Genres: Biography, Non-Fiction, Romance
Published by HarperCollins on March 26, 2013
Source: Edelweiss, Publisher
Purchase Links: Amazon ✦ Barnes & Noble
Book Links: Goodreads
Sarah K has a secret.
By day she’s a writer and level-headed single mother; by night she’s a submissive, living a real-life Fifty Shades of Grey that is thrilling beyond her wildest dreams.
But this is no fantasy: Sarah’s story is all true.
Daring, evocative and thrilling, but told with wit and honesty, this is an explosive account of her life as a submissive, and a of a secret world in which only a few dare to play.
When Max comes into Sarah’s life -- charming, handsome and deliciously brooding -- she can’t resist. She surrenders to him in every way: he is a dominant, and Sarah becomes his submissive, yielding her body to his every desire.
But as Sarah pushes her mind and body to its limits -- performing acts E.L. James would blush at -- she begins to realise that she’s in too deep. Pleasure and pain have become her world; she’s addicted to the adrenalin, to the sensation and to Max himself.
Now she’s in serious danger of giving in to the ultimate temptation: falling in love...
“I wondered if this was something to do with my fantasy about Prince Charming — the one to whom I didn’t need to speak. The one who knew everything I wanted and needed without me saying a word, although in my fantasy Prince Charming had never resorted to nipple clamps.”
— pg 161
I sincerely love this book. The description tells the truth in saying that it is told with both wit and honesty — and that E.L. James would blush (and cringe) at some of the things in this book.
First, a few things: as much as I enjoyed the Fifty Shades Trilogy, I honestly believe that it took hold mainly because it was Twilight fan-fiction, and look how big those books were blown up. I read Twilight and enjoyed them because they were (and are) a cultural phenomenon. Are they well written with well-rounded, three dimensional characters? No. Bella is written as such a one-dimensional character so that every female reading can identify with her (which is why I will defend Kristen Stewart’s acting in these movies alone, because she CAN act, but Bella is made of cardboard.)
Also, I have personal experience in this area of life, which is why I requested to review this book, and request many like it. A very close friend of mine was curious about the lifestyle a few years back and I did research with her and was with her every step of the way to make sure she was safe, and she told me everything. So I understand that it’s more than E.L. James wrote, that scandalized so many, yet simply amused me and my friend.
Now, those things being said, so readers can understand my perspective, my review:
This IS a true telling. I know that some people may say that and it’s a lie, but, knowing the lifestyle as I do, and reading the way that Sarah K writes it, you can tell it’s real. It is real, dirty, painful, sexy, cringe-inducing, witty, and not a little heartbreaking.
Sarah is a writer and she and a fellow writer realize that the market for BDSM erotica novels has grown considerably. For years, Sarah researched it but never experienced it. But deep down, she wants to. So after gaining the courage to join a dating website specifically for those interested in the lifestyle, she speaks to various men online, meeting a few, but mostly experiences what anyone on a dating website does: a whole lot of creepers, weirdos and perverts that are just on there to get laid.
Finally she starts speaking to Max… and soon they develop a rapport. One in which he immediately asserts himself as a secure dominant. He gradually brings her into the world, pushing her limits, having a contract signed and, ultimately, falling in love… But there are always barriers and, in real life, not everything has a happy ending. I am not saying that this book doesn’t have one, but there are heart-breaking moments in it as they go through the ups and downs of real life — this is non-fiction, after all.
It’s a well-written account of her experiences, each chapter introduced with a quote from Henry James or The Marquis de Sade, which made me break out my old collections to read him again. It draws you in and excites you — sometimes in an erotic way, sometimes in an “Oh my god, holy sh*t” way… but it will get your heart racing. At times you may not want to turn the page but you have to, are compelled to, to see what happens next.
I’m giving this a five out of five flowers because it’s real, amazing and enthralling. But if you’re vanilla, and you were a bit turned off by Fifty Shades of Grey or any of the books in the category, don’t read this. It is not for you. However, if you’re in the lifestyle, or you’d simply like to venture there in Sarah’s place, sit back and enjoy.