Review: Ruby Rose

Ruby RoseRuby Rose by Alta Hensley

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


A reporter going undercover to research the Domestic Discipline (DD) world, why does this sound familiar?  With the increase of BDSM and kinky lifestyles into the mainstream vanilla world, it appears art imitates life.  Ruby Rose is a freelance writer exploring the subculture of BDSM.  She focuses on domestic discipline.  This is a touchy subject for some.  Some feel DD falls under the BDSM umbrella, others argue it does not.  Regardless, DD is a scintillating topic readers want to learn about.  Ruby is lucky as she finds herself the center of Evan Steel's attention.  He's the "face" of domestic discipline in the Seattle scene.

This story departs a bit from some of the other DD books written by Ms. Hensley.  There is very little DD action.  It's more a beginner book for those who are just inquiring about how domestic discipline works.  It also kind of pokes fun at how being in the lifestyle can be a three ringed circus.  Suddenly, dominating males are treated as rock stars and paid to show up to clubs.  There are photo shoots of Evan and his entourage.  It's so easy to see this story made into a reality TV show or a Skinemax sex drama. 

The story is supposed to be about domestic discipline and spanking.  Unfortunately, it doesn't deliver spanking delights.  Instead, it's a clear train wreck of a conflict waiting to happen.  Every reader within the first chapter knows what the conflict between Ruby and Evan will be.  There are no surprises except for a very odd violent cat fight between Ruby and Maxine.  Maxine is a slut who wants Evan all to herself.  She's an attention whore who will do everything to keep Evan by her side and ride the gravy train. 

Honestly, the characters in this story are pretty pathetic examples of human beings.  Evan is supposed to be this in demand spanking guy.  He never really demonstrates his ability.  He does explain his definition of DD and how it has nothing to do with "those" BDSM people.  The explanation is pretty good.  Ruby is a bit na├»ve in her deception.  It's not that she purposely lied to Evan about her occupation, she just didn't reveal all.  Some consider this a lie; others consider it dishonest.  It's not exactly the same thing.  Evan's reaction to Ruby's reveal is typical and yet a bit out of proportion.  He's a bit of a drama queen about it.  In the end, he also waffles in a manner which makes no sense.  In one scene, his good friends convince him to go after Ruby.  He seems to agree and then right after, he slams Ruby for being a spanking groupie.  It feels as if we are missing a scene between the two. 

The end of this story wraps up pretty fast and escalates to a confounding violence against Ruby.  Let's just say, the cat fight between Maxine and Ruby didn't involve just bitch slapping, a bit of knifeplay intruded. Still, from a romance perspective, this story is smooth.  It's a sweet and gentle look at how domestic discipline can be for those just learning about this wonderful diverse kinky world.  From a writing perspective, Ms. Hensley pens a good erotic romance with a happily ever after.  Recommended for romance lovers who want to dip their toes into domestic discipline. 

*provided by NetGalley



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