The Dom Project

Solace Ames; Heloise Belleau
The Dom Project
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Carina Press
Release Date
December 2013
Book 1 of LA Doms
BDSM, Erotic Romance, Multi-cultural/Multi-racial Romance

By day, Robin Lessing has a successful career as a university archivist. By night, she blogs about her less-than-successful search for Mr. Tall, Dark and Dominant. Living up to her handle "The Picky Submissive," she's on the verge of giving up and settling for vanilla with a side of fuzzy handcuffs when she discovers her best friend and colleague has a kinky side, too.

Sexy, tattooed techie John Sun is an experienced Dom who never lacks for playmates, male or female. If he can't satisfy Robin's cravings, maybe no one can—after all, he knows her better than anyone. So he offers to help her master the art of submission for one month.

Robin eagerly agrees to John's terms, even the pesky little rule forbidding any friendship-ruining sex. But rules are made to be broken, and once they begin their stimulating sessions, it's not long before she's ready to beg him for more—much more…

Book Review by Christine Blackthorn (author,reviewer)
Feb 20, 2014   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
224 people found the following review helpful
THE DOM PROJECT is about a young woman discovering how she might be able to live her submissive desires within a relationship. Robin is an academic in the library sciences of a well-known university and a compulsive blogger. She has learnt that she is not satisfied in a vanilla relationship but has also learnt how hard it is to find a dominant who she can trust and who fits with her desires and needs.

John is Robin's best friend since childhood and he is a dominant as well as a player. He is quite happy in that position and has no intention of changing it. However, when he finds out his best friend is experimenting with her submissive nature, he realizes he does not want to let her run the dangers of that first trial and error period without some protection. He therefore agrees to dominate her, platonically and for the purpose of science.

The book is the story of their journey--both of their journeys. It gives us an insight into the early times of submission from both points of view as well as the changing relationship of the two main characters.

I liked that it was not one sided, that we were let into the minds of both players in the game and were able to live through the changes in their attitudes. I liked that the book started not with a complete innocent who meets the dream Dominant but gives room to the difficulty in defining your own nature and the dangers of searching for a Dominant you can trust. I like the fact that she is neither naive nor overly brash; she is just human and struggling to find the way she wants to live and love.

However, I don't like the stereotypes which raise their heads on occasion and I don't like the dichotomy in the characters, especially Robin. She has clearly experimented, in her head and in private, with her submission. She has clearly done some research, as she writes a blog about it. But when she and John start to play, she wavers from being believably intelligent to stupidly cringe-worthy. On the one page, she reacts as you would expect from someone who has, at least theoretically, collected some information on the topic and knows what to expect, and on the next, she turns into a naive dunce (and not believably so). For example, she refers to her interest in voyeurism and exhibitionism but when led into the situation, she seems to be knowledgeable about intricacies, but not about the basics. It feels forced, as if her insecurities are added to give the character depth but not in a believable way.

A similar issue applies to John, though his character is more one-dimensional and therefore less lacking in consistency. The authors try to create in him the perfect dominant without creating the "perfect" and therefore unbelievable man. So his flaw, his internal conflict is that he is a player, or at least emotionally distant and unavailable, but he is not consistently so, because were he so then there would be no way for the relationship to develop. The way his internal conflict develops and is resolved however feels too scripted, too stereotypical, for him to remain human for the reader.

Overall, I do like this book. It is a fun read, although on occasion, the reader has to suspend belief. The beginning is particularly strong, drawing in the reader and making us empathize with the characters. We want to read more, we want to know what is happening at each point in time. Yes, there might be moments when the characters are a little diffuse, but overall the story catches your attention. It is an engaging and hot read, and what makes it special is the beauty in the style and language in some places.
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