But Gavin knows what Libby truly needs, and it’s not to be free. She’s made for pleasure—his pleasure—and he intends to put her to good use. Forever.
First of all, “Maid for Pleasure” isn’t just erotica, it is dark erotica – a sub genre that often flirts with issues of dubious consent, forced seductions, etc. I’ve only read a couple of stories that fit this category, and I can admit that I had lots of trouble with them. Lucy Rodgers offered me a copy of “Maid for Pleasure” for review, and I agreed to read it knowing exactly what I could be getting into. I will say that certain parts of the story made me highly uncomfortable, but overall the story was much stronger than I expected.
Libby decides to take two weeks out of her busy, career-driven life to submit to Gavin, a man she has been matched with by a dating service. She flies to a private island that Gavin owns and submits to him in a variety of ways. While Libby isn’t keen to actually serve Gavin (say by scrubbing the already clean kitchen floors), she finds that submission suits her quite well.
However, Libby is only playing at submitting to Gavin. She fully intends to return to her regular life after her two weeks are up. Little does she know that Gavin is aware of her plan and that he has no intention of allowing her to go anywhere, ever.
In many ways, I enjoyed the romance between Libby and Gavin. Yes, he brings her to his island to submit to his dominant desires. He shares her. He brings her to his dungeon, and he acts out all of his kinky desires with her. However, I believed that the two developed real feelings for each other. I loved it when Gavin went after Libby after her mother “rescued” her from the island. But then something happened that made me incredibly uncomfortable.
Gavin gives Libby a collar. This is not your average collar. It has some mechanism in it which will allow Gavin to kill Libby if she ever were to leave him. This whole “I have the power to take your life if you leave me” thread is problematic for me. Yes, it makes me highly uncomfortable and takes away my ability to believe that Libby chooses to be with Gavin without reservation. Of course, removing the choice is what makes this dark erotica, I believe.
“Maid for Pleasure” is a well written novella. It is quite erotic, and even very romantic at times. Libby and Gavin are both compelling characters who seemed to fit quite well together. I really enjoyed most of their interactions. However, readers need to be aware that the issue of consent is not straightforward here. I haven’t quite made up my mind about dark erotica, although I might be tempted to read more after this one.
Book Disclosure: An ebook was provided by the author