When I was told the title of Best Bondage Erotica 2011, I'll admit I had a healthy dose of trepidation course through my skeptical mind. The term "best" tends to raise my eyebrows without fail, particularly since I've seen the best some have to offer and been sorely disappointed. Imagine my surprise when not only were the stories in BBE11 well written, grammatically sound (hey, that's important to me) and arranged brilliantly, but they were in fact some of the best I've read. I appreciated that some didn't necessarily speak to my kinks but were still hot. I loved that some stories had my pussy throbbing until I could hardly hold on to the book, and others had me clenching it in my hands, aching for more after the story ended. A rare few had me nearly screaming in frustration, wanting more of the authors' imaginations to speak to me from the pages. But the common thread among all of the stories was the soul of the characters - the unyielding, concentrated spirit that lives within strong individuals who choose kink.
Not everyone will enjoy every story; even I didn't love all of them. The difference between this book and many others I have read, however, is that I didn't skip past any of the stories. I didn't roll my eyes and give up because of poor writing. I didn't slam the book shut out of irritation with bad spelling or grammar. I didn't have to swallow my disgust with poor word choice or blatantly unsafe (or even illegal) practices. What does this mean to you? It means that this is a bondage erotica book that everyone can enjoy. Intellectual word geeks won't find themselves turned off by bad writing, because it doesn't exist in this book. Those with more relaxed attitudes towards literature will also enjoy the high quality scenes painted from cover to cover. The quality of the writing was obviously well considered.
Finally, the last thing I'm going to say in this short and sweet review is that I am amazed at the diversity of the anthology. Points of view I had never even considered were explored and devoured in BBE11. I could FEEL how a top might have felt in the situation. I could sense a bottom's excitement and a newcomer's trepidation. I could put myself in many different shoes and because of that, I gained some incredible new perspectives. I enjoyed that, more than I expected.
When it comes down to the wire, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Rachel put together a stellar anthology that has something for nearly every bondage lover. I know that I've already dogeared a few of my favorite stories and will return to them many times for inspiration and sharing.