Kinkily Ever After
Torrid Tarot: Ten Of Cups
by Elizabeth Lapthorne, contemporary (2007)
Ellora's Cave, $5.20, ISBN 978-1-4199-0937-5


Kinkily Ever After is the first book to launch off Ellora's Cave new series Here, Give Us Your Rejected Harlequin Extreme Blaze..., oops, I mean, Torrid Tarot. Every story will feature a tarot card, and in this particular story, the Ten of Cups. I believe the card means that the person who pulls out the card will find fulfillment in every level. I'm still waiting for my fulfillment to arrive.

As you can imagine, this story is supposed to feature BDSM. However, I believe Ms Lapthorne must have gotten things fudged up from the moment she looks up the meaning of the term "BDSM" in the dictionary to the moment when she sets her work down on paper because apart from some spanking and other watered-down stuff that make even me yawn, there are anal sex and the use of various sex toys. The last I check, using sex toys in your sexual repertoire and actual BDSM are two different things. No?

The plot, the plot, oh yes, the plot. It can be summed up in one sentence: Derek Rayner puts an ad in the local "kinky" personal ads section and busy career woman Amy Hartner answers it upon the urging of their mutual friends. That's about it. The rest of the story is really watered down kinky stuff that really aren't kinky unless you're the kind of person who goes in thrilled horror, "Anal sex? That's so wicked and scandalous, EEEEEEE!" This book is like tuna wrapped in cheap seaweed passed off as gourmet sushi to be sold to people who have never eaten sushi before and therefore find the whole seaweed-wrap tuna so exciting an adventure outside their comfort zone. Omigod, Bertie, look, these people are spanking each other, EEEEEE. If Derek and Amy are real people, I suspect their fellow BDSM practitioners will jeer and run them out of the club for being sad vanilla wannabes.

Perhaps you are wondering why I'm talking about sex scenes and nothing else. What about the characters, you ask? Well, there isn't much else to say about this book other than the sex scenes to be honest. The characters can be summed up in one word: cliché. The romance can be summed up in one word as well: pffft. It's basically sex, sex, sex, and then an abrupt declaration that they have orgasmed themselves into love so they are getting married right after the batteries in the vibrator run out, whee!

I'm still wondering when the mere act of shoving a vibrator up a woman's you-know-where qualifies a man to call himself a Dom. Did I miss a memo or something?

If you are between Harlequin Extreme Blaze novels and you need that instant gratification that costs more than one such novel while being so much shorter, Elizabeth Lapthorne is waiting for your money. Perhaps in the realms of Brava and Harlequin Blaze, this book will be considered too sinful and taboo for words. But it isn't very hard to discern very quickly that this story is so much of a watered-down "BDSM" crock that it is more laughable than anything else. Can we leave future BDSM stories to authors who know what BDSM is and aren't afraid to write about it, please?

Rating: 56


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