Surrender by Nik Flandre
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Choose your own ending erotic stories seem to be on the rise. This is the third one in the past year coming across my desk. While some provide alternate endings, others provide different choices to try all sorts of sexy adventures. Even though I didn't enjoy choose your own adventure books as a kid, there is something very appealing about selecting my own erotic fantasies as an adult. Personally, I hope this trend of books continues. In Surrender, this choose your own adventure is a bit different than I'm used to reading. Instead of one author, there are several authors and they write completely different endings which do not intersect with any of the others. This mutual exclusivity makes this book a bit less connected for me. If there were crossovers, the blending of the combinations would appeal to me more and increase the complexity of the overall story choices. Creating possibilities where authors need to finish off from another author's beginning and then passing the torch to a third before returning to the first author could be a very interesting product. Would the authors be able to blend it well enough it becomes a cohesive kinky maze? I can think of two authors from one specific publishing company who could pull it off. I digress.
Since I am a control freak, it is mandatory I read all four endings. Each one touched a different type of fantasy. Since I enjoy all sorts of sexual combinations as well as domination, from a kinky perspective, each of these stories is smoking hawt. My personal issue which is a personal preference is the amount of cheating in this book. If you don't like even the hint of cheating, this story will not be for you. Three of these involve infidelity which later on turns out okay, but for me, it taints the overall rating. It doesn't matter that one of the themes is cuckolding. I happen to love cuckolding stories. When it comes to dishonesty in a contemporary romance it is a problem for me. Specifically, infidelity as a conflict or sub-theme rubs me the wrong way. If it were the main plot of the story, then I tend to deal with it better. Had I known this book included cheating, I would have passed on the offer to review it.
I did enjoy every single one of the outcomes. They were fun, erotic and the sex is good. The BDSM is also pretty accurate so it flowed smoothly. The different combinations between maledom, femdom and m/m, m/f and ménage are all delicious. I did read the endings in the order of my sexual desires.
"The Making of Mistress Kate" by Lori Perkins is just as a reader expects. Kate finds out about Barry's dirty secret whilst on his computer. As anyone knows, snooping will generally reveal information with a high probability to result in pain. What Kate learns infuriates her and Barry learns just how much he should have trusted Kate. This is a pretty easy newbie femdom story and it's quite sweet. There are a couple of situations which generated a furious response in me and I completely empathized with Kate. The ending is a lovely happily ever after.
In "Watching Kat" by Nik Flandre is up next since I do love being a voyeur. With a title like this, how could I resist? While the main characters are Kate and her sexually inadequate fiancé Barry, Jack the neighbor is also featured in quite often. In this one, Barry is also submissive as Jack takes the leading role in a kinky cuckolding. Everyone is happy and the conflict is minimal.
"The Pina Colada Escape" by Jamie K. Schmidt is up next since I'm guessing a beach resort theme. I couldn't be more wrong. This is the one I had the most issues with. I'm conflicted because on one hand it is really very hawt. The sexual play between Kate and Barry is smoking. Between the emails, instant message, sexting, it's all very relevant to current times. On the other hand, it does come across as more tell than show which makes this story not work as well for me. The twist is easily picked up and just pushed my button in a negative manner. I didn't enjoy it.
I confess to saving "Down the Rabbit Hole" by Lissa Trevor last. As an avid fan of Alice in Wonderland because it is written by a man whose sexual interest in underage girls, I always find anything to do with Wonderland a bit taboo and deviant. I'm so glad I saved the best for last. For me, this is my favourite outcome. Between the multiple partners, the club and a hot ménage with m/m action, I'm creaming my panties. Barry is the sexiest and most dominant in this story. On top of this, how his partners submit and how he pulls Kate into his kinky lifestyle is a fantasy come true. This story definitely required a little "alone time" upon its completion. This is the only story where the cheating didn't make me flinch.
Overall, this book will be appealing to erotic readers who want their happily ever after. There is no requirement to read all four endings. For those of us who are greedy switches who also happen to be unicorns, you will end up reading all four and enjoying them all. Recommended for readers who know what they like and take their sexuality into their own hands.
*I received this book as a review copy in return for an honest review
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