Sunday, 20 January 2013




Pages: 408p

Date: 05/01/2013

Grade: 4.5

Details: no. 5 Knights of the Board Room

              Received from Ellora’s Cave

              Through NetGalley


It wasn’t about denigrating a woman’s independence. It had nothing to do with the men’s opinion of female capability, but everything to do with their absolute conviction that a man’s role was to protect and cherish.”

Ben is the only one of his friends still single. The other four Knights of the Board Room have found their submissive soul-mates and have started their happily every after. Ben tells himself this doesn’t bother him. He knows he is the most hardcore Dominant of the group, he just wasn’t made for a lasting relationship; short-term one-off scenes without emotional entanglements are more his style and he has no intention of changing that.

Marcie has been in love with Ben since she was sixteen. As she grew up and discovered exactly what sort of relationships the other knights had with their women she also realised that she, like her sister and the other women, is a submissive. But Marcie is a smart girl and for years she’s allowed Ben to treat her like a close friend while treating him the same. Now that she is 23 years old and finished with her studies, Marcie is ready to show Ben exactly what she is and that not only does she love, want and need him but that, deep down, he feels the same about her.

As Marcie and Ben spend time together the Dom realises that Marcie touches him in ways that scare him; she makes him feel things he didn’t know he could feel and, more importantly, doesn’t want to feel. And if the only way to get her out of his life again is by emotionally hurting her in a way he would never physically hurt her, he’ll do just that. Even if that course of action brings with it the risk of alienating his life-long friends as well. What Ben hasn’t counted on is that although Marcie may be submissive in every way it counts, she wouldn’t submit if it means giving up on her own happily ever after with the man she has loved for so long. She may be wishing for unconditional surrender to Ben, but that won’t stop her from mounting a hostile take-over if that’s the only way to get what they both want.

What we have here is a work of pure erotica. While it is a typical romance in structure and ending, it is anything but when it comes to the content for the story. Most of the story in this book is told through Ben and Marcie’s sexual exploits. The relationship between the two main characters, who have known each other for years, develops almost exclusively through their intimate encounters. And these are not sweet or romantic encounters in a traditional sense. Ben is both a Dom and a sadist; he needs to inflict pain in order to be able to enjoy the encounter himself. And Marcie is a submissive who soon discovers that she is also a masochist. The pain Ben inflicts on her brings her to a level of ecstasy she didn’t know she could reach. There are several scenes in this book that might shock many, although I have to admit I found them rather exciting. First and foremost there is the level of pain that is inflicted on the more than willing but inexperienced Marcie.

“There’s this threshold of panic, where you realize that he has all the control. I’m not talking the safe word thing or being able to call a halt. He’s plucked your free will right out of your hands, and you let him have it, and you don’t want it back. That’s what scares you shitless. You’re just all his, and that’s all you ever want to be. When you come out of the experience, you feel a bit like a kid coming out of a scary ride at Disneyland. Did that really happen? Will you have the courage to ride again? And you know you will.”

Taken from Korner Kafe Exposed

But we’re also reading about a rather public scene of oral sex, some all female action and one occasion on which Marcie is shared between the five Knights. One thing I couldn’t quite get my head around is the concept of Consensual Non-Consent. I just can’t get a handle of the idea that you would agree to anyone ignoring your safe word unless they decided there was a medical necessity to stop. I mean, unless your partner happens to be a fully qualified medical doctor, how would they be able to assess that? Mind you, within the context of the story even this idea worked for me, but it did have me wondering about how that could possibly work in a non-fictional scenario.

Even bearing in mind the things I couldn’t quite get my head around this book worked for me. I can’t imagine getting excited by pain like Marcie does in this story but the way her building excitement was described made me almost wish that I could and I never for one moment doubted that for her it was pure and deep pleasure.

All of the above doesn’t mean there aren’t touching and incredibly tender moments in this story too. At one point I was reading with tears in my eyes because of the way in which Ben opened up to his past, his emotions and the love he had been denying (himself) for so long.

Marcie is a wonderful character. At heart a true submissive, she has the strength and courage to push the man she wants to dominate her. The way she is described in this book made me feel I really got to know, like and admire her. Ben, on the other hand, can be harder to like on several occasions, culminating in one passage where I would have lovingly beat the shit out of him. But this does make him a more realistic character and does add to the tension in the story.

The writing in this book is smooth and the dialogue flows naturally. The author has given us characters we can recognise and sympathise with in a story that is captivating, exhilarating and, when all is said and done, a wonderful love story.

This is the fifth book in a series, but since I haven’t read the first four books I can confidently say that it can be read as a stand-alone. Of course if you were to do that you do run the risk that, like me, you end up buying the first book even before you finish this one.

No comments:

Post a Comment