Day 21: Favorite BDSM related book (fiction or non-fiction)
Picking just one book here is damn near impossible. There are way too many stellar BDSM books, both fiction and non-fiction. Since I happen to be a smut slinger (and to keep this blog post of a manageable size), I’ll limit this to my favorite BDSM fiction book, and include a list of ten BDSM books I think any kinky person should read.
Favorite BDSM book:
Owned and Owner by Anneke Jacob
I have to admit that I’m in awe of Anneke Jacob and her writing chops, and I think her first published novel is still her best. A better book on total power exchange in a consensual non-consent context you will never find (though Jacob’s second novel As She’s Told comes very, very close). This is a truly brave, even visionary book that’s chock full of great writing, indelible images, and real, raw emotions. I’ve read it several times, and each time I find something new. This is a remarkable book, by a supremely talented writer.
Oh yeah, and it’s nuclear hot, too.
Ten Works of BDSM fiction Every Kinky Person Should Read:
Ice Queen/Mirror of My Soul — Joey W. Hill
A harrowing, moving two-part epic of forgiveness, acceptance, and love. Perhaps the best exploration of a female switch protagonist I’ve ever read, and the books are full of very hot D/s scenes. The emotional build-up of these stories is second to none.
The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy — A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
A sprawling, beautifully written exploration of the darker side of desire and love. You name the flavor of BDSM, and you’re probably going to find it here. Ms. Rice doesn’t once flinch in her depiction of this fantasy land of pain and pleasure. With the exception of The Story of O, no work has been more influential on modern BDSM erotica.
Story of O: A Novel — Pauline Réage
How many of us somehow got our hands on a copy of this, and read it surreptitiously, so rapt were we as we turned its pages, that we sometimes forgot to breathe? So much evocative imagery is packed into such spare prose, as the book takes the reader on a very dark journey indeed. A truly unique example of BDSM erotica, I regard this story as the seminal work in modern erotic fiction.
The Reluctant Dom — Tymber Dalton
The single most moving (and wrenching) book I’ve ever read. I’ve read it twice and both times it tore me apart. That said, it’s soo worth it. This story is all about love — oh dear God, such LOVE — but it’s packed with hot BDSM too. Anyone who reads this and isn’t reduced to tears may need to put out an APB for their missing soul. This is simply a stunning book, and it’s nothing short of a towering achievement for Ms. Dalton.
The Territory Within — P.N. Dedeaux
A fascinating and twisted tale of a very special country with its own brand of institutionalized male dominance. “A Dom’s Dream” could be another title for this one, and it is at times harsh, and at others wickedly sly. Some of the BDSM scenes in this book are some of the hottest I’ve ever read. Serious corporal punishment, lots of pain, and rigorously enforced (sometimes of the dubious consent variety) female submission is pervasive in this story. This is definitely NOT a romance, but the tale is ultimately a happy one — once the reader is wrung out from the journey, that is.
As She’s Told — Anneke Jacob
If anything, this is even more of a risk for Ms, Jacob, since this story takes place in a contemporary setting rather than the sci-fi setting of her previous Owned and Owner. Another epic masterpiece from Anneke Jacob that explores just what might be possible in a modern TPE relationship if both parties want it bad enough.As thought-provoking as it is hot. And it is very, very hot.
Hall of Infamy (Pleasure and Pain) — Amanita Virosa
Perhaps one of the best corporal punishment oriented books I’ve ever read, this one has plenty of other kinks in it too. I’ve long suspected this author is a writer in another genre, because they are much too adept with description here, the characterization too deft for someone with only a handful of published works to their name. The character of Lady Alicia especially in this book is equal parts malevolent and mesmerizing.
Natural Law — Joey W. Hill
One of Ms. Hill’s best, and a quite accessible male sub book — even for those who don’t normally read male sub books (read: people like me). The chemistry between Violet and Mac is positively electric, and the BDSM is plentiful and hot. Most of all, this is just a superb example of modern erotic romance.
Citadel Of Servitude — Aran Ashe
Like the Sleeping Beauty trilogy, Ashe’s Chronicles of Tormunil depicts a lush, yet often harsh, BDSM fantasy world. However, the Tormunil series ups the ante in the sheer breadth of the fetishes it explores. Aran Ashe has an unparalleled imagination, and it is given free rein in this series. There are five books in the Chronicles of Tormunil, all of which are good, but this one (Book 2) is the best of the lot.
Eliska — Von Mechtingen
A very interesting storytelling device is used here (a sort of one-way epistolary structure) and the setting — a backwater province in central Europe during the height of the power of the Holy Roman Empire — is nearly unique in BDSM erotica. The way the author writes this tale, you feel the oppressiveness, even hopelessness, of the setting. Somehow this gloom adds to the eroticism, and the reader is completely immersed in this dark, cruel world of hundreds of years ago. Lots of corporal punishment, cruel bondage, and fuckings (of both the consensual and not-so-consensual varieties) galore.
Kushiel’s Dart (Kushiel’s Legacy) — Jacqueline Carey
Ms. Carey might very well be horrified to be included in this list, but her study of the heroine Phédre’s struggles with the profound consequences of her deep-seated masochism is stunning. This incredible, epic fantasy is something I think any submissive woman should read — even if she doesn’t like fantasy. It’s that good.
There are a whole bunch of others that could easily have made this list too, but I had to cut it off somewhere. Maybe I’ll do another list of BDSM books another time:)
Until Day 22.
Sheri Savill says
Great list, Trent! There are a couple I’ve been meaning to read for ages, even though they’re a bit outside my usual scope of interest (fantasy sub-genre), but I’ve heard too many good things about them so read them I must. Someday. You know, when I’m not so very very Busy & Important™. Snort.
Sheri Savill says
Meant to make it clear that the fantasy stuff is NOT my usual reading area. Duh.
oh oh oh!!! Which ones?
Sheri Savill says
The JWH “Ice Queen/Mirror,” especially, because I *love* her other stuff so I’d suspect that I if I was ever going to like kink-fantasy, her efforts in that would be most likely to succeed for me. (She’s just awesome, in every way.)
In other news, I have Eliska on the ridiculously-large TBR pile and yet I violated my self-imposed moratorium on new books by adding “The Territory Within” via your link this morning because it sounded like something I’d love. “Twisted … harsh … wickedly sly … male Dominance ….” Clean up on aisle 6.
The Ashe series is a little too far from my zip code , but … never say never.
Oh you’ll like Ice Queen/Mirror of My Soul, but they aren’t fantasy (at least in the genre definition sense). They are definitely contemporary erotic romance.
I hope you do do read Eliska too. I’m very curious to see what you think of it.
Chintz Curtain (@ChintzCurtain) says
What a great list, Trent; there are quite a few here I haven’t read but sound like they’d be right up my street. Thank you for adding to my (ever growing!) book pile! Jane xxx