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By Kitty Thomas

Guilty Pleasures is an erotica novel with light BDSM focused in the realm of ownership. The story follows the main character Vivian, who is frustrated with her marriage and seems to lead a fairly listless existence. Her equally frustrated husband, Michael, firmly suggests she see a sex therapist. As prescribed by her sex therapist, Vivian finds herself on the doorstep of the recommended massage parlor ‘Dome’ for her weekly massage. Here Vivian meets Anton, who under the guise of a masseur begins to “open” Vivian to accept and revel in her darkest needs and wants.

This book started with a lot of promise. The author spends the necessary time in the beginning of her novel developing her characters so that you feel connected to them. All the characters come alive off the page through their unique mannerisms. The author takes the time to describe the little behaviors that tell the most. That being said, somewhere around halfway through the book the author lost this reader. I felt the plot became less believable along with the characters and their actions. Vivian goes from being a fairly strong woman that embraces her needs to a cowering female that can’t stop crying. This reader did not find the progression very realistic and lost a little interest. The plot was a bit formulaic and predictable. Overall, this reader expected a bit more from Kitty Thomas.

As previously stated, I would classify the eroticism in this book as light BDSM with a focus on the idea of ownership. The first half of the book is Vivian coming to realize what her needs and wants are. The first time she receives a massage from Anton, he uses his skill as a masseur to get her to relax and when she does he establishes his position of dominance over her. Vivian helplessly surrenders to his ministrations until she is “too frightened and aroused to put up a meaningful fight”. The second half of the book is Vivian being trained as a piece of “sexual property”. Vivian comes to see herself as a vessel to be used for her masters pleasure and, in the meantime, until she is sold, any trainers pleasure. The punishments when Vivian misbehaves are fairly inventive and the widespread “use” of Vivian do make for a fairly spicy erotic novel even if the plot is somewhat lacking.

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