Friday, 24 July 2020

Book Review - The English Professor by Rachel de Vine

 
 
 

Five Stars!

You know that feeling when you finish a book and then you're a bit sad because it means you can't read that book any more? There's probably a term for it - Reader Drop, or something. Anyway, that's exactly how I felt when I finished Rachel de Vine's The English Professor.
This is a wonderful book. The story spans twenty years and envelops the reader so completely that by the time you reach the last page, you don't want to leave.

Eleanor is in her final year of university when she meets English professor, Dan Jamieson. His admiration for her as a talented English student develops into something more and their feelings for one another develop over a mutual love of literature, classic erotica and, eventually, kinky sex.

This book has a lot to answer for.

Their brief love affair is beautifully described and scorchingly hot. Unfortunately, it is also inevitably doomed. Because he is her professor after all, and recreating scenes from The Story of O with one of the students in your class is generally frowned upon by University authorities.

The book begins with Eleanor expressing regret for the mistakes of the last twenty years and tells the reader that 'having met up with Dan again', she wanted the opportunity to tell both their stories. This serves as warning from the very first page that the paths of these two protagonists isn't going to be a straightforward journey to sexy, kinky true love.

And, my god, it really isn't. This book will tie your heart up in knots, then break it and then put it all back together again. In a good way.

Alongside Eleanor and Dan, there are a host of wonderfully realised supporting characters. The best of which is literary agent, Betty Conway, a no-nonsense lesbian with a fantastic line in dry humour and caustic comments who is nevertheless an understated champion of Eleanor and Dan's love.

The cover of this book - although very pretty - almost does it a disservice. This isn't a "Seduced by my Sexy Professor" XXXX bit of porny fluff (although to be fair, I do like a bit of porny fluff too sometimes).

This is a story of love, of life, of missed opportunities and a message to the reader that something that has been lost does not have to stay lost forever.



Rachel de Vine's The English Professor is available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

Sunday, 19 July 2020

Book Review - Alpha by Sara Fields

Alpha



Four Stars

When Doctor Dawn Lowe is forcibly removed from her laboratory by high ranking government officials to work on top secret project, she has no idea what is in store for her. She certainly couldn't have expected to discover that she was the chosen Omega for a shape-shifting wolf Alpha. Because, who would? That's not the sort of stuff that you schedule into your five-year career plan.

We readers know that something like that was bound to happen because this is a sexy spanking shape-shifter romance with a half-naked man on the cover. And luckily, Dawn is brought up to speed with everything pretty quickly when she meets a Beta wolf, Rebecca, who she has been assigned to study. Rebecca tells her that she is the Chosen One and that the Alpha is on his way to free the shifters and to claim her as his own. So at least she gets a bit of warning before it all kicks off.

Kiba, the Alpha, formed apparently from the very earth itself, is a marvellously sexy example of leadership and pure unadulterated Domminess all wrapped up in a body that is sometimes human and sometimes a bloody great wolf.

Bloody great wolf.

When he comes to claim Dawn, he claims her very hard indeed. After some initial reluctance on her side (because of course she runs and of course she is unsuccessful), he beats her for her insubordination and then fucks her very thoroughly into submission.

The scene is brutal. If you like your spanking scenes soft and fluffy, this is not the book for you. I am not one of those people. I loved the overwhelming relentlessness of the initial punishment and sex scenes. There is a lot of great sex and spanking in this book but the first scene between Kiba and Dawn is, without a doubt, the best. You may need a cold shower afterwards. I sure did.

Dawn responds quickly and enthusiastically to Kiba's domination. It is after all - according to the mythology of the story - the role she was born to. And, happily, this whip-smart scientist doesn't become a doormatty drudge just because she's pledged her complete subservience to the sexy magic wolf-guy. With her brains and his, well, everything, Kiba and Dawn make a great team.

The fast-moving plot manages to cover evil scientists, shape-shifter emancipation and secret government skulduggery and still manages to find plenty of time for hot as hell sexy stuff. I've never before considered that my dream lifestyle might involve running around naked with a shape-shifting wolf pack but Sara Fields' The Alpha has made the idea seem quite appealing.







