Brace yourself, because there will be pain-but of the oh, so pleasurable kind. There will be begging and there will be bruises, but all leading to an obliterating climax. The fifteen lesbian stories of dominance and submission contained within the pages of From Top To Bottom will make you flinch like the characters do, will make you squirm and want to turn the pages faster and faster. You will find first-time players and long-term couples. A plethora of paddles and the occasional flogger-and a great number of sore backsides. Be warned. With stories from experienced writers at the top of their game and thrilling new talents alike, all of them exploring power dynamics from top to bottom, this collection is kinky, daring and, at times, deliciously violent. Read at your own risk.
Harper Bliss is a best-selling lesbian romance author. Among her most-loved books are the highly dramatic French Kissing and the often thought-provoking Pink Bean series. She is the co-founder of My LesFic, a weekly newsletter offering discount deals on lesbian fiction.
Harper lived in Hong Kong for 7 years, travelled the world for a bit, and has now settled in Brussels (Belgium) with her wife and photogenic cat, Dolly Purrton.
Together with her wife, she hosts a weekly podcast called Harper Bliss & Her Mrs.
I often have a hard time with short story collections because they have a few stories I love, a couple I like, a bunch I'm meh about, and a couple I hate. I'm happy to say that isn't the case for this one. There were a few that weren't really for me, but otherwise, I enjoyed this collection a whole lot. There are a couple I'd even love to see full length novels for.
I’m a little surprised that I wasn’t able to come out of this anthology with a 5 star rating, like I do so many of Ladylit’s collections. I think the issue for me is that this whole anthology is around BDSM, and because I’ve read so many BDSM stories at this point, some of them didn’t bring anything new to my reading. But, I’m absolutely thrilled to have found a couple more authors to add to my ‘follow’ list. I’m not going to review each title separately, but will supply a table of contents of all the stories and their authors, and then will provide mini reviews for some of my favorites in this collection.
Chasing the Dragon by S.E. Hill Dance for Me by Janelle Reston Serious Swimmer by J. Belle Lamb Call for Submission by Elna Holst Tell Me by Robyn Nyx Taking the Lead by Lauren Jade The Antisocial Sister by Lucy Felthouse One Hundred Strokes by Sinclair Sexsmith The Encounter by Eden Darry Secretly Submissive by Brooke Winters Inside by Leandra Vane Vegas Mistress by Samantha Luce Hit The Top by Robin Watergrove Not Yet by Harper Bliss Latin Lessons by Lise MacTague
The Encounter by Eden Darry: I really loved how the whole thing played out from beginning to end, and found myself so happy by the “twist” at the end of the story. It really made it so much fun. This is the first story I’ve read by this author and I would happily read more.
Secretly Submissive by Brooke Winters: I’ve never really read a story where it is told to you fairly early on that the woman who has been a Domme for the last decade, is secretly a submissive, and trying to figure out how to make Vanessa, another Domme, recognize her as a sub in hopes that they can have their own D/s relationship. I really loved this story and thought that the reactions that Vanessa and Lily had to each other when Lily was trying to “come out”, where very realistic and you could tell there were a lot of emotions involved. I also seriously loved Lily’s best friend Chloe who helped the whole plan come to fruition.
Not Yet by Harper Bliss: This is a short story centered around two of Harper’s characters from another book, “Release the Stars”, but if you have not read that book yet, I will let you know that there really isn’t anything to add to their characters or their background with this story, so you’re really not going to get any spoilers other than the fact you know they are together for this story. I definitely loved getting to read about Charlie and Ava again, because I absolutely loved their chemistry from RtS, but overall this short story was one simple scene that essentially shows how much trust and respect they’ve garnered for each other since the events of RtS. I’m very relieved to see that these two women are still together and working at their relationship, and I loved that this short story basically reinforced these women’s love for each other and desire to constantly look for ways to show each other that.
Latin Lessons by Lise Mactague: I don’t typically enjoy erotica stories that involve Nuns (I’m not religious, I just find it weird), so I was beyond surprised when I finished reading this story and realized how much I really loved it. I appreciated the rebellious girl getting put in her place by the Nun who is there to teach her Latin. I thought the exchange between the two was very sexy, and strangely enough, realistic and genuine. This is another author I had never read before, but will gladly seek out more of their work after reading this.
I received a copy of this anthology for free from Ladylit Publishing, in exchange for my honest review.
Wow, the title couldn’t be more apt. Not only does this collection explore the roles of being a dominant or submissive, but also how it feels to end up on the receiving end. It would be fair to say a few of these stories switch it up, and they were so much fun to read.
I considered reviewing each story individually but with 15 stories in one collection I’d end up writing a book myself. Instead, I jotted down notes of what kinky delights you’ll find in this anthology. Numerous engaging characters ranging from, dancer, teacher / student, writer, gym junkie, wheelchair bound dominant and her ‘boy’, nun and princess, and more.
Fetishes include, pet play, wax play, canes with fancy brass knobs going places I never dreamed of, panty gags, anal play…. and more.
