It’s Dark and Erotic, but the D/s is unhealthy

It’s Dark and Erotic, but the D/s is unhealthy

Soul's Desire

Soul’s Desire by Melanie Gill

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It’s Dark and Erotic, but the D/s is unhealthy

Soul’s Desire – Melanie Gill

Hmm, I’m conflicted about this book. It’s labeled in the genres: dark romance, paranormal romance, and erotic romance and so I figured there was little that could go wrong. I mean, a dark tale about a hot dominant male and a new female submissive, those are my favorite ingredients for any story. Yet the story left too much to be desired.

‘Soul’s Desire’ is about Sophia, who inherits a house and a fortune from her godmother Anna. She instantly moves to this house and after the housekeeper leaves the premises, discovers her roommate: the mysterious Anton. Even later she discovers Anton is a unique character. During the day he is returned to his portrait painting, by magic. He is an intriguing man, and he soon starts training Sophia to become his ultimate submissive.

The way Sophia responds to her inheritance was the first event that made me raise my eyebrows. Before ever having seen the house or the village that it is in, she quits her job, gives up her lease to her, and says goodbye to her best friend. That is definitely not how I would respond to such an opportunity, but okay, I’m willing to suspend my disbelief and give the rest of the story a go.
Sophia shows little surprise to how her new housemate resides inside a painting during the day. I think that mere fact would be rather upsetting to me, more so than what the main character shows here.

Anton turns out to be a dominant male who starts training Sophia as his slave. I felt uncomfortable with their D/s. I’m not sure whether I am too sensitive, but to me, Anton felt somewhat abusive instead of sexy. I know BDSM is about searching the limits and stretching them when you can, but he was definitely stretching it too far for my taste. During their first time BDSM-play, Sophia uses the stopword they had decided upon before the play started. Anton ignores it because she hasn’t had her orgasm yet. That’s not how that works! I’m not a fan of stopwords in fiction, but if you agree to one, then you should stick to it. And so there were many instances of actions that were too soon, too much or too intense. I was concerned about the main character’s safety, instead of being able to lose myself in the fantasy.

Apart from the dubious content, the story had some structural inconsistencies as well. Sometimes the point of view switched from Sophia to Anton in the middle of a chapter.
I felt like many of the story arcs were rushed and had an unsatisfactory ending. I don’t want to give an example to avoid spoilers. Let’s just say that many things were convenient for the author, but that makes it less attractive to read.

Overall it’s an okayish book. If you’re willing to ignore everything I mentioned earlier, then the sex scenes are well-described, and I’m sure you’ll fall in love with Anton. I couldn’t because I felt he was a manipulative, egocentric man. Like I said, maybe I’m too harsh and have I seen too much in the real world. But I think I would have locked him in his painting for good and found me a dominant who would take proper care of me.

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