“ Genre: Fiction - Erotic / Author: Jeffe Kennedy / Kindle Edition / Publication Date: 2011 / Publisher: Carina Press „
I came across "Sapphire" when reading the review previously posted here on dooyoo. Erotica is reaching the mainstream to meet the demands of swarms of newly-interested readers. With the developments in ebook publishing it is becoming increasingly easy to get hold of new titles, but there is also the downside that some of it is clearly just cashing in on the Shades of Grey phenomenon and the writers seem to pay little attention to the actual depth of erotic relationships. A good recommendation is really valuable when deciding to make a new purchase, and after reading good things here I was tempted to look it up for myself.
Sapphire is the first book in the Facets of Passion trilogy by Jeffe Kennedy. It is available as a Kindle download costing £1.62. I purchased this through Amazon and it linked up instantly so I could read it through the Kindle app on my smart phone. I do prefer reading books printed on an actual page, but as the ebook is fairly short I was able to sit and read it in a few sittings without finding the digital format to be a problem. On my particular model of phone I did find that on a few occasions if I was holding it in a portrait display, some of the sentences were cut short and discontinued when shifting from page to page. This problem did not occur at all if I held the phone in a landscape display, so I continued reading in this way to avoid missing any juicy details!
Sapphire is centred entirely on our two main characters, M. Taylor Hamilton and Mr. Kirliss, with only a few fringe characters to help lay out the initial setting. Taylor is a strong businesswoman, cool and in control of everything in her life. She meets Kirliss during a contract deal and he makes it his mission to break through the barriers that Talyor has carefully constructed and introduce her to pleasures that she has never even dared to think about before. Little hints about Taylor's past are revealed as the book goes on, but it is clear to see that she is a person with a strong sense of self and her struggle with wanting to remain in control at all times is complex and intriguing.
The sex scenes are decadent, indulgent and full of detail. The account of Taylor and Kirliss' first erotic encounter stretches on for maybe 40-50% of the book, which may seem excessive, but in fact I think this is justified as it is such a big and meaningful event for Taylor, and the intricate attention to detail comes across to really fill my mind with exactly how this fantasy scenario plays out. It certainly got my heart rate going! The writing style is quite simplistic, but it does not fall into typical clichés and the characters are fiery and passionate without seeming false. There is a really good balance here between the raw physical and sensual side of the sex, but it also gives a deeper insight into the emotional, mental and romantic side as well. Seeing through Taylor's eyes I recognised similar feelings that I have experienced before and for the most part I thought this came across as really authentic. On the negative side I did think that the author has exaggerated some parts of the story for effect and I found it hard not to feel critical when reading this. For someone who has seemingly barely even dated before, Taylor lets Kirliss progress incredibly quickly when testing her boundaries. Desire seems to be more important to her than trust and love, which is surprising with such an intimate situation. In some respects I think Kirliss comes across in a better light than Taylor, and the way that he treats her is exactly as a true dominant male would treat his partner. This is definitely a dominant-submissive partnership, rather than sado-maschistic, and the author is clear to emphasise the importance of this and the associated rules that this implies.
I thought that this was a good book with some sizzling sex scenes and the author has clearly worked hard to put the reader directly into the mind of the characters with her detailed descriptions of the encounters. I enjoyed reading it even if I did have a few niggles about the way in which the relationship developed. This is a romantic read with some hot and steamy action which should satisfy anyone wanting a quick read with a helping of kink included. I have since purchased the second book in the trilogy, Platinum, and look forward to reading the new story with different characters.
Themes: Bondage, restraints, rope-play, toys, punishment, domination and submission.
Sapphire is an erotic romance novella by Jeffe Kennedy. I wasn't familiar with this author before reading this book but the plot synopsis really appealed to me. This story is about an executive called M. Taylor who has little time for anything outside of work. She has a ten year plan, and that plan does not include getting side tracked by a sexy colleague. Fortunately for Taylor you can't plan for everything and Adam definitely has plans for Taylor. When Adam handcuffs Taylor to the railing of the boat it's the start of something that's unlike anything Taylor has ever experienced. Adam is determined to break down Taylors barriers and make her his. But Taylor isn't going to make things easy for him.
This book does contain bondage, domination and submission, mild s&m and lots of sex. If this is not your cup of tea then you have been warned.
This novella proved to be an easy, enjoyable read where the pages just seemed to turn themselves (metaphorically speaking, I read this in ebook format). I love novels with strong female characters and I found Taylor to be very easy to relate to and empathise with. Kennedy portrays her in such a balanced way, she shows her flaws and her strengths but does so in a way that helps you to understand Taylor, so even when she did things that I thought weren't the right thing to do I still understood why she did them. I think that this is important because like any good romance novel there's the dramatic will they, won't they part of the novel and sometimes this can come across as being over the top and unrealistic. All too often characters seem to do things purely for dramatic effect and without any decent explanation for their actions. In this novella Taylor does behave in a somewhat dramatic fashion but far from being frustrating I felt that it was understandable given her situation and history.
The sex scenes in this novella are hot, as you would expect. I think that any half decent erotic novel has hot sex scenes but what sets this story apart is the mental aspects. The author just seems to really grasp that BDSM is only partly about the physical act, the psychological aspects are equally important. She doesn't rush in here with lots of adventurous sex positions (although there are certainly plenty of those), instead she works on the mental side of things which I found left me totally engaged in the sex scenes in a way that I don't think I have been with other novels. Throughout each of the sex scenes there is a really good combination of the psychological and physical aspects of BDSM that made these sex scenes so memorable (and coming from a woman who reads a couple of erotic romance novels a week, that's saying something).
Erotic romance isn't just about sex of course, there has to be some romance in there too. The sex and the romance are tied together really well, as you would expect of a novel in this genre. What I liked is that the characters have a back story but not one that has been too well developed before the start of the book. It felt like there was enough background to make it all plausible but still enough development needed in order to make you feel like the story's worth reading.
The only thing that I didn't particularly like, which will be a strength to some readers depending on their preferences, is that the BDSM was limited to the bedroom and not in any way a lifestyle decision for either character. I guess this is quite a safe route to take because so many people enjoy reading about kinky sex but don't necessarily want the domination to happen in any other situations. Personally I found it disappointing. I also found it quite surprising. I felt that the author understood the mindset of both the submissive and dominant character so well that perhaps she would write something more resembling lifestyle BDSM than just play. Perhaps my vision of the lifestyle has become too rigid, I don't know but whatever the reason I found this aspect of the story disappointing. That's not to say that it was wrong or anything like that, this is more a personal preference than anything else. I have knocked a star off for it because although I think for many people this may increase their enjoyment of the novel or have no impact on it at all, for me it was disappointing.
I did really enjoy this story, in some ways it's unfortunate that it's just a short story because I would have enjoyed reading more. I really hope that at some point in the future Kennedy will write a sequel to this. I love her writing style and will certainly be looking out for more of her books.