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

Story of L

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  175 ratings  ·  92 reviews
New Edition, available in both paperback and ebook!

Liv called her hunger the Void, a bottomless pit of sexual desperation. She thought she knew it, and herself. Until a night with Cassandra silenced it. And brought out something in Liv she didn’t think possible: submission.

One taste of that, and Liv wanted more.

But Cassandra isn’t an easy dominant, and her demands aren’t s
Kindle Edition, 254 pages
Published February 18th 2017 by Riverdale Avenue Books (first published June 28th 2011)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Story of L, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Story of L

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  175 ratings  ·  92 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Story of L
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So even though I can't claim that I know much about the BDSM scene, or that it's something that I'm really interested in exploring, I loved being able to step into the world of BDSM for a few hours via the Story of L. What a well written escape!

I won't recap the novel, since it's done well in both the synopsis and by other reviewers here. What I first noticed and enjoyed immensely about this novel is the way that Hyde took a few moments to describe and set each scene as it played out. I could pi
Jun 14, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars - Story of L by Debra Hyde was a very well-written BDSM full-length novel between Dominatrix Cassandra and her sub, Liv (L). I think the dom/sub dynamic between the two main characters was extremely well depicted in a way that was believable and healthy. Cassandra always asked for consent and gave Liv the space to think before taking major decisions. I really enjoyed learning more about the lesbian BDSM scene through Liv’s experiences at the BDSM club. The author describes scenes vivid ...more
Det. Nidhi
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
2 stars. DNF at about 30%. This really is not my cup of tea. Partner sharing, extreme degradation, selfish lust and not a single drop of romance or emotional intimacy. It's all about Liv's "me, me, me" attitude and what others can do for her sexually. And that's just not for me. Maybe if "The Void" was explained better rather just being present without much of a reason, I could hang in there longer. But it just is and I'm supposed to accept it.

Am I trying to apply too much logic to a raunchy er
Samantha Luce
3.5 rounded up to 4 stars. This is a short read. I'm guessing more a novella than a novel. Only took me a couple hours to finish. It's an intense and realistic glimpse into the BDSM world. Some scenes might offend people looking for some of the more vanilla aspects like in 50 shades.
The work this is loosely based on, The Story of O, angered me at the end. Happy to say this one gave me a much better feeling at the end. There's some hope here. It might even be possible we'll get a sequel sometime
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
What a fantastic book! This one really took me by surprise. The book takes you into the world of lesbian BDSM play clubs and people but thankfully does it without smut or overkill of non-stop sex scenes. Yes - it has a plot and likeable characters. I learnt a lot about this world from this novel.

It's true escapism reading the pages of this book and even though this isn't my usually choice of genre I really loved this book. Never a dull moment and plenty of plot to keep you turning the pages. Hi
Danni Mladenovic
Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*The copy received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Liv, mostly dominant, finds herself one night thoroughly owned and completely satisfied by Cassandra, famous Dom and wants for more. However, will she be able to fulfill all Cassandra's requests, or is there a limit called "too much"?
This is a book that brings you deeper BDSM concept than some "coquetting" with it that most romances offer. It gives you insights on Dom/sub rules, behavior, sexual "build-up" with non-sexual pla
*Downloaded from Netgalley

3.5 stars. This was a modern retelling of The Story of O, but with characters that have different sexual orientations. The story of Liv’s descent into submission to another woman, Cassandra, was absorbing. It was very different than what I usually read, but the great writing style kept me hooked. I felt Liv’s nervousness and captivation with Cassandra as she took each step towards submission. There was a slow spiral downward, and I was left on edge wandering, 'How far w
Dirty Dayna
3 L Stars
This book is a wild book for FF and BDSM coming together. I am not a fan of FF romance but I like to check out a wide variety of romance books to see. It is easy to see how this is the FF retelling of the story of O. I feel the BDSM/Romance aspects were very believable and play around with various emotional aspects. What doesn’t work here is there really isn’t a story outside of the naughty bits. So if you are a reader that is all about the naughty bits then you will love the book. I
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
3.75 rounded up. This was a solid read. Both main characters are like-able and we get some backstory for each of them. I probably have a bit of a crush on Cassandra. The secondary characters are also enjoyable. I wasn't totally invested in the beginning but as the story progressed I went all in. There was a lot of good info shared regarding the domme/sub lifestyle. There were a few times that I was a little bored by some of the internal thoughts/descriptions, but not enough to really affect my o ...more
Jane Shambler
May 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, bdsm
O.K. So the main question that comes to mind is where do I start?

