“This is so awesome and so horrible because it is exactly what I want.”
I sat in my car, tears threatening my eyes. I’d started the book the day before, found myself captured by the world Alison Tyler had created.
My driveway moment happened because of one sentence.
The journey in kink of the main character Sam, a pretty twenty-something submissive woman in Los Angeles trying to find her way, has brought her to a moment with a man. And this man, after she has disappointed him yet sought refuge his arms, tells her, “Tonight, I’m ‘Daddy.'”
That one sentence gave me pause, both from its emotional weight and for sheer hotness.
In Dark Secret Love, Alison Tyler admits to blurring the lines. We don’t know if the scenes she paints are real or imagined, full of memories or whimsy. In the Introduction, she speaks of her guise. Sam, in some ways, is a stand-in for Alison herself and the stories possibly pulled from her own life. But what parts, what intricacies are real?
As I breezed through the novel, I felt myself pulled along Sam’s journey. The men she meets, the encounters she has, are enthralling. I found myself turning page after page, losing time as I progressed, never wanting to the pause the story.
Not only does Ms. Tyler paint a vivid picture of our main character and her world, she also introduces us to multiple dominant personalities. And none are ever as they first seem. Nuance is given to not only to Sam’s story, but also to the men who nuture or destroy her.
As Sam dealt with challenges, both personal and professional, I occasionally wondered how much of herself had Ms. Tyler described.
Most of my curiosity, of course, had to do with the incredibly hot scenes, not one of which felt forced or included just to rev up the sex appeal. Each titillating experience was born from the person or persons Sam connected with, the situation she found herself in, the decisions she made to embrace her desires and be honest about her true self.
I loved reading Dark Secret Love, loved winding my way through Sam’s journey. And, I must say, I was truly saddened when it ended, a finality that came too soon for my affections towards the story and its main character, as well as my desire for more hot smut from a woman who is great at writing it.
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