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**Please note, there is a small amount of content within this review that may be offensive to some readers - I felt it was necessary to include this content in order to accurately review this book, apologies if it offends anybody. This review, being of a sequel, also contains information that could be classed as spoilers for anyone planning to read Sophie Morgans first book, Diary of a Submissive. **
'No Ordinary Love Story' is the sequal to Sophie Morgans 'Diary of a Submissive', which dealt with her discovery of the world of bdsm, and her submissive experiences in particular, from her earliest teen fantasies and casual college encounters, through non romantic long term play partners, and up until the end of her intense romantic / Ds relationship with James.
The book begins just before Christmas, with Sophie metting up with her ex play-partner and still very good friend Tom, and his current submissive Charlotte for pre-Christmas drinks. Upon arriving, Sophie is surprised to see a stranger, Adam, sitting in the booth with them, and her surprise turns to anger as she realises she's been set on a blind date. It's not that Sophie has anything against adam, who after all has a pleasingly firm handshake and very nice hands (something she notices as a spanking fan!) it's just that, frankly, she's had enough of being hurt emotionally for a while, and just wants to enjoy some time being single, curled up on the sofa, and watching box sets.
However, despite herself, she can't help but find herself warming to Adam, especially when she discovers that he's something of an experienced Dominant. Initially they both agree to keep things casual - a friends with kinky bdsm benefits scenario - but as they get to know each other more, both inside and out of the bedroom, it becomes clear that this is much more than just a casual relationship. But, as they agree to finally start calling themselves boyfriend and girlfriend, and to move in together, can their relationship survive?
One of the things I very much liked about Sophie Morgans first book was the candid, unflowery tone she took with her writing. She didn't sugar coat anything, and was happy to call a spade a spade and an arse and arse. She also doesn't shy away from the embarrassing, more awkward moments, or the quieter, duller moments of life. We see the book veer from portrayals of some of the kinkiest scenes I've ever read one minutes, to a discussion about who is going to pay for a pizza the next.
It was very interesting to me, having read the first book, to see how very different the dynamic of this relationship was from all of those covered in the first book, not only in terms of the levels of respect and affection between Sophie and Adam, and the real sense of equality between them outside of the bedroom, but also in Adams particular style of domination. Whereas I had found a lot of the scenes in the first book quite shockingly violent, and struggled an awful lot to wrap my head around them being erotic, in this book there was much less violence and a lot more psychological play, with mental rather than physical boundaries being pushed.
One particular scene that stood out to me was when Adam helped a blindfolded and bound Sophie into the bath, and she began sobbing as he began peeing on her, which was one of her hard limits. We see her shock and horror at the thought that her trust had been broken, her debate over whether to use her safeword (she doesn't) and then her relief when Adam informs her it was only warm water he'd been dribbling on her from his mouth. This scene actually raises a fair few issues in the book about the importance of being able to trust yourself to stick to your own limits, just as much as trusting your dominant.
I also liked that the book introduced other kinks as well as submission - TENS play, pet play, latex, and even figging all made an appearance in the book. The figging scene in particular was very interesting, as it'a a fetish I've heard of, but have never known anyone that has experienced!
With the market so saturated at the moment with erotic fiction, its refreshing to have been able to find a non fiction account of a submissives experiences that is written in a straightforward and very readable style. Diary of a Submissive was a fantastic first installment, and I certainly thing that reading that before starting on 'No ordinary love story' is essential, as Sophie does on several occasions mention people and events from the first book. Whilst not having read the first book won't stop you getting the gist of whats going on, I do think it adds an important layer of depth, as well as an understanding of where Sophie is coming on and the reasons she may be more fragile now.
Overall, I really enjoyed this sequel, and I have nothing bad to say about it. The relationship between Adam and Sophie is detailed so well, from the incredibly intimate and very kinky bedroom activities, to the every day little moments of bickering, eye rolling, and casual affection. With the first book, I felt I had grown to know and care about Sophie, and after closing the pages of the second, I feel as though I've got to know her even more, and that I'm sharing in her happiness. It's a wonderful feeling!