The book is so well written, that you just couldn't put it down. It was also very educational. It may also offend some people so just be aware. Me? I really enjoyed it.

It's like the lesbian story of O, if you read O it was kind of disappointing at the end but this one actually leaves an opening for a possible sequel. What I really liked about this book was that it wasn't just a sex book for the sake of sex. It was an actual story.
Jessie Sedai of the Black Ajah🥀🐍
4.5 Star Review

It's obvious that the author of this book aced her SAT's in school. The erudite vocabulary alone made this reading session a schooling in literary verbiage (see what I did there?) And that I'm saying this of a hardcore BDSM F/F erotica novel. leaves me completely flabbergasted. I really enjoyed this read, and not just because it's beautifully, cleverly written. The erotic themes were far from vapid - there was depth here, deep-rooted explorations of the psychology of sexual submis
Sep 01, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 stars

So, I know nothing about the BDSM scene or lifestyle, and have no interest in exploring it myself, but it was interesting to see what it was all about in this fictional account of such a relationship. I also appreciated that the "love" scenes weren't overly graphic, so that the story focused more on the relationship, rather than just the sex. While intellectually I understand that people enjoy these type of relationships, I can't say that I understand that desire, even after reading this.
Aug 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: erotica, lesbian
Story of L is, as you might expect, a lesbian retelling of The Story of O. It is the erotic tale of Liv, a woman who is surprised to discover ultimate satisfaction through an act of submission, and Cassandra, the woman who obtains her own satisfaction through the submission of others . . . but who does not easily offer up the pleasures of her dominance.

Before you get the wrong idea, however, this is not a sex-for-the-sake-of-sex slice of erotica. This is a story with some real depth to it, one t
Aj Smith
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Before I wrote this review I glanced over a few of the reviews on amazon and was initially surprised at the naivety of some people, then reminded myself that this is why I don't normally read reviews on amazon...

Anyway, if you will be offended or upset by bdsm/leather scene action this book is not for you. Otherwise, even if you're not particularly into this scene, you should read this book! Similar to the Alison Kaine mystery series by Kate Allen it gives a fascinating psychological insight int
Jun 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I could not have found a better erotic book to keep me wet with desire even after finishing the story. Just can't stop thinking about it! This tale is quite similar to the classic Story of O, but the dom, Cassandra, and the sub, Liv, are both women and this book is so much better. How I wish the older and highly experienced Cassandra would take me as her dedicated and permanent female slave:) Debra Hyde, the author, is wonderful. Be sure to add this volume to your summer reading list. It is trul ...more
Varian Rose
4.5 stars rounded up to five.

This book was wonderful. The characters were well-developed, the sex was hot, and I felt like Cassandra and Liv had an actual bond. My one complaint was that there were some things that felt a bit rushed.
Jun 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Copy provided by NetGalley in return for an honest review. Review to be posted on Goodreads.

A compelling voyage of discovery story. Even though I failed to connect to the characters the story made me think and consider situations and dynamics differently, which I enjoyed very much. Akin to walking a mile in someone else's shoes. And if you are considering stepping into this lady's shitkickers, make sure you have those big girl panties on and pulled tight, because this isn't your typical romance
R Y A N  ⚡️

This book is a true love story set in an unconventional relationship. I read a lot of BDSM erotica and erotic romance. This is one of the best. The entirety of the subject matter was written with honor and respect. The characters were believable. When they hurt, I hurt. When they experienced love, lust, joy — I felt like I experienced it as well.

I will be honest, I’ve never read a f/f romance, and certainly not one set in the BDSM/ leather realm. I was nervous (I’m not sure why m/m and m/m
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Overall, this was an interesting story, but I struggled to stay engaged. I had a difficult time liking either main character; I found the D to be cold and detached, and the s to be mindless and passive. Their relationship seemed devoid of genuine fondness for one another and their intimate times bordered on clinical. I also found the writing style inconsistent; it could be stilted in one scene and then overly wordy and flowery in the next.

I received a free ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an h
Sep 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the gifted copy. All thoughts are my own

This was the first bdsm novel I've read so I wasn't really sure what to expect and am not able to currently compare it to others in this genre. It's definitely not for the faint of heart, but I enjoyed it.

While some make not consider it "romantic" in a traditional sense it does contain love and care between characters. It also contains consensual "sexual punishment". Whips, chains, humiliation ect.

While it defin
Jul 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I might have bit off more than I expected with this one. This is not for the faint of heart. It swings deep into BDSM, which I guess was the whole point...hence the 4 stars, but I’ll admit I had to power through some parts of it.

