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La Crimson Femme

Welcome to my dungeon ~ book reviews, musings and education relating to erotica, graphic sex and more. I love gentle pain mixed with rough pleasure.

Currently reading

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Molly Weatherfield
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Safeword Arabesque

Safeword Arabesque - Candace Blevins Buy this book now. Cassie and Frisco's story unfolds in this long ass novel. When Ms. Blevins writes a book, she gives you a full story with jam packed BDSM scenes and plot development. Cassie and Frisco are dojo buddies with Sam and Ethan from the No Safeword quartet in the Safeword series. In the last Safeword installment, Cassie is brutalized near the end. This story starts off before her incident. For those who didn't read the previous books in this series, it's still okay. This book can be read as a standalone.

Cassie seems to be the only one in her close group of friends who isn't kinky. This perverted lifestyle is something she doesn't understand and isn't interested in, until she sees horn dog Frisco in a club with a scantily clad man on a leash. Cassie is more than intrigued. With good friends Frisco and Sam, Cassie is shown the ropes of BDSM.

Cassie's awakening into BDSM is gritty, harsh and unromantic. Ms. Blevins does an excellent job of showing how BDSM dynamics can involve emotion or not. Can be sexual or not. She also shows the bad side where people abuse the BDSM lifestyle. This is what I enjoy most about Ms. Blevin's BDSM. It's realistic in the portrayal of ups and downs. Every scene is accurately depicted and quite feasible. This isn't to say I'd recommend a newbie BDSM reader use her books as manuals. That would be similar to throwing a non-swimmer into the deep end of the pool without a floatation device, instruction or lifeguard. For the experienced BDSM reader and lifestyler, it's a pleasure to read because some of us have been through these experiences. Each swat, whip, caress, probing, electric shock brings back body recall memory. For me, a few of the scenes made me wince because I've felt that kind of pain and prefer not to experience it again. Some of the scenes conjure up happy feelings and my body is flush with endorphins as I recall exactly how I felt in the same scenarios described.

The character development in this book is fabulous. I was a little worried with four main characters, it would be hard to distinguish each one. Their voices may become so similar, they would blend together and I'd struggle to remember who was talking. To my delight, each character, Frisco, Cam, Cassie and Issac maintain their distinctive voices and when they all come together, it's a beautiful harmony. Each the character's past is revealed in the appropriate time. The multiple storylines going on at the same time work out quite well. One would think the stories would compete against teach other, but it doesn't. Each character is given the right amount of limelight. The focus is really on Cassie and yet each man receives quality time. This is great because it parallels how the four make their relationship work.

The communication and trust required for a foursome is monumental. Ms. Blevins does another excellent job in showing how it could work. Is it perfect? No. This is what makes it good for me. The ups and downs and misunderstandings make it seem more real. By the end of this story, I'm a bit exhausted and I feel as though I've found four new friends I'd love to spend time with...just not in the dungeon as a participant. I'd be happy to watch; I'd just avoid bottoming to Frisco or Isaac.

The BDSM in here is heavier on the sadistic side. There is more SM than D/s. As with most of Ms. Blevins' books, contracts come into play more oft than not. She did a good job of bringing in the contracts only when needed. There are two other trademarks plot devices Ms. Blevins is known for which also show up in this story. She tends to have crazy physically fit people in her stories. This means, her punishment and scenes can involve physical exertions and endurance which ninety percent of Americans can not survive. Not that they would die; they would safeword because it's too intense on the fat ass bodies we have. I'm in that ninety percent because there is no way in hell I could endure some of the scenes in here without passing out in exhaustion. The other one is the rules for punishment.

Here's the thing. I'm usually a person who learns all the rules so I know when I can bend them. I'm very good at following rules. I don't know what it is about the punishment rules to determine the number of strikes or length of time in Ms. Blevins' scenes that make my brain shut down. In every book since her first one in this series, the dominant lays out the number of strikes or punishment for a duration of time and my brain can never follow. Even if I have it diagrammed out with process flows or written in programming case statements, I'm not sure I'd be able to follow. My guess is, it is because I'm more submissive than dominant. I just don't want to figure out what I have to do with all these choices presented. I just want to do my best to follow the rules and I'll take whatever I earn.

For those who have issues with rape, electrical shock, anal penetration, slavery and enemas, this is not the book for you. Whilst rape is not described in detail nor is it used as a tool for sexual gratification, there is enough in here which may trigger rape survivors. For me, it didn't trigger anything so I am good with it.

Slavery - this is such a loaded term. In this book, Ms. Blevins explores the slavery lifestyle with a 24/7 theme. She does a great job of pulling back the covers and showing what a slave could expect. As with all relationships, none are identical. Whilst being financially dependent upon another person would give me fits, Ms. Blevins lovingly shows why a person would want this and how it can be achieved. It's quite beautiful.

With this book, I can see Ms. Blevins' writing style mature. This is a wonderful BDSM book which delves into many concepts and triggers. I highly recommend this book to experienced BDSM book who enjoy a book with meat to it.

*This book was given to me as a gift by the author. While a review was requested, it was not required. I gave my opinion regardless.