November 14, 2014

The Submissive Trilogy by Tara Sue Me

Gray was two people from different worlds coming together unexpectedly and creating something new. Gray took the best parts of us both and fit them together into something larger than we were apart.
-from The Dominant by Tara Sue Me

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So I was in a reading funk earlier this year and I wanted something so light and easy and non-life altering that I could finish it and not even realize I had spent time reading. Does that make sense? Do you ever get that way? The Submissive was the best written out of the contenders I had on my Nook at the time and it actually surprised me in a lot of ways.

Forgive me if this sounds all too familiar, but The Submissive is the story of sweet little Abigail who applies to become the submissive of rich, handsome, young business mogul Nathaniel West. Nathaniel is a dominant who participates in the sexual underworld of BDSM and, of course, he has a rocky past and has never been able to really commit to love. Until Abigail. The Submissive is Abby's point of view of their little love story while The Dominant is the exact same story told from Nathaniel's perspective.

Within a few chapters I became really frustrated because the story line of The Submissive was so ridiculously close to 50 Shades of Grey that I couldn't believe the lack of creativity. It even went so far to personify the female protagonist's inner-struggle (good Abby/bad Abby similar to 50 Shades' "inner goddess"). I can understand wanting to copy the success of a best selling book (even if it's terrible writing and has a lack luster storyline), but copying almost every ounce of it was disturbing to me! That was until I did a little research and found out that The Submissive is actually rumored to be the inspiration for 50 Shades of Grey, not the other way around! The fact that The Submissive is actually much better written and felt like it had more substance makes me really disappointed in the success of 50 Shades of Grey. If women are going to get all crazy about erotic romance novels (which is totally fine!), at least have the ability to distinguish decent writing from the terribly-edited fan fiction that is 50 Shades of Grey. Now, I don't mean to start a war with fans of 50 Shades, that's just my opinion on my blog.

Anyways, this isn't necessarily a review comparing two books, so I'll get on with it! What I found interesting about this series was that it really explored the lifestyle of BDSM. Instead of just having a guy who enjoys tying a girl up and whipping her with things, Nathaniel teaches Abby the whats and whys of his sexual lifestyle and the reader learns right alongside her. I think it helped to deconstruct something that's thought of as so taboo and humanized it, making it understandable to the average person. While I don't want to invest in riding crops or anything, it was interesting to learn about a world that is never really talked about.

I also found Abby and Nathaniel to be extremely relatable. Nathaniel didn't really seem like some big shot millionaire and Abby wasn't a pure virgin. They seemed human and normal. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to read The Dominant because even though The Submissive got the job done entertaining me, I did not care to hear the whole entire story all over again! But once I did begin to read it, I found Nathaniel's perspective to be refreshing and it gave enough new information to make it informative. I definitely do not think these books are for everyone, but for being an easy and light romantic read, it got the job done.

The third book in the series I probably could have done without; there was no real conflict or climax, it just followed the characters on with things after the end of the two other books. I felt that parts of The Training could have been included in the other two books to compact this series. There was a lot more informative information about the BDSM lifestyle in The Training, but I wasn't so interested in it that I needed to read this. If you really loved the characters (and I admit I did grow attached to them enough to finish the third book), you will probably want to read the complete series. 

Bottom Line: Not for everyone and not at all life-altering, but I enjoyed it as a light, fluffy and swoony read that is written way better than 50 Shades of Grey. If you liked 50 Shades of Grey and Bared to You, you will probably enjoy this series. 3.5/5 Stars.

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