There was the feel of a graphic novel with this. The way the world sways around the main character with little significance as she finds ways to feed the ‘Void’; then it morphs into a journey of self discovery. I thought the way the story circles its and ties up was goo
Wendy Turner
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Liv is used to being playing top at the club. Though she does have a hunger that raises its head, she is usually able to sate it by switching for the night. Her hunger, which she calls “the void”, has raised its ugly head and this time it is going to take something or someone very special to take care of it.

Enter Cassandra. Before Cassandra, no one had been able to completely fulfil Liv’s void. Yet she comes into the club a prestigious veteran of the scene and takes hold of the situation in a h
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To see more reviews check out

I got an ARC in return for an honest review on NetGallery.

I am a very big fan of historical erotica, if that makes any sense. I avidly search out the classics and devour them. This had a similar title to The Story of O. A book I really enjoyed, but had an issue with the male gaze aspect of the novel. This book addressed my issues there. However this book raised some more issues for me. Mainly the issues I have with so many books that have
I find this book hard to rate. I have not read The Story of O so I cannot comment on connections or similarities to that.

Let's start with the characters.
I liked LIv a lot. She is hardworking, loyal and unafraid to ask the important questions. Her submissive side did not turn her into a mindless idiot with no sense of precaution; instead, she was sensible in giving in to her wants without risking her life.
Cassandra is harder to place. She doesn't really play a major role until halfway through the
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m finding it difficult to know what to say about this book; the genre is a good ways outside of my comfort zone. A few of the things that I didn’t like about the book I suppose are more part of my own particular pet peeves, for one, I started to do an eye-roll every time the character used the words “the Void”, and secondly, while I was glad the book didn’t have f-bombs every second sentence, it did have a lot of the ‘c’ word… Which of all the words known to humanity is one of the words on my ...more
Feb 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Story of L was my very first book from Debra Hyde. And I'm conflicted on my review. I went into this book totally blind. But I love erotica, especially BDSM erotica. However I didn't know going in, it was about lesbians. That's normally a genre I don't read. I Just don't like gay romance, and I struggled finishing this one. The writing is good at times, other it's way over the top. Sometimes I was really confused.

The Story of L is about Liv, who's trying to battle her inner self, wanting to su
Debra Hyde
Nov 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
This year's lesbian erotica winner at the 24th Lambda Literary Awards. Recently asked about her win, author Debra Hyde replied, "It's an honor to join the ranks of recognized authors who've earned this award over the past 24 years. It's a wonderful accolade, an unparalleled validation."
Apr 13, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Impressive erotica.Literary prowess of the author gave depth to the 'supposedly dirty' erotica.
***ARC provided by author/Netgalley for an honest review***

New to the LGBTQ genre of erotica romance, mainly of the F/F BDSM world, I was a little dishearten but still entertained. Story of L by Debra Hyde takes you in the world of lesbian BDSM with Liv & Cassandra. Having not dived into this genre prior, I was intrigued to pursue it and needless to say it broaden my horizon more in this sub-category.

Liv lives with a Void deep with in, clawing its' way out determined to cause her angst. The onl
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Sex Therapist Next Door
  • Being Hers (Irresistibly Bound #1)
  • Hopeless Romantic
  • Her Surrender (Irresistibly Bound #2)
  • Flavor of the Month
  • The Woman in 3B
  • At Her Feet
  • One Golden Summer
  • Battle Scars
  • Tempting The Dragon King (Dragon Lords, #1)
  • Miss Match
  • Yes, Mistress
  • Second Nature (Shape-Shifter, #1)
  • Alone
  • Hers to Keep (Irresistibly Bound #3)
  • Tangled Vows (Mistress, #1)
  • Waiting for You
  • Ask Me Again
See similar books…
Debra Hyde writes erotic fiction for everyone, across the gender & orientation spectra. Her lesbian BDSM novel, Story of L, won the 2011 Lambda Literary Award for lesbian erotica. A modern retelling of the classic Story of O, it updates the original tale to reflect the contemporary lesbian leather world and the women in it.

Romantic Times BOOK Reviews magazine named it and her heterosexual novel, B

News & Interviews

Rumaan Alam began writing Leave the World Behind with a series of tweets on a secret Twitter account he started two years ago.   The book that...
4 likes · 1 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Yet she did not feel undefined; being queer was being enough, and she liked not having to fall into a strict dichotomy.” 0 likes
“From now, you are L." L. A simple letter. Yet it changed everything.” 0 likes
More quotes…