(a post in which I am simultaneously ashamed and self-congratulatory)
Yes, yes, I forgot my wonkoposting. All my fault. I had calendar reminders and everything. But I was busy! Doing what, you ask? Writing this post for RT Book Reviews instead! Also coming up with a rec list of five kinky novellas (which was tough, let me tell you. This job is just work, work, work all the time).
Also, more to the point, I haven’t had much time for reading lately. When I have read it’s been mostly non-wonky contemporary romances, not my usual wonky historicals. However I did finally get a chance to read a BDSM erotic romance classic the other day, Natural Law by Joey W. Hill, and it’s pretty full of wonk from the get-go.
While BDSM may not be everyone’s thing (and I don’t usually read it for jollies, even if it’s what I mostly write), Joey Hill is first and foremost an engaging storyteller with an eminently readable style. She packs a lot of emotional wallop in there, but it still feels like an easy read, and she’s not afraid to have her characters contain multitudes. Case in point: Natural Law, featuring a “submissive” who’s nevertheless a very alpha male, and a fledgling “Dominant” who shows tremendous vulnerability throughout the book. Neither of them is quite sure what to make of their own sexual inclinations, but somehow it all works out in the end and is believable because Hill nails the characters (so to speak) and makes them real.
Plot? Yeah, there is one, and it’s suspenseful, if a wee bit contrived (although that might just be that it uses some tropes that weren’t exactly tropes yet when it was written in 2004, like an improbably elaborate BDSM club, an insanely rich character with a lavish private dungeon, the secondary character (s) for whom kink is manifested in very unhealthy ways, the absolute conviction of all the characters that having their sexual preferences outed will result in the ruination of their lives, etc.). Hill writes good suspense, and although I’m not that into romantic suspense this seems a decent example of that category as well. But the psychology of BDSM is definitely front and center in this one, which is inherently wonky in many ways, and it’s fascinating. Also a lot of fun. Worth a read.
Okay, yes, also it’s insanely hot.