So what differentiates a book designated with the term erotica from a romance which includes some graphic sex scenes? Perhaps it’s the difference between porn and regular cinema – the main focus is the sex instead of the plot.
At least there is some sort of plot in the BDSM novel Tamed, book five in the Club Sin Series by Stacey Kennedy. Not that there is a complex story line, but at least Kennedy has created a family of characters who care for one another (there is even a marriage) with each book focusing on another couple. Contrary Kenzie Hart seeks physical pain to distract her from the overwhelming memories resulting from numerous losses of loved ones in her past. She uses her sass to receive punishment from her doms as a way to exert some sort of control over her life even though her real wish is to have someone bring out the submissive side of her personality? Enter Porter Marshall who wants to be a Dom Master at Club Sin. If he can tame the impudent, bratty Kenzie during their one month contract, he will have proved himself to the other dominants. Unfortunately, Porter did not count on developing true feelings for the delectable Kenzie. When her book shop is threatened by a vindictive developer who is not afraid to use violence to achieve results, Porter pulls out all the stops to help Kenzie, not just because as her dominant it is his job to protect her, but because of his stirring feelings of love. If only he can convince Kenzie to share her secrets and allow him into her life. Kenzie also feels a connection, but is unwilling to take the risk of opening up her heart to the possibility of more hurt. This is the struggle which must be resolved.
The violent portion of the BDSM is low key and the sex, though graphic, is more on the vanilla side – titallating but not gross. Since there is a limited plot, there is a lot of repetition as the characters repeatedly agonize over their feelings. Although this book could already be considered short, I was ready for it to be over about twenty to thirty pages from the actually ending (where Kenzie finally gets the full BDSM treatment). This could definitely have been a tad shorter, by eliminating some of the above introspection, which would have improved the reader’s experience.
The writing was easy to follow and the characters strived to be likable. I suppose if you had read the other books in the series, there would have been more opportunities to get to know Porter and Kenzie better. There was also an inkling of the upcoming romance, Commanded, featuring fellow Club Sin Master, SWAT Police Officer Sawyer, and Porter’s PI partner, Chloe – who is not a part of that “disgusting kinky scene”.
If you picked up this book in the hopes of finding sexual gratification, well, three stars. If you were looking for something a little more (plot wise) than two stars.
A thank you to Netgalley and Loveswept books for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.