“Rough Play is spanking hot! Christina Crooks excels in combining BDSM, mystery and suspense in this sinfully erotic novel.”
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Although I can see many women identifying with Charlotte, our sweet and naughty protagonist, I actually fell for Amethyst, a dominant woman and performer at Subspace. Amethyst is confident, strong minded, and determined to get Master Martin to sell Subspace to her. The odds are stacked against her, as other interest parties are trying to force Master Martin’s hand, but she uses her talents in Subspace to get exactly what she wants. I also really like how she handled Kartane, a twisted awful man who believes that all women have a servant’s heart. In Amethyst’s encounters with Kartane, she never let him push her around or indoctrinate her with his Gorean psychobabble. Amethyst is my kind of girl!
Charlotte is a dating coach and Gail is her most frustrating yet only client. Gail’s demanding attitude is a complete turn off to men and Charlotte is having a hard time matching her up. When Gail decides to go to Subspace on a date, she arranges to have a safe call with Charlotte, and when that safe call goes dead, Charlotte is determined to find out what happened to Gail. My favorite scene is when Charlotte and Gail finally reunite…
“Charlotte.” Gail managed, with a grunt of pain, to rise to a sitting position. “You are so fired.”
I laughed so hard at this scene. With everything Charlotte and Gail have been through, that is the first thing Gail says to her. That is so classic Gail.
I also found myself smiling at the scenes Ratty is in because he tries so hard to be in a dominate sexual position – mentally and physically – but no one will take him seriously. Each time he tries to assert himself with Amethyst or Master Martin, he is often met with an eye roll or complete disregard for his presence. But Ratty never stops trying to prove that he is a “top” and it brought some light hearted comic relief to the story.
Kartane: “We’ve discussed that again and again. I’ve apologized too many times. You drove me to it…”
Charlotte: “I didn’t ask to be tied up and tortured for two days. I never wanted a brand.”
This scene is particularly chilling to me. In an atmosphere where sexual fantasies come alive, it is sometimes hard to tell when someone is pretending to play a role. This is the case with Kartane. It was hard to tell whether he was really sorry for taking things too far with Charlotte or if he is telling her what she wants to hear to keep her close. When dealing with people with deep hidden secrets, it is hard to figure out who to trust and who to watch out for.
Although Rough Play is Christina’s first BDSM novel, she really rocked this novel out. I was impressed with her work from start to finish. I liked how she incorporated mystery, intrigue and BDSM into the storyline. I believe that Rough Play is a fantastic introductory novel into BDSM for those who have not read this genre before. I had very strong emotions while reading this book. I hated Kartane with a passion, but I attribute that to Christina’s excellent writing style. I was hooked from start to finish, and I absolutely recommend Rough Play for shy and sensual audiences alike.
Interview with Christina Crooks
1. What inspired you to write Rough Play?
The Gorean subculture in the fetish community offered up some intriguing fiction possibilities in terms of villains and relationship
dynamics. I wanted to explore the ramifications of Gorean extremism, and also give the heroine some intense sexual adventures on her path to personal growth.
2. Is there more research involved in writing BDSM novels as compared to contemporary romance novels?
More? I don’t believe so. BDSM can be different though. Some of it’s fascinating stuff. Some of it’s scary, some of it’s goofy… there are
so many flavors of kink, and such a variety of intense sensations and play accessories and attitudes about BDSM. But there are always things that I don’t know and need to learn to make a story feel real, whether it’s a BDSM or a “vanilla” story.
3. Who was your favorite character and why?
I like them all. Master Martin is the sexiest to me since he embodies the non-model-handsome but capable, dominant, and protective hero I love to write.
4. Will we see more BDSM novels in the future from you?
I’m currently putting together another BDSM romantic suspense novel. It has lots of steamy sex, two hot heroes, and a pleasantly
frightening villain. In this book I’m exploring some new themes of interest to me.
5. Which do you prefer – Angels or Demons?
Depends where they fall on the good/evil spectrum.
6. To beat the heat would you rather have an ice cream cone or a sno-cone? Which flavor?
I just had an ice cream cone today: caramel and salted dark chocolate ice cream on a freshly baked waffle cone. Definitely the ice cream
7. How do you reward yourself after finishing a new novel?
Bottle of good red wine with my honey!
8. Favorite summer vacation spot?
I’d love a trip to Maui.
9. Which would you rather have – the perfect little black dress or the perfect handbag?
Little black dress.