Thursday, 9 July 2020

Boris and the Spanking Ban



When the UK Government introduced 'Support Bubbles' in England on June 13th, the Daily Mail ran the headline "BORIS LIFTS SEX BAN".

It wasn't classy, but it wasn't wrong exactly. The Support Bubbles were to intended to ease the isolation for single adult households who hadn't been able to so much as shake hands with another adult in three months.

And it, of course, meant that couples who didn't live together could finally get together and touch one another genitals, provided that at at least one of them didn't live with any other adults.

Since the fourth of July and the pubs reopening and everything, then suddenly we're all allowed to fraternise with one another (well, with one other household at at time) indoors, in pubs, in hotel rooms and in well-sanitised brothels (possibly).

You're still not supposed to touch one another though. This is rather pertinent to my situation. Gentleman friend and I couldn't bubble up due to the existence of adult children and elderly parents in our respective households.

Thanks to @Darren_Dutton, every time I say the word 'bubble' now, I think of this.

It's been FOUR FUCKING MONTHS since we've seen one another. Well, four NOT-fucking months. That's rather the point.

We're going to spend this weekend together in a hotel. And, you know what? There will be touching. All the touching.

I've been patient, I've been good since the middle of March. I am observing strict social distancing and not-leaving-the-house-unless-it's-really-necessary rules in every other regard.

But right now, I really really need to have my bottom spanked by someone who loves me. And in less than twenty-four hours, that's exactly what's going to happen.

I just hope Boris understands.

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Book Review - Cowboys for a Cause: A Western Romance Anthology

  
 
 

Five Stars!


Is there anything better than a book chock full twenty seven (27!) sexy spanky Cowboy stories? Well, yes there is, as it turns out. It's a book full of sexy spanky Cowboy stories which is raising money for two amazing charities - Direct Relief Coronavirus Response and Feeding America Covid 19 Response Fund.

Dozens of fantastic authors, including Vanessa Brooks, Alta Hensley, Piper Stone, Stevie MacFarlane, Maggie Ryan and Alyssa Bailey, have contributed this anthology collection and really is a lot of fun indeed.

I couldn't possibly review all of the books in this collection - I haven't actually finished them all yet. But I couldn't resist giving you a quick rundown of my three favourite stories so far.

Schoolteacher Verity Lasse is new to her job and new to the town of Elmo, Colorado in this delightful historical romance. When she meets the recently widowed father of two of her students, there is an instant attraction to the (frankly delicious) rugged rancher, Jake Calhoun. There's just one problem: she thinks that he's the man she saw committing a murder a few days earlier. There is enough doubt over the identity of the killer and enough chemistry between the pair of them that a friendship grows between the two of them that builds into something more despite the small minded gossip of the townsfolk. 

She must decide whether she wants to commit to spending the rest of the life with the man she loves, knowing that he might well be the person she saw taking another man's life. This is a wonderfully engaging story with plenty of sex and spanks nicely woven into a fully fleshed out storyline which builds towards a satisfying denouement.

Verity is my absolute favourite kind of historical heroine. She's intelligent, independent and a pioneer of rights for women. She also gets regularly upended and spanked by her dominant cowboy. As a well-spanked feminist myself, I heartily approve.


Mountain Blue by Alta Hensley

The hero of this beautiful and emotional historical story, Rem Langston, isn't actually a cowboy. He's an Ice Harvester so I'm not quite sure how he snuck into this story collection but I'm very glad that he did. He's a tough, rugged, powerful man who, when he finds a woman attempting to sleep rough in the freezing snow and winds, brings her home with him in an act of gentlemanly compassion.

Birdie Bluebell is a woman without a lot of options in life. She has a violent drunken father whose behaviour makes it necessary for her to risk camping out in sub-zero conditions rather than return home. She accepts Rem's offer out of necessity but it turns out that it was the very best decision she could make.

The romance that inevitably blossoms between Rem and Birdie is artfully and sensitively written. There are some wonderful supporting characters in this book, most notably Rem's widowed mother who provides some stable maternal support that Birdie has been lacking in her life for so long.

