Publisher: Self Published
Genre: M/F BDSM
Summary: A Web photo of a dominatrix sends a man on a last-ditch attempt to feel truly alive one more time, even if it kills him.
Growing numb to life, to his on-and-off girlfriend of many years, his career, even Scotch, a man turns fifty. He is a translator who can no longer dream of translating beautiful works of fiction. He is an amateur musician who can no longer dream of expressing his life on a higher plane, without words. As he glares inside himself he sees little but his declining sexuality, his crumbling hold on life, a growing list of failed relationships, and a darkening well of loneliness.
Stumbling upon an image on the Internet one night, he suddenly hears cell doors sliding open. He stares at a young woman, in profile, beautiful, unblinking, regal. Instinctively he knows that by lingering on that image he will shatter a relationship that has kept him on the sane side of loneliness as surely as if he stepped in front of a speeding eighteen-wheeler. But desperate to feel alive again before time runs out, he knows he must see the stranger behind the pixels on his laptop screen.
Although it is her image that first transfixes him, his eye afterwards chances on a handful of words on the Internet page. She is a dominatrix. The word triggers something inside him, blows the dust off fantasies trickling back to adolescence, and slowly begins to re-choreograph his decades of sexual memories. Was he ever really the dominant male he thought he was? Did he have a sexual alter-ego? Was this the last card he had to play in life? The face on the screen held the answer. He would find out even if it killed him.
Review: ** Spoiler Alert **
This is the story of K, a more than fifty-year-old New York alcoholic translator who plays the horn non-professionally, who has no more family and only one friend and who loves wearing very tight tights.
The first part of the novel is about his years of solitary life since college until today. He speaks of his rare relationships with women and his steady one with alcohol. He mentions his recent erectile difficulties, which are not due to biological factors, but to psychological ones. He therefore wondered why these difficulties and discovers that when a woman is a little bit dominant, he has no such difficulties. He knows that he has a submissive and masochist streak needing to be satisfied.
“She had confirmed that somewhere down there, there was a submissive itch that needed scratching.”
He begins to seek a Domme on the Web and, as soon as he sees her pictures, he falls in love with a Dominantrix he calls his Egyptian princess because of her look (very dark hair and eyes). But this Domme is twenty years younger than him and is allergic to any steady love relationship.
“Maybe one of us was just born at the wrong time, like in that movie you sent me, you know?”
So K tries to content himself with some BDSM sessions that his Princess can offer when she is not on a trip to Mexico or Montreal, to write her long emails and to send her short stories. When she goes to live in Montreal, she gives him the name of CC, a Domme of her friends, who are also interested in tights. But when CC goes to Montreal for some time, K decided to go and join his Princess there, thinking he may as well take translation contracts in Montreal than in New York.
The more K shows his love for his princess, the more she flees him, and finally rejects him. K, who had completely stopped drinking alcohol for her, begins to drink again. So he stops to see her and to write to her. And, one day, out of boredom, he subscribes on social networks.
“He’d never used an Enter key to seal a friendship.”
When FaceBook offers to find him friends, he agrees. Imagine his surprise of seeing his princess’ photo; he just comes to discover her real name there on FB. He sends a friendvite to her, which she declines, but she writes him not to get hurt by her rejection and says that she had thought a lot about him lately, which gives hope to K. Too much hope. This is where things go wrong. No, it’s not what you think; K does not end up committing suicide. But let’s say it’s not exactly a happy ending.
So if you are looking for a Harlequin-style romance, forget this book.
If you want a story filled with very hot sex scenes, forget this book. Usually, Dominatrixes don’t have sex with clients.
If you like very imaginative and varied BDSM scenes, forget this book. All BDSM here is about K being bound while wearing tights and getting spanked or whipped (or both).
If you absolutely need your happy ending, forget this book (that’s life, not a rosewater novel).
This is a third-person and past-tense story. This story is very realistic, as if it was the author’s memory. We can almost envision an old buddy visiting us and talking about his disappointment with his past love relationships, his work, his desire to be dominated by a good-looking dominant woman and his passion for his Egyptian Princess (who is actually Jewish) when he met her.
