Review: The Challenge
The Challenge by Terri Pray
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Let be explain my rating because it will come across as contradictory. I did not enjoy this book. I really hated Mark. If I could tap him in the head with my Sig, I would. I guess it is true that if the characters are designed in a way that the readers hate them, the book will rated lower. I must be one of those readers who has this issue with characters designed in this manner.
Still, this does not mean the BDSM in the story isn't good. Nor does it mean the writing was poor. Both were good. I just couldn't enjoy this book. It crossed lines for me that I seem to have issues with. Sting is the Kink Rating for the review site.
Sting (Kink) Rating: 3 Stars
Story Review Rating: 3 Paddles
Mark works for the company Linda Sasson owns. Linda is even his boss. This doesn’t stop Mark from crossing he lines. He wants Linda as a slave and serving his every need. Mark is a Dom who dances on the edge of the BDSM club rules. He never fully crosses the line, but it appears he thinks about it so often he needs to remind himself not to get banned. Yet Mark seems to be a respected dominant since he’s demonstrated on the stage many times.
Linda is a strong professional woman who is looking to explore her submissive side. She makes the mistake of exploring this with Mark. The reason why it comes across as a mistake is because Mark is anything but a trustworthy dominant in this story. Since this is the first book in the series, it is not clear if he’s designed to be this way for a reason or if he is really this much of a domineering jerk.
This story’s BDSM scenes are fine and as expected from the talented Ms. Pray. What is unexpected is the mixed message. The story comes across initially like a romance story with a guy looking for his one submissive. He’s tired of the meaningless domination without the connection. Yet his actions and his dialog do not match his inner musings. He turns into the classic bad Dom newbies to the lifestyle are warned about. He is abusive and manipulative with his ulterior motives. It’s not non consensual nor dubious consensual. If the story’s beginning, middle and end were all in the theme of non con or dub con, it would have been fine. The switch a third of the way through the story made it a difficult read.
While the writing and sex were decent and gives this a rating of 3 Stars and Paddles, from a reader perspective, there was no enjoyment. This book neither aroused nor amused. Instead, a feeling of dread and ill at ease seemed to be the only emotions for this reader. This is a surprise since Ms. Pray’s books are generally well received. Perhaps the next installment will bring light to the reason behind this book’s set up. With how this tale ended, Mark is on a fast meeting with a bullet in the head from a gun – my Sig. This short BDSM story is for kinky readers who enjoy the breaking of a confident woman.
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