Pearls's Reviews > Under By Duress

Under By Duress by Kayla Stonor
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Nov 09, 2012

it was amazing

It is such a role reversal from the usual BDSM book. It expects that you know the lifestyle, the rules, the psychology. So the author focuses on plot and characters. I was drawn to Gian within 5 minutes of meeting him. And the heroine is a feisty character fighting to regain herself, to hold true to her inner core. The psychology behind feeling in control and being in control is a wonderful theme in this book. I liked that both characters were in a position of needing saving, and of providing salvation. I liked that the female was strong, and the male was alpha without casting a shadow over her. I liked that there was a theme running the plot, not the sex: the need to re-invent themselves, not only to the world, but also within their own minds. I liked that the author gave the characters time to grow. While there was an initial attraction, you didn't have them jumping straight into declaring their unending love within the first 24 hours of meeting one another. It felt realistic to see their relationship grow.

I have different criteria for novels and novellas, not expecting as much development from the latter. But this book was very well-rounded in plot and character development. Everything progressed at a natural pace, like in a novel, with no unanswered questions or dropped sub-plots like novellas and shorts can do. I liked both main characters, I felt the constant tension between them. I never saw either as weak.

One of my pet peeves about most erotica is that there is constant repetition. Like the author thought I had forgotten something that had been mentioned 20 pages before. That never happened. So I was able to stay fully engaged with the plot.

I talked earlier about the power theme, and how being in control and giving up control is very well handled by this plot. It is a common theme in most BDSM literature, but you handle it very uniquely. It was a refreshingly new take on a common theme. Gian gives his sub what she needs by letting her top from the bottom. Perception is everything when it comes to control and to power. And by being the Master that he is, he is able to give each of them what they need psychologically. I loved that.

I know that Under by Treaty is next in this series, but I would love to see these characters again. Be sure to let us know if you re-visit them.
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