Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Submission Challenge by Jennifer Denys

When independent Rebecca derides her best friend’s brother for being a Dominant, he scoffs. She could never understand the lifestyle, but Jon challenges her to be his submissive for twenty-four hours anyway, demanding all that being a submissive entails. Not one to back down from a challenge, Rebecca agrees, determined to show him she can be submissive yet remain emotionally detached.

During the challenge, Jon works all his Dom tricks to try to make her lose, including insisting she be naked constantly, touching her intimately, and using various BDSM techniques, like bondage.

Some tricks Rebecca finds harder to accept than others, but as the weekend continues, they realize they are attracted to each other. But just as Rebecca comes to enjoy giving control to someone else, Jon learns to enjoy having someone who doesn't submit easily. But things aren't that simple.

Reviewer: avidscribe
Jennifer Denys' book is an oft-repeated BDSM storyline. The independent career woman is unknowingly a submissive and it takes the gentle urging of her Dom friend to open her up to the possibilities of a D/s relationship. At less than 80 actual pages, it's a very fast read.

Rebecca watches a scene taking place at a popular club known for its extreme sexual activities. A man has a woman bent over a stool. She is handcuffed and he is whipping her into ecstasy. Around her, an appreciative audience looks on. Her friend Ellie has dragged her there because Ellie's brother, a Dom, frequents the place and Ellie's dying to know what goes on there.

Rebecca, a Taurus, is everything her birth sign is known for. She's independent, likes to take control and says what she thinks. It has sent the men in her life running. She watches the submission of this woman in the club with disgust. She views submission as a vile, domineering activity that is utterly demeaning to women. As she turns to leave, she smacks right into a tall, well muscled man—Ellie's brother, who she doesn't get along with: their respective lifestyles clash.

They banter and Jon challenges her to a 24 hour go at submission in his capable hands. If she wins, he will donate a thousand dollars to her favorite charity. If she loses, she donates to his. Rebecca is unable to back down on the challenge even though everything in her head screams retreat. She agrees.

Right from the get-go in Jon's home, she has problems. He suggests they start with a light lunch. She is not used to the lack of eye contact demanded of a sub. She doesn't want the intimacy of him feeding her on his lap. However, by the end of the meal, she grudgingly realizes there are pleasant aspects to being cared for ... not that she would tell him!

With 23 hours to go, he tells her to disrobe and stay that way. It's a lesson in humility to be followed by one in trust as she allows him to restrain her. Later, over Chinese food, Rebecca and Jon analyze the experience, enjoying their give and take argumentation. She enjoys the conversation as equals though Jon is insistent to maintain the D/s framework so she gets a true taste of the lifestyle.

Of course, he's thinking she's like none of the other women he's been with. She is thinking he's easy on the eyes and can't believe he plays her body like a world class musician. However, the "feeling" part of their play leaves her vulnerable and scared. Full-out sex wasn't on the menu when they agreed to the terms for her 24 hour experience but she can't help but desire him and encourages him on. After the most intense orgasm in both their lives, she revels in tossing it up that he's lost the bet since sex was off the books in the challenge. He is angry at her coldness and believes she allowed penetration just to win the challenge. He storms out of the bedroom, leaving a distraught Rebecca to realize he got to her like no man ever has. She hurries from his home in tears.

For the next two weeks, Rebecca and Jon alternately cry on Ellie's shoulder. The sister realizes they both have fallen in love with each other when each suggests they'd give up their lifestyle if it meant being able to have the other back. Ellie forces a confrontation where both finally admit their feelings and move on with a life together, melding their mutual interests into one.

I think the story would have been made stronger if Jennifer Denys had given us more. The angst and dialog of Rebecca and Jon pouring out their broken hearts to Ellie would have made for a more involving reading experience. Perhaps even to have this book told in 1st person via Rebecca's POV. I liked Rebecca's attempts at 'topping from the bottom' and I always enjoy a story about a tough minded woman discovering she has a soft side that wants and feels. She's actually a shy woman used to hiding behind an air of confidence that Jon finds admirable ... but challenging. In the end, Jon realizes that, for him, submission is a two-way street and who submits isn't as important as it was before he loved the woman he was with. I'd give this a 3 as being an average read.

Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand Publishing
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders


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