“I’m not a prostitute.”
That’s the first sentence in the third installment of Jenika Snow’s Dominance and Submission series. Unfortunately, the lady doth protest too much, methinks. When the story begins, Lalita Marshall has just been through a crushing divorce that left her saddled with a mountain of her ex’s debt. A single mother, Lalita is struggling to make ends meet for herself and her five-year-old son (Lennon), but conventional employment just isn’t paying the bills. The lady has my sympathy. However, within a few pages Lalita has taken a two-month position as a live-in sex slave for six
very handsome bachelors. When the agreed upon time is up, the men will deposit a hefty sum into Lalita’s bank account. So, sex… for money. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that the very definition of prostitution?!?
To be honest, I generally steer clear of stories that rely on this type of premise as I don’t find anything particularly “hot” about a woman who is in such dire financial straits that she sees servicing strangers for cash as her only option (for me, this adds an icky non-consent-ish layer to the D/s relationship). However, in the interest of broadening my horizons a little bit, I decided to give it a shot anyway.
The overall story was pretty much what you would expect from the genre – the setting was over the top, the plot followed a predictable arc, and the characters were only developed as much as they had to be in order to justify a two-month long marathon of sex and domination. In fact, I think when Snow decided to make this story a M/F/M/M/M/M/M story, she bit off a little more than she could chew. At least two (if not three) of the male characters were more set decoration than characters
and probably could have been done away with without impacting the erotic effect of Lalita’s submission or her ultimate HEA. As you ladies probably know, bigger
is usually better, but more
isn’t always. ;)
One thing I will
say for Snow is that the sex scenes in Breathless
were probably the best I’ve read by her so far. She did a good job of finding the balance between vanilla scenes with just enough dominance to make a reader sit up and take notice, and the more extreme scenes that have the power to make a more adventurous woman hot and edgy (and just a little envious). Snow also stands out for her ability to write sexy, believable dialogue that paints a mental picture of dark desires and firm expectations without ever sounding like the script for a bad porn flick.
is the best of the series, but there's still plenty of room for improvement.