Maison Domine
by Skylar Kade, contemporary (2009)
Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 978-1-60504-760-7


Call me a stuffy relic of the academia, but I find it hard to take any professor called Jaxon Greene seriously. Isn't that some kind of name you usually find in futuristic paranormal romances? Jaxon, whom I suspect is actually Jason Green from Ohio, is a famed hunk, professor, scriptwriter, and bestselling author. I'm sure it is merely an oversight that has author Skylar Kade missing out on mentioning Jaxon's blooming career as an award-winning adult movie actor and Ellora's Cave cover model.

Maison Domine also has a female researcher character. Naturally, Lara Brunner is inhibited, frigid, shy, and whatever else you can associate to the stereotype of a well-studied female. She also has a more outgoing best friend and colleague who dabbles in New Age stuff and calls people things like "sister of my soul". It is this friend, Sam, that suggests to Lara to take a break and live out some tied-up kinky fantasy at the Maison Domine, one of the many ubiquitous sex-all-you-want clubs in Erotic Romance Land that everyone seems to know about.

Would you believe that Jax ends up dominating Lara? On top of being an author, scriptwriter, greasy space bohunk, professor, and celebrated gay-for-pay actor in bestselling gay adult films, Jax is also the hot Dom from Planet 69 who loves introducing "newbies" to the BDSM lifestyle.

This one has collars, leather, and issues of whether the guy can dominate the woman without breaking her. It's a readable story, but at the same time, it's also a very familiar one. The characters are all tired clichés stuck in a premise that has been done way too many times. The naughty scenes are fine, although I can't vouch for their authenticity. But it will be nice if those naughty scenes come with a story line and characters that are a little more... fresh, for the want of a better word.

Rating: 73


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