As you can see there’s something for everyone, and more than one story will appeal to most. For me there was only one I didn’t finish and that was simply because of the narration. It was spoken as if the reader was the character… ‘you find yourself, you go to.’ Not word for word but that type of thing and I can’t say I liked it one bit.
I enjoyed the story set in Venice and the role-play. Although, the heroine being punched in the gut and slapped around the face (consensual or not) is not my thing.
Inside by Leandra Vane was my favorite story.
I recommend this collection to readers who enjoy F/f BDSM erotica. This spank bank anthology will further appeal to those who enjoy many stories told in first person, present tense.
Every single book that I have read of Harper Bliss has been so good and I am always looking forward to the next one that she is writing. This time she hasn't just wrote one book but she has put together a collection of stories and they are honestly that hot that you are most likely going to wet yourself whilst reading. Harper always manages to deliver such good books and knows what her audience wants to read, and that being said that's how I managed to get sucked into reading her books.
I honestly hope that you enjoy reading this collection as much as I have, anyways the one story that stood out to me the most was the first one, I'm not sure what it was that made it stick out so much more than the others but somehow it did. I suppose I loved the way that Sarah was the one being controlled even though it wasn't physically, I mean Krista wasn't even in the same building as her when it came to her sending these demands that she wanted Sarah to do and the fact that Sarah stopped caring about everything in the world made it so much more thrilling. I mean sometimes you can't help but catch yourself doing the inevitable thing but knowing that there's a slight chance of getting caught makes it that much more thrilling.
Anyways I'm not going to give away anything else as you should give it a try yourself. I wish that there wasn't so many that I could have picked as my favourite but that's the good thing about Harper's books is that she write that good so that it's hard to pick any favourite. Anyways give it a try as I'm pretty sure that you're going to love it.
This book is a collection of stories where BDSM is featured. If you are not interested in reading stories that are 100% BDSM, then don't purchase this book. I think it's important to get this message out to the potential readers first. It isn't good for either the reader or the author to have someone purchase the book knowing you will not like it.
But if you are into 100% BDSM stories, this book is for you. And what I mean by that is there is no pretense in any of these stories of any plot beyond the sex.
If you're looking for ideas to spice up your own scenes, look no further. You'll find an abundance. If you are turned on by BDSM play but keep it confined to your fantasies, look no further. No two stories are alike.
Reviewing an anthology is challenging because there is the urge to review each separate story on its own merits and that's a bit daunting a task.
This anthology is not repetitive. There is more than enough variety, and the scenes run the spectrum from almost sweet all the way to almost too much pain. There is something for everyone.
While I enjoyed every story, I can't help but point out my favorites.
"The Encounter" by Eden Darry was beautifully written and surprised the hell out of me. I loved the smoking hot power struggle in "Taking the Lead" by Lauren Jade. "Latin Lessons" by Lise MacTague took us to an ancient setting where innocence and BDSM collide in quite a sexy scene. This story did wonders for my dreams. It's the last one in the book, and I went to sleep just after finishing it. Oo, La, La!
4.5 star rating For me who isn't much of a BDSM story fan I'd say majority of the stories here were exactly what the editor described; "there’s a great amount of pleasure to be found within the pages that follow. Enjoy the pain". And surprisingly for me I certainly enjoyed some of the pleasures within these pages and winced on some of the pain plays (not surprising). One particular story "Hit The Top" seems to be etched in memory and the following excerpt is why; "It takes a certain kind of person to hit the top...Working out is a lot like sex. You get out of it what you put into it...You hit the top. The pain is nothing compared to the rush."
I remember this being pretty good. Consent was addressed throughout certain parts. I really liked that one of the stories pointed out an abusive dominant, although briefly and wanted to make sure the sub was not going back to her. Also, the one with the dance teacher addressed that you can be too drunk to consent, which I always like to see in these stories. Again, I could've sworn I left a review before, so I don't know why some of these are coming up as "currently reading". But, I do believe remember having a problem with the last story. The girl was young, but at least 18. Her mentor disciplined her inappropriately with some BDSM, but not to a full extent(if I remember correctly)and unprofessionally, though I still largely enjoyed the book. My favorite was the secretly submissive story. She was afraid to venture out of being a domme, but she was in love with a fellow domme and yearned to be controlled by her. It played out very nicely.
And one I would heartily recommend to anyone with interest in the scene. It really is too to bottom, perspectives range from domme to sub to switch, new to the scene and those that have a strong history within it. It is a compilation, most sticking straight to the heat of the matter, while others take a bit of a longer road to where they want to go, but not one of these chapters was a disappointment.
XOXOXOs to Harper Bliss for creating this delightful collection of BDSM tales. Although these stories may not push your particular limits, they are all quite well-written and will definitely make you very, very wet. Even if you are just bi-curious, do not pass up this volume. Be warned, you will continually squirm with delight and your panties will melt as did mine!!! Please Harper, be my Dom and use me in any way you wish:)