I’ve read several of Eliza Gayle’s books recently but this is my very favorite. I found myself easily identifying with Gabrielle as a woman seeking to embrace her true self and was so quickly absorbed into the story I didn’t want to stop reading. If you can’t already tell by the book title, there are strong D/s elements so read at your own risk… it’s an indulgence, enjoy – 5 chocolate-dipped strawberries.
Submissive Beauty is a story of trust, surrender and betrayal. The heroine Gabrielle finds herself on a journey of self-discovery that places her at the mercy of two men, Thomas and David. While they teach her to embrace her darkest desires, they also lead her along a path of betrayal. It was a treat to watch her evolve throughout the book from the shy woman to the confident sub.
Needing to understand her hidden desires, Gabrielle goes to The Sanctuary, a local BDSM club, for a seminar/ demonstration. Stood up by a friend who was to accompany her, Gabrielle chooses to stay in the back of the dimmed room and observe the demonstration. But even from where she hides in the back, Thomas’ sexy and masterful voice captivates her. Recognizing her true need for submission, she’s enthralled by the demonstration and finds herself embracing a training relationship almost immediately. (Their first few times together are amazing as they simply come to know one another.)
For Thomas, an experienced Master, Gabrielle is refreshing. His desire for her surpasses other trainees he’s worked with. Her intelligence, humor, and defiance turn him on as much as her submissive tendencies. And even though Thomas accepts the challenge to help train her, he insists he will not develop true feelings for her. Relationships are out of the question but he has a plan. For every trainee he takes on, he also includes a protégé who will be paired after the training is complete. But this time may be different.
David, Thomas’s latest protégé, appears to be the perfect Dom for Gabrielle. He’s sweeter than Thomas but no less dominant. While Thomas is more the disciplinarian, David is the caregiver. Honestly, their ménage relationship works so well because the two Doms complement each other and provide Gabrielle everything she needs. With their guidance, she fully realizes the submissive locked inside. They help her to become comfortable with her desires.
Gabriel is a dichotomy – with her independence warring with her need to be taken care of. She is a strong heroine with endearing vulnerability that unfortunately allows the men to fool her. If submission is about trust, Thomas performs the ultimate act of betrayal by not being truthful with Gabrielle while expecting her to always be truthful with him. This concept of a Dom’s truthfulness is often not explored in BDSM books and is an interesting concept.
Its Thomas’s betrayal and the plot twist that comes out of nowhere at the end of the book that set this book apart from others in this genre. The story isn’t a cliché but rather boasts an original storyline that will have readers wondering what Gabrielle’s HEA will actually be. Usually inclined to guess the ending, even I was surprised at how Gayle handled the conflict and the final conclusion. I very much enjoyed the story. Submissive Beauty is a strong romance between three compelling characters and an absolute indulgence to read.