A Little Harmless Pleasure
by Melissa Schroeder, contemporary (2008)
Samhain Publishing, $5.50, ISBN 1-59998-540-3


A Little Harmless Pleasure is marketed as an interracial romance with elements of domination and submission. I'm pretty sure there are some people out there who like this kind of thing, heh. Even more interestingly, the hero Chris Dupree is a switch - which is to say, he likes dominating and being dominated. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean that A Little Harmless Pleasure is one of the rare stories with a female playing the dominant role. In fact, the love scenes can get pretty vanilla if you're looking for BDSM scenes. There are, however, all kinds of other fun stuff from threesomes to rear end action to make up for any disappointment that a reader may be experiencing.

Rather dodgy advertising aside, A Little Harmless Pleasure is a pleasant story that focuses nearly exclusively on the internal dynamics of the relationship between Chris and Cynthia Meyers after they hook up at the wedding of Anna and Max (who had their own story in A Little Harmless Sex). Cynthia has issues with a ridiculously one-dimensional control freak father while Chris feels that he doesn't fit in among D/s folks who view him as some kind of freak who can't stick to one aspect of the lifestyle. However, Chris' issue is on the underdeveloped side while Cynthia on the other hand does the right thing and tells her father to take a hike at the end. Still, I don't think characterization is anywhere near the top when it comes to priorities since the author concentrates on her characters having fun - and plenty of it - in this story.

While they could really use some character development, Cynthia and Chris nonetheless are pretty likable barely two-dimensional types. I'm glad that they're having the time of their life in this story. But apart from that, I don't really have much else to say about this one because it's a superficial kind of naughty romp that doesn't offer much else in terms of story or character development. So take this one as it is: a shallow but pleasant erotic story that aims only to please at a most superficial level.

Rating: 73


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