Due to FTC regulations, any book reviewed on this site was sent for free by the author/publisher to The Pagan & The Pen Book Reviews. We are not paid to give reviews by Author or Publisher. Once review has been made, said books are deleted.

May 5, 2010

Do As I Say by Penn Halligan

Title:  Do As I Say
Author:  Penn Halligan 
Author Site
Buy Link
Publisher:  Noble Romance Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Erotic
Length:  41 pgs.
Other:  BDSM, M/F, Spanking, Voyeurism
Pagan & Pagan Elements: No
Reviewed by: Violet Harper

About The Book:
Mae Southall is an independent woman who is not above breaking the rules if it suits her. She relies on no one but herself. Sex is fine but on her terms. When she meets the darkly handsome and mysterious Rob, Mae learns that sexual submission has its benefits.

Robert Parker is Mae’s new boss. She just doesn’t realize it yet. He has a few rules of his own. The first one is that he’s in control when it comes to sex. Her mind may be her own but her body is his to do with as he wishes. He requires her total surrender to him.

The Review:
One of the biggest misconceptions about BDSM is that it’s forced upon the submissive. Quite the opposite is true. The submissive always has a choice and control. They’re the ones whose needs dictate what the Dom will and won’t do. Those rules and signals are worked out ahead of time for the safety and pleasure of all involved. This story threw all those norms out the window. Robert doesn’t tell Mae she has a choice until after the sex act is accomplished. Even then, it’s not completely believable, but more like a lame attempt to vindicate his actions. He threatens her with having to endure rape at the hands of a random passing (willing?) man if she doesn’t “suck him off”. As a woman and someone well-versed in the BDSM lifestyle, I was appalled at the conditions under which this story set. Rape is about control. BDSM is about pushing boundaries and fulfilling role-playing fantasies. It’s about trust and sharing.

All good relationships—friendly and sexual—are built on a foundation of respect. Refusing to wear a condom isn’t respectful, no matter what a man’s future intentions are with his partner, especially when he doesn’t make them clear to the partner. The lack of a relationship made Rob’s repetitious use of the term ‘baby’ demeaning, though it was probably meant to be a term of endearment.

The character development contradicted itself. First Rob is thinking he would like something more with Mae, then he gets jealous when the male hooker he paid to ‘play’ with Mae (without her prior knowledge or consent—or a condom) gets frisky with her. The reasoning tends to start like this: “He needed Mae to understand and accept what he had already concluded himself. They were meant for each other, destined to be together.” Then, a few paragraphs later: “He knew she was confused. That was understandable. He was feeling a little the same way.” He either thinks they belong together, he isn’t sure, or he doesn’t think they belong together. Vacillating feelings in the last pages do not an HEA make.

The morning after, he leaves her to wake up alone (did he at least leave cab fare?). Then he has the nerve to explain it by saying he left her to think about how much she needs him? Whether or not she realizes it, she’s a victim. She needs a cop and a therapist.  Margaret Atwell wrote a short story called Rape Fantasies. In it, she alludes to the fact that many women have fantasies of being kidnapped and raped by a handsome stranger. I agree Atwell’s premise that women don’t actually want to be raped. (The main character of that story fantasized about talking rapists out of committing this crime.) They want to be surprised, pleasured, pleased. There is a huge difference between setting up a kidnap/bondage scenario with someone you know and trust, and with being forced into various sex acts by a handsome stranger you don’t know and have no reason to trust.

The author clearly has writing talent. Her style was engaging and her characters were realistic. With more attention to the story’s intended message, this could have been a really good tale.

Pagan Elements: none

Cover (Rated 1-10): 5- It has a generic bondage-themed cover with indistinct faces.


Disclaimer: Due to FTC regulations, any book reviewed on this site was sent for free by the author to The Pagan & the Pen. We are not paid to give reviews by Author or Publisher. Once review has been made, said books are deleted.


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