By Kitty Thomas
A compilation of three short works, Kitty Thomas’ ‘The Auction’, ‘Awakening’, and ‘The King’s Pleasure’, uses three different settings to portray women in submissive roles.
‘The Auction’ is a sci-fi story about Annabelle whose time it is to be auctioned off; a custom that all women go through. To the horror and morbid fascination of all the on-looking town’s people, Annabelle is purchased, not by one of the young men of the town, but one of the natives of the planet.
‘Awakening’ is an erotic twist on the legend of mermaids. In this novella, legend says that if you can capture a mermaid and seduce her into the world of sexual pleasure, then her fin will be replaced with legs and she will be yours forever. When the mermaid Nerina gets swept up in a net and up onto a ship, she doesn’t believe the legends. But the determined gaze of the captain and the possessive touch of his hands lead her to begin feeling strange things…
‘The King’s Pleasure’ is the classic story of a beautiful young woman falling on hard times. Forced into a life of thievery to feed herself and her family, Abigail makes the desperate mistake of trying to steal from the King. Entranced by her beauty, the King takes her into his harem instead of maiming her for stealing. As his slave she is at the whim of the King to be used for his pleasure and the debauchery of the hedonistic court.
The only complaint this reader has is that each novella was too short. Kitty Thomas wove such intriguing settings that this reader was completely absorbed. Each novel ends abruptly, almost as if the author was trying to quickly wrap things up. If you’re going to write a short story then please at least take the time to tie it up neatly. Aside from that, they were well-written novella’s and gave this reader almost everything she could want out of an erotica novel. Creatively interlacing eroticism and sensuality into classical stories is a cocktail I wish more authors would come up with instead of mistaking crude for erotic, or trying to rewrite ‘50 Shades of Grey’.
Each of these unique stories is laden with eroticism. The title explains the underlying theme of submission in the book. There are elements of all types in this book, BDSM, exhibitionism, group play, etc. but the eroticism in this book really lies in the exchange of power play. All three women find themselves in positions where they have to submit to the will of a strange man. Helpless to the ministrations of the men mastering their bodies, each woman has to accept and embrace the dark yearnings inside. Both the classical settings and the integral submission of each heroine creates the perfect fantasy. Are there dark feelings in every woman begging to be set free from societal confines? Feminism might argue otherwise.