by Emily Ryan-Davis, contemporary (2010)
Liquid Silver Books, $4.50, ISBN 978-1-59578-736-1
Emily Ryan-Davis's Unwrapping Amy is an interesting story in that it focuses on the psychology behind domination and submission. Unlike many BDSM stories out there, this is not some "Ooh! Spanking looks nice, let us try it... smack, smack, smack... yes, we're professional BDSM gurus now, let's start a club!" raunchy story.
Max and Amy Corcoran had been married for about 16 years, but as of late, he sleeps on the couch. You see, Amy becomes increasingly infatuated with the BDSM lifestyle, identifying herself as a submissive. She is at the same time scared of revealing her desires to her husband, as she doesn't want to lose him. Max is aware of his wife's fascination, but he is terrified of not being able to measure up for the task of satisfying her desires. He is also scared of how much he is aroused by the idea of hurting - or what he believes to be hurting - his wife in kinky sex play. As a result of our couple keeping things from each other, they become increasingly frustrated and therefore estranged from each other. Can this marriage be saved? Can they open up to each other in every way that matters?
I'm not familiar with the lifestyle, so I have no idea how authentic this story is. I have to confess, I did wonder whether it is wise for Max to play the Dom without seeking advice from other Doms on how to treat his sub right. After all, both he and Amy are new when it comes to the lifestyle, and Amy is the kind of person who will not instinctively voice out her concerns should Max goof up along the way. Still, I'm not the right person to judge the authenticity of this story.
Unwrapping Amy however is an engaging story with some emotionally intense scenes here and there. The author wisely focuses on developing both her characters' emotional as well as physical relationship to each other. The characters' fears, insecurities, and confusion all feel real, which is why I sometimes wonder whether these people should seek advice from the experts before embarking on their new lifestyle. They have to work a bit to open up to each other about their desires and insecurities, and their lifestyle seems to be one where trust in each other is vital. I'm still not sure whether they have opened up to each other enough to embark on the kink boat without some initial supervision and guidance.
Still, no matter. This is a pretty good read with an intriguing premise all the same. It's definitely a cut above the usual "smack my hiney and call me a sub" romances out there.
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