Thursday, September 1, 2011

Quite A Story

Story of O
Back in my college women’s studies class, I read The Story of O. I was young – it was a dark erotica (my first) and it overwhelmed me. It took me years to fully process the idea of submission as was presented in that book.  I wasn’t sure I liked that book but I did recognize the quality of the writing because it left me questioning and allowed me to consider a world larger than the one in which I exist. And that’s exactly what happened this week when I read The Story of L by Debra Hyde.

I consider myself well read across all sub-genres in the romance category, including erotica, and have suffered through my share of only-for-sex erotica. But this book is so much more. This book has heart. Readers will be drawn into the story, immersed in Liv’s journey. The story feels real with rich description and straight-forward narrative. I won’t claim to be an expert – before this, I can count the f-f books I’ve read on my fingers – but I’d wager a guess that this book would be considered above most others. If you’re looking for simple erotica, this isn’t for you – The Story of L is derived from the timeless tale The Story of O and holds the same deep, emotionally-charged pull.

Hyde presents an intense story of a unique love between Liv and Cassandra. When they first meet, Liv is a switch whose needs were difficult to have met. She thought she knew herself well but had this undefined desire coursing through her that never seemed fulfilled. Until the night Cassandra comes to Hipolyte, a bdsm club catering to lesbians, and takes Liv higher than she’s ever been.  And though Liv does not claim to be submissive, she finds that part of herself in that moment. She finds everything she needs in Cassandra.

Cassandra, well known in the bdsm world, isn't an easy Dominant. When she sends her personal assistant, Reese, to seek Liv’s interest in pursuing a relationship with her, a series of demands are made that Liv must fulfill to take her place as Cassandra’s “darling”. While the demands aren’t simple, they force Liv to truly consider her role as a submissive and realign her life accordingly. And they all become worth it when finally she kneels at Cassandra’s feet.

The women’s relationship is untraditional but no less beautiful than any other couple falling in love. Everyday life is interjected in the book, keeping it grounded and allowing readers to see these characters as real. Secondary characters were utilized perfectly in further developing the main characters and adding depth to the story. Such rich description leaves readers feeling as if they are immersed into the story, as if they are experiencing the transformation alongside Liv.

The Story of L
is a definite good read... worthy of 
Five Chocolate Dipped Strawberries.
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