 1, Ep. 1 "Taken" (My Masters' Nightmare, #1)
  • Chosen
  • Submissive Desires
  • Bind and Keep Me (Pierced Hearts, #2)
  • Her Master's Teacher (Masters, #2)
  • Judgment (Judgment, #1)
  • NightWhere
  • Obsession: Girl Abducted
  • The Slave (The Marketplace, #2)
  • Hurt
  • Gamble Everything (Gamble Everything #1-7)
  • Mercy
LAURA REESE is the author of the critically acclaimed Panic Snap. She lives in Davis, California.
More about Laura Reese...

Share This Book

“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.” 1 likes
More quotes…