The road to the couple's happy ending is a difficult one as the dangerous and dark machinations of the Bluebell family threaten to take everything that Rem and Birdie have managed to build together. Birdie is a resilient woman who deserves a Happily Ever After. And happily, Rem is the very man to give it to her.


Dangerous Ride by Piper Stone

Set in the present day, Dangerous Ride is a wonderfully hot and sexy story. Right from the very start of the story - astonishingly soon after they have met - the two protagonists, Butch and Falcon indulge in the steamiest sex possible with a wonderfully generous amount of BSDM-y punishment. And while they carry on this fashion for the whole of the story, it's the first sex scene which is undoubtedly the best. There is just enough dubious consent in the initial set up to make it as breathtakingly hot as hell while still keeping it very firmly on the side of being something that both parties are very happy to participate in.

There's a tightly plotted story about horse thievery to keep the whole book ticking along nicely. After an initial misunderstanding, our two heroes find that they are very much on the same side which is good because Falcon and Butch are falling for one another hard. There is some wonderful dialogue, a nail-biting climax and did I mention that this book is HOT? Because it is. It's very hot indeed. Absolutely scorching. 


Cowboys for a Cause is a wonderful collection of different and diverse stories. I cannot recommend it highly enough. It will only be on sale for a limited time so ensure that you snap up your copy as soon as possible. Sex, spanks, romance and the chance to help two amazing charities, what's not to love?

Buy it at:


You can find out more about the charities they are supporting and the work they do here:


Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Netflix recommends... Erotica




I watched 365 Dni recently. It wasn't great but as I said in my review, I do want to see more of this sort of thing. So what other erotic, kinky delights does Netflix have on its virtual video store shelves for the girl who's already seen the infamous Polish bonkbuster and all the Fifty Shades films?

There's no actual 'Recommend' feature as such on Netflix. You can't count the little cluster of programmes that pop up when you've finished watching something, which are always whatever new thing Netflix is trying to promote. Those are often amusing in their incongruousness. My favourite 'thing to watch next' was Sex Education after gentle theological drama The Two Popes.

However, if you use the search function, Netflix finds the film you've searched and also includes a bunch of other films that it considers to be the same genre.

I searched for 'Fifty Shades of Grey', and watched the four films that Netflix also included on the list. Which is why I have been watching arty modern-day polyamourous romance Newness, lesbian love story Below her Mouth, sex addiction drama Addicted and, most incongruously of all, Stephen King's psychological horror Gerald's Game.

Here's what I thought of them.


Newness (2017)

Dir: Drake Doremus

Nicholas Hoult has come a long way since he appeared as gawky twelve-year-old Marcus alongside Hugh Grant in About a Boy. If Newness is anything to go by, he's a lot more American now, for one thing. Also, a lot more naked.

Hoult plays Martin who meets Gabi (Laia Costa) through a Tinder-like hookup app. They're a pair of concupiscent young things who fully embrace the easy come, easy go, casual shagging of strangers off the internet. In fact Gabi meets Martin almost immediately after having an unsatisfying shag with another chap. There's an instant chemistry between the pair though and in no time at all they are all love's young dream, enjoying happy romantic montages, deleting the dating apps off their phones and moving in with one another.

But then the joys of mutual monogamy start to pale and infidelity happens. In fact, in a massive stroke of luck, Martin and Gabi cheat on one another on exactly the same night. What are the chance of that? It makes the fall-out easier to deal with, I guess. After a bit of couples counselling, Martin and Gabi decide that the best way to deal with it is to open their relationship right up and embrace a polyamorous way of life.

Which all works fine for a while. They try threesomes. They shag other people. They tell one another about shagging other people. And then they shag one another. Happy days.

But this is a Hollywood movie and polyamory is never going to be anyone's happily ever after. Even for people who aren't doing it for voyeuristic reasons.

Everything inevitably goes horrible. Feelings get involved. Martin feels betrayed and tells Gabi that he was never up for the whole swinging lifestyle in the first place which is very unfair of him because he totally was. And, predictably in the end, true (exclusive monogamous) love wins the day.

