Double Whammy!

An ENE Review of the novels
Sarah's Awakening & The Stalker by Claire Thompson


Reviewed by JZ Sharpe

The world of the erotic power exchange is one of deep paradox and contradiction. As a friend of mine once said about dominance and submission, "nothing is as it seems." In an environment filled with so much inherent tension, so much psychological intrigue -- you would think the contemporary literature would be rich and descriptive. Incredibly enough, this is one place where eroticism, at times, gets in the way.
That's how I felt in reading Claire Thompson's two novels, Sarah's Awakening (her first book) and The Stalker (her third). Both were originally published by Masquerade and now available in several electronic formats through Renaissance E-Books. Both are stories about submissive women "tamed" by dominant men, an often-used plot made so famous by The Story of O. Alas, while both of these books are quite erotic, Ms. Thompson is no Pauline Reage.
Sarah's Awakening takes the route found in many stories: innocent young woman has the strong desire to meet and be trained by a "master". After a couple false starts, she meets Lawrence, who offers to take her under his wing at his upstate New York house and train her to be the submissive that any master would want. He puts her through a number of experiences and tests meant to break her will. The Stalker follows another common plot: Emily, an aspiring young starlet, is kidnapped by Mark, who is obsessed with her to the point where he cannot live without her. Unlike the heroine of Sarah's Awakening, Emily does not go willingly. However, as the story progresses, she changes her mind -- does she even dare to enjoy herself? Her captor certainly hopes so!
Both these books sound like hot thrills from beginning to end, but actually, they suffer from what I might call the Too-Much-of-a-Good-Thing syndrome. So many erotic novels are just one hot scene right after another, and while this sounds good, it can get monotonous. It becomes especially dull when the characters lack depth, and I'm sorry to say that all the main characters in these books seem as two-dimensional as the paper they're printed on -- or, in the case of these E-Books, the bits and bytes of the screen where they're portrayed. Ms. Thompson's writing does improve from her first book to her third, but I couldn't help being tempted to rewrite these books myself. So much promise, so little delivery.
Still, if it's good, hot scenes of dominance and submission you crave, you won't be disappointed. Many chapters would qualify as one-handed reads. Just don't expect either Sarah's Awakening or The Stalker to deliver any great insights into the world of BDSM -- but when you're busily racing to orgasm, who needs insight, right?
Sarah's Awakening

Sarah's Awakening by Claire Thompson
Previously published as Sarah's Surrender by Masquerade, this outstanding bestseller is now available as an eBook from Renaissance E Books. Sarah is a sexy, confident young woman who always thought she knew what she wanted, but a friend’s confidences about her BDSM lifestyle set off a revolution of sexual adventure and discovery. After her introduction into the bizarre world of the BDSM club scene, Sarah begins to explore on her own. She becomes more and more involved in the world of sadomasochism until she stumbles across the man of her dreams – a "slave trainer" who promises to break her down and remold her into a proper submissive fit for the most discerning Master. Sarah is led into a complex world of submission and slavery beyond her wildest dreams.

Note Bene: When ordering REB e-books, select 'ENE' from the resellers' drop down menu.

The Stalker

The Stalker by Claire Thompson
Claire Thompson, author of Sarah's Awakening, is back with an original tale of love and servitude. This is the story of a man obsessed by a woman, and by the idea of possessing her completely. His obsession has gone beyond mere infatuation, as he plans an elaborate scheme to abduct her and make her his sex slave. The story opens just before he successfully kidnaps her and takes her to his county farmhouse where he holds her hostage. Mark is a romantic sadist who hopes to convince his prisoner of his ardent passion and ultimately win her heart and soul. In the meantime, he tortures her in any number of ways – whipping her, using her for his sexual pleasure, forcing her to sleep in a cage or on the floor, leaving her bound and helpless for hours on end as he tortures her until he drops from exhaustion. (Cover art provided by Hidden Pleasures.)

Note Bene: When ordering REB e-books, select 'ENE' from the resellers' drop down menu.

For the past five years, JZ Sharpe has been making up for the time she lost in a 20-year writer's block. She lives in the Pennsylvania mountains, where most of her friends and coworkers would be shocked and amazed by her secret life as a writer of erotica and science fiction. JZ Sharpe is a regular contributor to ENE. You can also find her work at About's Amateur Erotica, Adult Story Corner, Biblio Eroticus, Blood Moon Zine , Dare , Erotica Readers Association, HotErotica.Com and Scarlet Letters . Get lashed by the Sharpe Tongue.

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