The author writes well. I could say that he is a real pro of metaphors, a true “metaphorist”. 😉
“When she read it she felt his old intensity. Metaphor tripped over metaphor.”
He is also very good at showing instead of telling.
“He walked up and down in front of the bed for several minutes, a passage shorter than he would find in a cell on death row.”
Excellent way to tell that he feels very bad, no?
And his reflections about life are to the point. The only less good point is that it’s long before the MC meets his Princess (p. 253, 43% of the book), so I nearly stop reading it around page 150. But I’m happy I didn’t. So I give it 4 stars.
Many good quotes:
“Some faces take you to the eyes, others to the lips. Hers had options.”
“The dream suddenly nudged him clinically awake but he felt he was still eavesdropping on his own subconscious.”
“She had confirmed that somewhere down there, there was a submissive itch that needed scratching.”
“Almost every day he saw a woman he could imagine sliding into, just like that, pants and panties down and zippity-doo. And her loving him for it. That was the version of his younger self he had latched on to, stamped and validated in his memory. Certified copy. Let the record show… But he knew now that was a lie.”
“No, pain without sexual domination hovering about him like a shroud was just pain.”
“His [soul] wanted to shake him up, turn him upside down like a piggy bank to see if anything valuable dropped out.”
“She bitched about living in a tenement where the pipes rattled far more often than her bed.”
“However, his faith in the future lasted about as long as having faith in cops investigating police misconduct.”
“Relationships weren’t ocean liners with stabilizers. They were flimsy affairs. No, they were more dangerous than canoes. They were kayaks, two-seaters that overturned with every careless comment, each intimation of indifference. You spend half the time upside down, under water. It takes a lot of skill to get right-side up before the relationship drowns.”
“How many times after an argument had he kept his distance until he started to sniff out the difference between alone and loneliness.”
“Without realizing it, he was standing less upright, pulling down against the wrist cuffs so he could bend forward slightly, pushing his ass toward her after each blow, asking for more.” Yes! That was like that for me too.
“Then he became an adult, technically at least. And there were moments, danceable ones, but they came farther and farther apart. There were long stretches when life was almost flatlining. Only sex could fine tune the fibrillations of his heart. The pulse would return.”
“Now the Egyptian Princess was his substance of choice. Imagining making love to her black eyes […] would send both monitors dancing.”
“Because of the way she landed on him, he found his right hand on her tights, on the inside of her thigh midway between knee and heaven.”
“He could no more stop being in love with her than he could stop dreaming while asleep.”
“He was exhausted by thinking about something that does not exist in the form of thought.”
“…he told himself he could live without having sex with her as long as she stayed in his life.”
The author also speaks of typical fifties or older guys:
“For a long time he thought the change [in his libido] was likely physical in origin, a result of too much booze, too little exercise, a little too much weight. He had his testosterone levels checked at one point. “Normal, normal, normal…,” said the doctor.”
“His penis answered to her, and seemingly her alone. And now that he knew she was “passive in the sack,” instead of his desire turning tail and running, his penis was slipping into warrior pose. He wanted to conquer her. He wanted to take her. He wanted to dominate her.”
“If he made love to her, even just once, he wouldn’t care anymore about mortality.”
“He tried to make her understand that while he would never do anything to bring her even a moment’s unhappiness, and that in a perfect world he would have found the strength to remove himself from her life, leaving behind only a note that thanked her for giving him back his life, he was not that man.”
“It was you who put the revolver on my bedside table. I just pulled the trigger.”
“He wouldn’t have said that about a woman when he was twenty-five, but now even the platonic love of a beautiful woman trumped the metaphysical.”
“You lucky bastard! […] You fell in love with someone safe, someone you couldn’t have, someone you could never disappoint in the sack, someone who could never cheat on you.”
“His mind had engraved the image [of the Domme he loves] so deeply that it filled in the details his eyes couldn’t make out, as if it had a zoom button and auto focus.”
“Because people have a right to understand! You had no right to leave him tangled up in unfinished business, as if you neglected to untie a client after a bondage session.”
“I thought about you seeing this picture of a woman, and for God knows what reason, you thought she was everything life had to offer, all rolled into one funky fine body. To you she was life everlasting, or whatever that book says