Have there ever been any films where polyamorousness has been portrayed as a positive lifestyle choice rather than a dangerous disaster-ridden deviation from the right-and-proper monogamous norm? I honestly can't think of one.


Below Her Mouth (2016)

Dir: April Mullen

Below her Mouth is the most porn-like of Netflix's recommended movies. And I don't mean that in a disparaging way. I was looking for sex and there is a lot of lesbian sex in this film. It looks very real. I'm not sure if the actresses are doing the things to one another that their characters are explicitly indulging in. The actual practicalities of realistic-looking sex in non-porn art-house films are a mystery to me. Although I do know in the other popular mainstream lesbian romance Blue is the Warmest Colour, the actress wore 'prosthetic genitalia' for the sex scenes. So that was a distracting thought.

The film, set in Toronto, is beautifully shot and exquisite to look at. Its two leads, Dallas (Erika Linder) and Jasmine (Natalie Krill) are wonderful as the awkward realistic protagonists of their own tiny love story. Especially Linder whose breath-taking androgynous beauty and piercing blue eyes are hypnotic to look at. You can see why Dallas would have no trouble getting absolutely any woman she wants into bed with her, without the need for clever chat-up lines or indeed demonstrating any kind of emotion whatsoever. Which is good because Dallas really doesn't do either of those things.

There isn't much plot here to speak of. Jasmine is passing as straight and has a cosy life with her male fiance. She meets Dallas at a lesbian bar. The spark is there from the start, Dallas pursues her and given that the pair of them fancy the pants off one another, they manoeuvre themselves into a pants-free situation as quickly as possible. Set over only a few days while Jasmine's fiance is away on business, the film fizzes with lustful encounters and a very realistic portrayal of two fairly awkward people getting to know one another.

There is rather more smooshing together of vulvas than I would have expected in a lesbian sex scene. I mean there's fingering, oral and strap-ons to be enjoyed as well but the characters do seem to spend a lot of time just pressing their pelvises up against one another and banging in what looks like a simulation of heterosexual sex. Is that a thing? Given that both the writer and director of this film are gay women then I guess, yes, vulva-smooshing is totally a thing.

Erika Linder had no acting experience before Below Her Mouth and well, you can kind of tell. There's no great dialogue in the film and the actor's delivery is often stilted and awkward. I rather like that though. It adds to the realism. This isn't a slick Hollywood romance. This feels like two real people falling in love and dealing with the messiness that that can cause.


Addicted (2014)

Dir: Bille Woodruff

Zoe Reynard (Sharon Leal) is a wife, mother and successful businesswoman. She is also a sex addict. Her therapist seems very quick to diagnose sex addiction given that at that point in the film, she just seems to be having a common-or-garden extra-marital affair.

She cheats on her husband with an artist, Quinton Canosa (William Levy) who tries every seducer's trick in the book up to and including a tragic family backstory. Zoe is already a big fan of his work so that makes his job easier. That and having a chest that looks like is was sculpted from marble by a sculptor who was really, really into abs.

(Oh, and Quinton? That chat-up line you've got where you tell a woman that you want to paint her so you can hang her picture above your bed and wank to it every night? Pure class, mate.)

Having a nice-and-sexy husband (Boris Kodjoe) and a creepy-yet-sexy lover isn't enough for our Zoe though. And soon she's frequenting dodgy bars, banging strangers in the toilets and going to BDSM sex clubs.

This is the only film in the list which has even the tiniest glimpse of spanking. In the sex club scene, there's a quick glimpse of a flogger being wielded in the background. This is in no way a positive endorsement of BDSM, obviously. It's included to demonstrate the seedy, depraved depths to which Zoe has sunk.

As a member of the original and oldest twelve step programme, I really shouldn't be dismissive of the idea of sex addiction as an illness but I am a bit, sorry. It does come across as a very convenient excuse for being caught with your pants down. The film does seem to take the addiction part of the narrative seriously. Zoe's mum who spends most of the film looking pursed-lipped and disapproving, is very supportive of her daughter's addiction and recovery by the end of the film.

