Bodice Rippers & Erotica Book Reviews: Tara Sue Me

The Training (The Submissive #3)
The Dominant (The Submissive #2)
The Submissive (The Submissive #1)

The Training by Tara Sue Me (The Submissive Trilogy #3)Book Cover of The Training by Tara Sue Me (The Submissive Trilogy #3)

Read by Tracy November 2013

Tracy recommends you skip it

The Blurb: Now, in the enticing conclusion to New York Times bestselling author Tara Sue Me’s Submissive Trilogy, the submissive and her dominant explore just how long they can make the pleasure last… It started with a hidden desire. Millionaire CEO Nathaniel West has always played by his own strict set of rules, ones he expects everyone to follow—especially the women he’s dominated in his bedroom. But his newest lover is breaking down all his boundaries and rewriting his rule book. Abby King never imagined that she would capture the heart of Nathaniel West, one of New York City’s most eligible bachelors—and its most desirable dominant. What began as a weekend arrangement of pleasure has become a passionate romance with a man who knows every inch of her body and her soul – yet remains an enigmatic lover. Though he is tender and caring, his painful past remains a wall between them. Abby knows the only way to truly earn his trust is to submit to him fully and let go of all of her lingering inhibitions. Because to lead Nathaniel on a path to greater intimacy, she must first let him deeper into her world than anyone has ever gone before…

My Review: I wasn't a fan of The Dominant which was the sequel to The Submissive so expected this to be even worse. This is the third and final instalment in The Submissive trilogy. Unlike the previous books where Abby narrated The Submissive and Nathanial narrated The Dominant, The Training is told from alternating points of view and I didn't think that flowed, it was all angst from each other as they try to move from a BDSM weekend relationship to a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship during the week. Of course separating their lives is difficult - how do they act when Nathaniel is Master and can Abby turn off her submissive side so they have a more equal relationship during the week. I would think that any relationship that requires me to spend every waking moment wondering if I am submissive enough and that my Master won’t be disappointed isn’t going to work. I believe that relationships thrive under discussion, arguments, passion. The fact that Abby seems to have lost sight of everything around her doesn’t seem particularly healthy. I also felt that the other characters in the book didn't grow. Felicia is still annoying and unable to think about anything other than herself. The relationship with Paul and Christine was strange; I just couldn't even begin to envision this. I think if you have read The Crossfire Series by Sylvia Day, you aren't going to find anything different in this series.

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The Dominant by Tara Sue Me (The Submissive Trilogy #2)Book Cover of The Dominant by Tara Sue Me (The Submissive Trilogy #2)

Read by Tracy September 2013

Tracy recommends read either The Dominant or The Submissive

The Blurb: The continuation of the tantalizing trilogy by Tara Sue Me that has captivated millions… Nathaniel West doesn’t lose control. As the playboy CEO of West Industries, he governs the boardroom during the day; as a strict dominant with exacting rules, he commands the bedroom at night. He never takes on inexperienced submissives, but when Abigail King’s application comes across his desk, he breaks his own restrictions and decides to test her limits. Abby’s combination of innocence and willingness is intoxicating, and Nathaniel is soon determined to collar her as his own. As long as she follows his orders and surrenders herself fully to him, no one will get hurt. But when Nathaniel begins falling for Abby on a deeper level, he realizes that the trust must go both ways—and he has secrets which could bring the foundations of their entire relationship crashing down...

My Review: In The Dominant we follow the story from Nathaniel's point of view (what is it with this style of writing!). Don't think this book is romantic - it is sex, sex and more sex, but without any of the jaw-dropping wow factor. There is zero character development, although for some reason I now think of Nathaniel as pathetic. In fact the books mirror each other which gives you a constant sense of deja vu. I read a review where someone suggested that The Submissive and The Dominant should have been merged into one book and I totally agree. I felt like this book was just filler and didn't offer much of anything other than sex and a whole lot of angst. In this book, Abby comes off as a doormat, she never questions anything she is asked to do and seems to have no boundaries. What happened to having your own mind and being able to openly discuss issues! This book also bothered me from the BDSM point of view, I am sure safe words are there to protect both parties, not just to sever a relationship. The position of the dominant is an important one and they are tasked with ensuring their submissive is cared for, something that Nathaniel ignores. Of course the biggest issue I have is that this book seems to make stalking okay and that controlling someone above all else is a relationship. Hmm last time I checked it wasn't okay to punish someone for not getting enough sleep. If I was Abby I would have walked out then and there.

I am hoping the final book in the trilogy makes up for the disappointment of this book.

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The Submissive by Tara Sue Me (The Submissive Trilogy #1)Book Cover of The Submissive by Tara Sue Me (The Submissive Trilogy #1)

Read by Tracy July 2013

Tracy recommends as a Mills and Boon style BDSM book

The Blurb: Abby King has a secret fantasy. New York knows Nathaniel West as the brilliant and handsome CEO of West Industries, but Abby knows he’s more: a sexy and skilled dominant who is looking for a new submissive. Yearning to experience a world of pleasure beyond her simple life as a librarian, Abby offers herself to Nathaniel, to fulfil her most hidden desires. After only one weekend with the Master, Abby knows she needs more, and fully submits to Nathaniel’s terms. But despite the pleasure he takes in Abby’s willing spirit, the Nathaniel hidden behind the rules remains cold and distant. As Abby falls deeper into his tantalizing world of power and passion, she fears that Nathaniel’s heart may be beyond her reach—and that her own might be beyond saving…

My Review: Apparently this book was where E.L. James got some of her ideas for the Fifty Shades Trilogy and Twilight (groan), however I didn't get that in the book - thank goodness as I don't think I could cope with more Twilight. Since Fifty Shades blasted onto book scene and reopened the door for portrayals of bondage/discipline, dominance/submission and sadism/masochism (BDSM) it has allowed other romance/erotica novels a chance to succeed.

The book opens with Abigail King entering Nathaniel West's office. As with all this genre of books, the male character is stupendously good looking and wealthy and this book doesn't disappoint. Abby knows a bit about Nathaniel's history - he is a dominant and she desperately wants to be his submissive. Abby has never tried this type of relationship before, but knows that she only wants to be with Nathaniel. Nathaniel usually looks for submissives that have experience, but he takes a chance on Abby being able to follow the training regime he has in place, so he invites her to his palatial mansion for a "trial" weekend. This is not a hard core dom/sub book instead a more subtle look at the genre. The initial weekend starts with some training and setting expectations. Obviously things go well as at the end of the weekend Nathanial gives Abby a collar to wear which she accepts. However, as their relationship goes into overdrive you know it is more, an emotional attachment starts to build and Abby works on breaking down Nathaniel’s barriers. I enjoyed his visits to the Rare Book Collection of the library Abby works in - not sure it is in the code of conduct though. As he introduces her to his family, who are not fully aware of his sexual predilections, Abby starts to fall in love against Nathaniel’s advice. You know that something terrible happened in his past that makes him unwilling to trust others, but those around him see past that and will fight for him. Eventually things come to boiling point and there are some hard decisions to be made by all and luckily a compromise is reached. The only issue I have is that I just can't see how this will become a trilogy without the usual too much angst and will they won't they, although we already know they will! Unless of course the next book focuses on some of the other characters Felicia (who was a right pain in the behind) or Elaina (how does she know about Nathaniel's past). An slightly annoying part was the lack of tight editing, although I have to say this does appear to be an issue that seems prevalent with, although not limited to, self-published books.

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