The Collectors Paperback – Feb 22 2011
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Basically, I think that the main character is a total idiot begging and claiming out loud to be badly abused. She's a novice with no experience at all that willingly throws herself to 24/7 total and absolute submission to an stranger, without never knowing what will be done to her and even without never discussing and establishing any kind of boundaries and safety.
I can understand safe BDSM play, with predefined script, accorded boundaries and safewords. On the other hand, 24/7 BDSM lifestyle creeps me out, I don't think about being mentally healthy for the submissive (and we better don't start talking about daily training punishments, that mind conditioning is a hideous brainwashing), I can't understand it but I guess for some people it may work with a lot of trust and care between the partners and very carefully discussed and accorded norms, boundaries and safewords.
There is nothing alike in this book, not even safewords. Laura (I'm very tented to call her "the victim") doesn't knows a thing about what she's committing to (she's even initiated to The Society without knowing anything about them and their harsh rules, they are hastily explained to her only 1 hour before the ceremony). She never has a say about what can or will be done to her, she MUST endure any punishment and sexual activity that her mistress wishes, she must also submit and endure any dominant that crosses her path, even for the dominants that scares her (I thought that trust is the core of BDSM, but here she must submit to dominants that terrifies her).
As Jeanne (her dominant) very clearly says to her, she must left behind any dignity and completely give away her free will. The only one occasion the she dares to say that that night she prefers to just watch because she is tired and afraid of the unknown foreign dominants, she is tied for 24 hours and left alone, terrified that she will be rejected. Safewords are supposed to be a escape if a sub panics and they are supposed to could be used without fearing of any revenge, but Laura has no the option of safewords and knows very well that any further refusal of the slighlest order will imply her automatic abandon. How can this be considered consensual ?.
Free will is one of the most basic human rights. These rights are universal, no one can take them from you, nor can you give them to anyone (you can play like you give it, you really must always retain your free will, the ability to have the last word about anything concerning you if you eventually feel that you need to).
I know this book is very far to F.E. Campbell's utter crap stories of kidnapped womens thrown to terrific sexual slavery, but anyway I have a very hard time to accept this book as consensual SM. In Europe we have jail time for distributing books promoting nazism, how can we do less about books against the most basic human rights ?, this book dangerously borders the last ones.
This is a very well written and arousing book, but it is also very wrong. I know that everybody is supposed to be able to differentiate fiction and reality, but I'm very sad for any idiot that dazzled after this readings could try to follow the reckless Laura's path, she most certainly will finish badly abused and damaged. I'm also concerned about sadists leads to believe that this kind of abusing behavior is right. Read this book, it's a good one, enjoy it, but be alert, remember that this is only fiction, wrong fiction.
PS: I apologize for any mistake in my english, I'm still learning your language.
Trigger warnings: Frank, explicit descriptions of BDSM activities, including bondage, suspension, canings, whippings, and being penetrated while bound, as while as being required to give oral sex while bound. Questionable consent, with character emotionally manipulated into giving blanket consent without knowing the details of what she consents to; power and mind games used to maintain consent. Breaking and entering of a home. Being bound and abandoned for an extended time.
How does it treat women/same-sex relationships? The story is set in the present, but no characters (not even minor characters) are men. Some of the BDSM players and relationships mirror conventional gender roles. If you see BDSM as inherently sexist, then the story is inherently sexist.
Does it have explicit sex scenes?: Yes, throughout. All sex scenes are matter-of-fact and sparse, but clear. Few scenes go into really out-there BDSM techniques; the only one that comes to mind for me is a suspension scene. Safer sex is *never* mentioned, which was my major complaint with the sex scenes. Safewords are also never mentioned.
Would I read it again? No, probably not. I wouldn't yell if I had to.
Would I publish it? Yes, though I'd charge less for it than I paid. It's a read-and-toss one-shot romance novel.
