Thursday, April 4, 2019

Book #Review: The Collar (The Submissive Series 6) by Tara Sue Me

Book Title: The Collar ( The Submissive 6, Partners in Play 2)
Author:  Tara Sue Me |Website| TwitterFacebookInstagram
Publisher: NAL/ Penguin
Genre: Erotica, BDSM Romance
Series/Standalone: Series Book 6
Format: Trade Paperback, ebook
Cost: $15.00
Pages: 336
How I got it: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: July 07,2015
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In her seductive new Submissive novel, Tara Sue Me introduces a sizzling hot new couple into Abby and Nathaniel's world and explores the red-hot passion between Jeff and Dena that won't be denied ... Fans of E. L. James, Sylvia Day, Maya Banks and Beth Kery will be seduced by New York Times bestselling author Tara Sue Me's enthralling Submissive series.

Nathaniel and Abby West are struggling to navigate the challenging waters of their own relationship, when they get a surprising phone call from their partners in play, Dena and Jeff, who are in need of a helping hand...

Seven years ago, desperate for something exhilarating to help her escape the pressures of her carefully controlled life, lawyer Dena Jenkins joined a local BDSM club as a submissive. There she met brooding Dominant, Jeff, and, despite Dena's doubts, they couldn't stay away from each other. But as the years have passed, their blazing connection has proven difficult to maintain and resulted in a history they'd rather forget. To save their passion, Dena and Jeff will have to rediscover what it means to trust - and give themselves to each other completely...

Before there was the fan fiction that became Fifty Shades of Grey, there was The Submissive... Indulge in the series that started it all: The Submissive, The Dominant, The Training, The Chalet, The Enticement, The Collar, The Exhibitionist and The Master.
Hi my loves, and we are back into the world of the partners at play series. this is the spin-off of the Submissive series and while we do get to see Abby and Nathaniel, this isn't their story.  We again meet up with the Delaware BDSM group which includes Jeff Parks a Dominant who was there when Abby needed a bit of help and who has become friends with Nathienal. He's also a good friend to Daniel from the bridge book of Seduced by Fire.

I really loved this story as well. Tara's writing and exploration of BDSM and how it appears for different couples just hits it out the park for me.  In this one, we explore how a relationship can fall apart and how the participants can circle around each other for years without really healing or letting go.  Jeff Parks a dominant we met briefly in Seduced by Fire, and the submissive Dena who helped to clarify things for Julie are back and this is their story.  Jeff has a few hang-ups and these inhibit his life without him realizing how they impact his decisions.  Dena is a woman who came to the BDSM world as an act of defiance and found a place she was meant to be in.

In this exploration of who they are they hit it off really well and fall into a great relationship one that comes with a few surprises.  As they grow in their relationship they are hit with a challenge that they decide to embrace, right as they catch their stride as Dominant and submissive their world is rocked and their relationship implodes.  There was so much pain and grief that there was no space for them in the relationship. They split but couldn't seem to grow past each other. They remained within the group even though they never played together again. Not until Julie needed help.  Then all the unspoken things start to bubble to the surface and they have no choice but to face them, especially when it appears Dena is in danger.

My heart hurt reading this. I so understood what lead to their breakup and totally understood how much it hurt them to even see each other much less try to find each other and deal together with their grief.  It showcased that even within the community that uses pain for therapy and even though they know how much their emotions impact everything, they weren't able to see their way back to each other for years.

When they did play together?? My gawds their scenes and moments were hot. The banter, the moments when Dena bratted out to gain his attention and even the moments Jeff needs to get in the headspace as her Dom are amazing to read.  I loved that the story was told in two parts, going between the past and the present-day consequences of the past moments and then finally moving forward.  It's not an easy story, it's not pretty but it is amazingly sexy, raw and real.

It wasn't until later in this book that I realized that the descriptions of Jeff being "dark" was her way of saying he's black without saying he's black. It's one of the only times I realized why most people wouldn't realize it was when he described what happened to him when he moved to NYC.  Other than those moments and a few more when Dena blatantly mentioned the difference between them, him being black is never mentioned again. While I loved that she didn't make him 'other' by mentioning it all the time, or fetishizing it by describing him weirdly; it was odd that him being black is never mentioned in other ways.  While as a black woman my race isn't the only part of me, it is apart of my experience in daily life, maybe this was her way of saying that within 'fringe' groups like the BDSM community these things don't matter as much?? I loved when Dena brought it up within the group and it was touched on without making it weird. I don't know if I'm explaining it well but him being black wasn't made weird, but it also could have been something you read without realizing she was saying he was black because she described him as 'dark'.  It's being diverse without being too controversial or without alienating those who normally wouldn't read a romance with a black male character.

I absolutely loved how the story unfolded. The history and how it impacted their actions today made this story bittersweet and made me excited to see more from the group. I can't wait to read more each of the characters we already know and get to know the rest of the group as well.
Happy Reading my loves, 

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