Mirroring alcohol and drug addiction, Zoe loses almost everything to her addiction including her job, her family and her sanity. But unlike a film about alcoholism, all of Zoe's sexploits are depicted in the most raunchy and titillating way possible. It helps that every single person in this film is almost impossibly beautiful.

It makes for a bit of a confusing message. Sex addiction is bad, folks. But meanwhile, looks at all these tits and bums!


Gerald's Game (2017)

Dir: Mike Flanagan

This creepy psychological horror story based on a Stephen King book doesn't really belong on the list. However, it does start with a premise which must be a recognisable fear for most BDSM enthusiasts.

What would happen if you were handcuffed to a bed and something unexpected happened and there was no-one there to release you?

The bondage scene in Gerald's Game doesn't get off to a good start given that married couple Jessie (Carla Gugino) and Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) are first-timers who haven't really planned the whole thing properly. They haven't established a safe word, let alone discussed how they want the scene to go.

If Gerald had properly explained to Jessie beforehand that he was planning a creepy, uncomfortable rape fantasy, then she probably would have taken a swerve on the whole endeavour. Communication really is key here, would-be kinksters.

Not that it really matters, as it turns out, given that Gerald dies of a heart attack early on in the proceedings, leaving his wife handcuffed to the bed, on her own, in a lake house, miles away from anyone. In Fairhope, Alabama, no-one can hear you scream.

This all happens in the first fifteen minutes or so. For the rest of the film, poor bed-(literally)-bound Jessie's only companions are the visions she sees in her increasingly weakened state. There's imaginary Gerald, her own imaginary self, Scary Demon Guy and Dead-husband-eating Dog.

What with that and the child-abuse flashbacks, this film really inst a fun-filled kinky sex romp by any stretch of the imagination. Which is fine. It's a great film and not every story which involves someone tied to a bed needs to be a turn-on. (I bet hardly anyone cracked on out to James Caan being tied to the bed in Misery either.)

But given that Netflix suggested this as a Fifty Shades of Grey alternative, they might want to do a bit of work on their algorithms.


So overall, over the last couple of days I've learnt that polyamory is a bad idea, lesbianism leads to infidelity, BDSM clubs are only attended by people with psychological illnesses and if you indulge in bondage, you'll probably end up with a dog eating your face.

I'm either going to have to rethink my lifestyle choices or possibly look further than Netflix if I want to find some kink-positive cinematic sexiness.

Or maybe I should just stick to books for this sort of thing.





Monday, 22 June 2020

Book Review - Claimed by Daddy by Vanessa Brooks



 

Five Stars!

What would you do if you suddenly found yourself transported to a parallel universe where everything was different? You have a different home, different job and instead of being single, you discover you are actually married to a sexy tall American guy who shares all your kinky preferences?

To be honest I would probably behave exactly the same as Penny West, the heroine of Vanessa Brooks' Claimed by Daddy when this happens to her: whirling through a merry-go-round of emotions including incredulity, fear, panic and - what with the sexy 'new' husband - lustful abandonment.

Given such an outlandish premise, it's really rather relatable.

The book starts with Penny flying back from New York to London. The plane is caught in turbulence, she blacks out and then suddenly everything has changed. Well, not everything. She is still herself. Her face is the same, her family history is (almost) the same but suddenly she is in the middle of a life that she has no memory of.

Time slips are a tricky business. To everyone around her, Penny's story seems wildly implausible. To everyone else, including her husband, she looks like the same person doing the same thing as she always done. But to Penny, it must feel like starting a movie halfway though with no memory of how the first half went.

I found this diagram relating to multiverse time slips. Hope that explains everything.

Finding yourself a sexy husband who likes to practise Domestic Discipline and calls himself Daddy has its benefits, that's for sure. David, the books hero, is pretty damned perfect, make no mistake about it. But it's hard for Penny to get onboard with the situation when she not only has no memories of meeting and marrying him but also has her own perfectly clear memories of living a completely different life during that time period.

Luckily Penny has the support and acceptance of not only David, but also her sister, her sister's partner and her Dad (who is actually dead in her own timeline). Once they are onboard, it becomes possible for Penny to accept her situation and focus on adjusting to her new reality.