Laura's fantasized about being a submissive for the last ten years, amassing a rare collection of BDSM books in the process. Through a friend, she's introduced to the BDSM world and taken on by Jeanne, a dominant. As a submissive, she must give herself 100%, asking no questions and denying nothing that is asked of her. Once that door is opened, as intense as it is, it's a roller coaster ride Laura never wants to leave. As a reader, all we can do is hang on.
This is an unabashed look into a version of BDSM. I have to say, though this book is technically written well, I didn't care for this story or version of BDSM at all. I'm no BDSM expert but I enjoyed "Owning Regina" by Lorelei Elstrom and "At Her Feet" by Rebekah Weatherspoon much more.
My aversion is completely personal and actually might be a positive for other readers out there so I'll tell you why I didn't care for the book.
First off, there are multiple sex partners and swapping of sex partners. Once a submissive agrees to the terms, any dominant can have their way with her, doing what they like, as long as it's at the consent of the main dominant...which occurs 99% of the time. This is not a turn on for me.
As an aside, most of the sex sessions occur with a group of people present, and when they're not actually swapping partners, the other doms are watching a sub be dominated. Both the doms and the subs heavily rely on voyeurism in their sex play.
The BDSM scenes are these marathon long torture sessions half of the time. Again, I'm no expert, but I was fatigued just reading about the endurance of these sessions. Often they would occur day after day. Does this happen? Does the body not need to recover? Would you even be able to move the following day?
This book definitely not only goes into fantasy in the respect of BDSM but also into the setting of which the story is written. Jeanne is extremely wealthy, not sure why as it's never explained, but her house is set up like a fortress, practically. There are waiting rooms, rooms to be "prepared", secret rooms, a full set of dungeon equipment, and a staff to carry out certain actions. Jeanne also has a separate property, a mansion with a lake and a full on dungeon that can accommodate a whole party of people. This might be liked by some but it made the story even more fantastical and cold for me.
As for the characters, I didn't like any of them much, least of all Jeanne and Laura. We find out that Jeanne is the head of "The Society" creating all of the rules, vetting the doms and submissives. There are hints that she genuinely likes Laura but we get no insight into her other than she doesn't want to be questioned, is always in control, and likes to be heavily involved in and the head of this BDSM world. For Laura, I found her to be kind of like a puppy dog doing whatever is asked and then, on the flip-side, being completely callous at times. Even though the story is in first person I really didn't know anything about her except that she loved pain and submitting in a sexual context. She's a "true masochist" as Jeanne calls her. I never warmed up to either character.
This is supposed to be a love story of sorts between a submissive and her dominant but that I didn't even believe. Laura gets passed around to other dominants and she even admits herself that if Jeanne didn't claim her, she could find herself going for at least some of the others. I felt more like Laura was in love with the idea of being a sub than being a sub to Jeanne. The perks of Jeanne were that she was wealthy with everything at her disposal and obviously a seasoned dominant. She SAYS she loves Jeanne but does she really?
Half way through the book, I just wanted it to end. The irony being that I followed the story all the way through to have it SUDDENLY end, abruptly. I was actually searching my ebook to see if maybe I had a bad version of the story. It couldn't just end like that, could it? It did.
So, what's good about the book? Uh, it's erotic...like on steroids. Sex scenes take up about 70% of the book (at least it felt like it). Now, you might want a shower after or feel disturbed, depending on your sensibility, but it doesn't lack erotica. It's a fantasy expressed in written form.
Some of you might read my review and think, "FANTASTIC!". lol...but, not for me. Because the book is technically written well and dislike of the book is down to personal preference I'm giving a higher rating than I normally would.
I haven't read many books containing lesbian BDSM, but I thought I would give this one a try. Mainly because I've read and enjoyed other works by this writer. Well, I have to say although it is very different, I enjoyed it very much. I loved the characters, even those I wanted to dislike. I hope there will be a sequel as I really wanted to read more.