Bound By Design
by Natasha Moore, contemporary (2009)
Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 978-1-60504-759-1


Natasha Moore's Bound By Design has me thinking that maybe I shouldn't have read this one in the first place. I don't understand the people in this story at all. For example, when Scott Kinsley meets Jennifer Abbott and realizes that she makes "erotic jewelry" (such as slave collars) for a living, he immediately assumes that she likes to be tied up and tries to get her to admit that.

The thing is, he has barely known her for an hour. They are at a party thrown by a mutual friend, and no, we aren't talking about a BDSM party. Just an ordinary party, and he's asking her these questions! "During sex, Jenn. Do you like to be tied up while a man plays with your body? While he gives you pleasure? While he takes his pleasure?" - good lord, what kind of a man will ask a woman he has just been introduced to that kind of thing?

Apparently it's because he picked up a "vibe" from her when he first met her, which justifies him asking her those intimate questions, I guess. The next time I see a hot guy and I get this "vibe" from him standing at a particular supermarket aisle that he likes to be dipped in peanut butter, I'm going to go up to him and ask him whether he wants me to cover his pee-pee with peanut butter jelly and slap two slices of bread around it.

It also doesn't help that Scott has this creepy patronizing way of speaking towards Jenn. Yes, he's a Dom, but he's already talking to her as if she's a dim-witted cow from the beginning, before he introduces her to Mr Happy. All in all, Scott is more creepy than dreamy. I half expect him to open his basement door and show Jenn all the animals he has slaughtered whenever he gets into the mood.

It's a good thing that Jenn is exactly the kind of woman he pegs her to be. Despite her reluctance to commit to a full-time relationship with any man, she is soon playing those games with creepy Scott. And of course it's love. Good for them for finding happiness together, really, but at the end of the day, I still can't overcome my initial disbelief over the set-up of the story. Maybe it's a BDSM thing and male Doms really do go around hitting on women by asking them whether they want to be tied up in bed, I don't know. I just don't get this story.

Rating: 66


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