Parallel universes explained in Superman.
Note, in neither of the universes in Claimed by Daddy, are any of the characters "ape-like beings".
And it's a pretty amazing alternative reality that she finds herself in. She and David are clearly not short of a few quid, they run a successful business together and own a fancy house in an expensive part of London. Alternative-Reality Penny has the Submissive/Little lifestyle that Protagonist Penny had only ever dreamed of. She has her own special playspace and everything that a Little could wish for. And she has a husband who absolutely adores her.

Except there's the problem. David adores his Penny. The one he married, the one with whom he has five years of shared history. Can he accept this interloper who doesn't know anything about it, has no recollection of their wedding day, their favourite restaurants, their shared experiences and their in-jokes?

Can Penny allow herself to love David knowing that simultaneously she both is and isn't the woman he loves?

Well, happily, they have a jolly lovely time of it finding out. The sex and spanking scenes in this book are absolutely delicious. Poor David has to adjust to a role which is outside any expectations that he might have had when he signed up for life as a Daddy Dom. That of negotiating a relationship with a woman who is both the person he knows both inside and out and who is also, in every meaningful way, a complete stranger that he needs to woo all over again. Given that Penny is physically exactly the same as his Penny, it does make it a lot more straightforward for him to give her the most earth shatteringly amazing orgasm that she has ever experienced. He literally knows which buttons to press.

Kind of like this.
They don't just stop at the one earth shattering orgasm obviously. There's lots of that sort of thing.  Penny gets a very thorough lesson in everything that she has been hitherto missing out on.

There is a strong age-play element to this story. But there is also a lot of grown-up Dom/sub stuff as well. David and Penny draw a distinction between their age-play and their grown-up time. David actually tells Penny off at one point for using her "little voice" in the bedroom.

I wouldn't describe myself as a Little (although there is definitely a Daddy Dom dynamic in my relationship with Gentleman Friend even though we would never use the actual 'D word'.) I quite like Penny's little lifestyle though. I'm quite jealous of all the Disney stuff she has, for one thing.

I would be quite happy with a bedroom like this.
Claimed by Daddy is a highly original take on the Daddy/little genre. Cuddles, spanking, sex and the multiverse Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. It's got it all!

I really, really hope that Vanessa Brooks writes a companion book to this one telling the story of the Other Penny who switches lives with our Penny at the start of the book. What does she do when she suddenly finds herself in a universe where she never met David? As Penny says to David, "I honestly believe that she would try to find you." I think so too. How do you persuade a man who has never met you that he's actually your tried-and-tested perfect Daddy Dom? Sneaky seduction or just fling yourself over his lap and be done with it? It would be great fun finding out.


Want to know more about the book review star rating system? Or find out what other books I've reviewed? Check out this page here.

Thursday, 18 June 2020

365 Dni - Why I'm OK with Dubious Consent in Romance

The Polish film 365 Dni (now available on Netflix) is causing a bit of a stir around the internets. The film is based on the book of the same name by Blanka Lipińska, an erotic romance very much in the tradition of the sort of books I read and review here.



I haven't read the original book and there doesn't yet seem to be an English translation. Although I imagine that will be rectified pretty soon given the attention that it's getting. There is probably a hard-working translator turning dialogue like "Nie jestem workiem ziemniaków" into "I am not a bag of potatoes" as we speak.

The heroine is not one of these. She made that quite clear.
I have watched the film of course. And it's, well. it's not great to be honest. It's clunky, poorly-paced and bafflingly edited. The actress who plays the heroine, Laura, Anna Maria Sieklucka, while very pretty, doesn't really have the emotional range to convey the seemingly contradictory emotions and motivations of her character.

That said, I am happy that this film is there, onscreen, and causing a bit of bother. Fifty Shades of Grey was released in 2015 and the third and final part instalment Fifty Shades Freed was released in 2018. We have not exactly been deluged with smutty erotic cinema offerings since then, have we? The film industry releases about three hundred Marvel superhero films every year. You'd think there would some demand for Fifty Shades-esque kinky romance.

