Sunday, August 5, 2012

Never the face: a story of desire by Ariel Sands

What would you do if a man you once loved came back into your life and said he wanted to go to dinner with you?  Would you be excited, would you have hope, would you have dreams - and what would you do if he said he had spent a lot of time choosing the right stick to beat you with?  "Kitten" doesn't think he is serious, but David is very serious about his "Kitten" and the plans he has for her - plans that include submission, dominance, collars, cuffs, riding crops, and pain.  While she may struggle with a traditional sex life, Kitten is not ready for the world of pain and control that David craves, the world that he forces upon her, and while she may crave more he is unwilling to leave the wife who knows about Kitten and the relationship she has with David.  But is it really a relationship, is it really love?

Never the face is a difficult read, not so much because of the sexually explicit content, but because the way David treats Kitten is outside the norms of the dominant-submissive relationships that have been expressed in other novels.  Kitten is not a willing participant to begin with, she is forced into being a submissive to David, but even when she is more used to the relationship and craves some of the things he has introduced her to, there is still a brutality to the role played by David that leaves a sour taste.  David isn't her dominant to take control and to guide her down a path, he is violent and physical to fulfill his needs only, he only worries about himself and offers her no way to keep herself safe - no safety words for David, no sir.  Overall this was an interesting read from the point of view of showing the breakdown of their relationship, for showing the "wrong" side of BDSM, for showing what a woman (or man for that matter) shouldn't put up with in a relationship.

The ending was reached at a rapid pace through a book which shaved away a lot of the excess and cut straight to the heart of the story, but there was also a sense of being left wanting, that you never really know what happened between Kitten and David.  In many ways I wish that I hadn't pick the story up because of the ending, but the content of the story and the sheer grit of the story made it a worthwhile read. 

This is one of the few books where I struggle to suggest other books like it to read, so instead I am going to break with tradition and say that instead of reading other books like Never the face, try reading a book that was very unlike it, one that shows a "better" BDSM relationship and try Sweet addiction by Maya Banks instead.

Reviewed by Brilla

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