At Coffee, Cake & Kink, we hear from authors often enough. It's not often that we are contacted with thanks, and a manuscript of beautiful fiction (?) and told it was part-inspired, and facilitated by us.
Yet, when faced with claims of a "real-life BDSM novel", we tend to proceed with caution, ready for things to come crashing down at an all-too-clinical appendix of "real-life contracts" or a description of an encounter that has us cringing at the fantasia of characters or a cornucopia of implements sure to fail if tried. A story of a thirty something Londoner travelling the world to find the Dom to fulfil her desires also does not sound like a realistic proposition for most of us.
We needn't have worried, it turns out, as "Out of the Shadows and into the Darkness" delivers on all counts.
We have found it to be an innately believable and accurate picture of what BDSM encounters are like, and a vivid and emotional, if necessarily dramatised, account of one submissive's search for her true self, and all its ups and downs.
What emerges is a fresh and intimate picture of a quest for, and enjoyment of, BDSM as a sexuality rather than a lifestyle. From jungles to urban landscapes, it challenges our capacity to fantasise and imagine and has us melting with delight just to bring us crashing to the earth with all-too-familiar depictions of heartache, desperate loneliness, and the punishing social impacts faced by those walking this path.
Cerebral erotica rather than wank material, it will nevertheless arouse with life-like characters and well-executed "scenes". Thoroughly enjoyable throughout, it also touches a sore nerve when exploring the things that hurt, both on a personal level and a social one.
Written in a fast-flowing staccato voice, "Out of the Shadows and into the Darkness" is far from truncated or detached. It's a pick-me-up/put-me-down kind of read, perhaps best enjoyed as and when the mood takes you; clearly-defined, bite-size sections facilitate reflection and invite the reader to loop back. Interweaving poetic landscapes with no holds barred erotica, it will satiate most appetites, though not in one sitting perhaps, and not all at once.
Enjoy at your leisure, don't rush it, and share liberally around.
"Out of the Shadows and into the Darkness" is published by Mischief (HarperCollins imprint) and available from Amazon via the link at the bottom of the article and you will be supporting CCK at the same time.
You can also get a taste of it right here, with exclusive "Out of the Shadows and into the Darkness" excerpts. Do comment on how they sit with you, and what darkness, or light, they give raise to.