The biggest controversy with this film is the issue of its Dubious Consent (or DubCon as it is referred to in smutty book-writing circles). And the consent portrayed in this film is about as dubious as you can get, given that the 'hero', Mafia boss, Massimo forcibly drugs and kidnaps Laura and holds her against her will telling that she has 365 days to fall in love with him.

I think we are all in agreement that abduction and imprisonment are Not OK in the real world. I believe there are actually laws against it.

There is, however, a long tradition of such things being portrayed as romantic storylines. Rudolph Valentino was always at it. Kurt Russell kidnapped Goldie Hawn in Overboard and as I recall she had a delightful time of it. Even Disney have turned their hand to Stockholm Syndrome romance. Twice.

My first fantasy Dom
Near the beginning of the film Massimo tells Laura "I will never touch you without your consent." The thing is he keeps touching her. Every five minutes the bloke is slamming her up against a wall, licking her neck or threatening to frig her off on a private plane.

I think what he actually means is "I won't stick my penis inside you without your consent" and to be fair to him, he doesn't actually do that until he has Laura's enthusiastic say-so. So I suppose he is almost a gentleman in that regard. He probably should have been a clearer about his intentions though.

Rudolph Valentino is literally 365 times sexier than Massimo.
Is abduction a valid plotline for a romance story? Well,I think that it is. It's a common enough trope in historical fiction and sci-fi erotica. There would have been a lot less outrage about 365 Dni had it been set in medieval times or on the futuristic Dom planet of Bidiessem. Mafia romance is a popular genre in erotic fiction. Its longstanding appear is precisely because its heroes don't obey the rules and will take what they want without necessarily waiting for explicit consent from the object of their desires.

The important thing to bear in mind here is that 365 Dni is a work of fiction written by a woman and written for women. The intended audience is not men who fantasise about kidnapping women. This will be watched for the most part by women imagining themselves in Laura's predicament. Mainstream Porn - and Hollywood in general - is still primarily focused on the needs of men and the male gaze. Women are objectified throughout the entertainment industry. For all the nudity on display, Laura is not an object. She is the subject, the protagonist and the Audience Surrogate.

I am a feminist and a sexual submissive and sometimes that it is a troublesome line to straddle. But while I am absolutely adamant about Informed Consent in real life, in fiction (and in my own personal daydreams), I am happy for those lines to be blurred.

Lines being blurred
I think we need to be grown-up enough to recognise that women are allowed to have fantasies like these. It doesn't make us idiots or doormats or apologists for the Rough Sex Murder Defence.

It means we're a bit kinky, obviously. But, hey, if you're following this blog, then you probably already knew that about yourself.

(While we're on the subject of kink, it's worth mentioning that, aside from a very odd bondage scene, there is next to no BDSM in 365 Dni. Probably for the best given the outrage that has already kicked off about this film. Can you imagine the furore if a fictional character was not only kidnapped but then beaten while she was in captivity. I'm all for more spankings in mainstream movies but lets not run before we can walk.)



The film is oddly named because it doesn't take Massimo anything like the 365 days to meet his target. Laura - Spoiler! - declares her love for him around week 8, I think. Despite the unpromising committing-a-serious-felony sort of start of their relationship, she is won over by the tattooed mumbly mafia guy who has asked her to teach him how to be gentle. I presume there will be more to follow given that the film ends of a cliffhanger that makes Fifty Shades of Grey's breakup scene look half-hearted by comparison.

I will no doubt watch any sequels that come along. I will also likely watch anything else that Netflix decides to acquire in this genre.  Because while 365 Dni might have been naff and awkward and not blessed with any kind of workable plot, it is still a film based on an erotic novel written by a woman that handsomely delivers on sexy shag scenes.

Neflix, if you're reading, please note that that's definitely something that I want to see more of.

In fact, Netflix, if you're looking to commission a whole bunch of new kinky romance stories, you might want to check out a blog post I wrote a few years ago about spanky romance books that I really wanted to see onscreen. I even took care of the casting so, quite frankly, I have done all the work for you there. Or, if you like, you could turn one of my books into a film. I'm sure it would upset just as many people on Twitter as 365 Dni did.