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The Submissive - Book Review

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by Chrystal Byrne (subscribe)
Freelance writer living on Brisbane's north side. Studied creative industries - currently studying library and information services.
Published January 7th 2013
The Worldwide Phenomenon
Fifty Shades of Grey (2011, E. L. James) blasted open a huge niche in the world of books. I mean, sure, romances and erotica were read before but normally away from the judging eyes of others. Since the huge success of the Fifty Shades trilogy and its portrayal of bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, and sadism/masochism (BDSM) other romance/erotica novels are finding themselves splashed into the spotlight, including novels written before Fifty Shades' time. The Fifty Shades trilogy has made reading romance and erotica novels 'the norm' with fans openly browsing, buying and burying themselves in similar books.

Before I continue, I must state that I myself have not read the Fifty Shades trilogy by E. L. James. It's not that I've set myself against it (I probably will read it eventually) I just haven't felt the need to read it yet. Despite this, I recently finished a novel that I assume would be much like the famed Fifty Shades of Grey. It was gifted to me, by someone who has read and owns the Fifty Shades trilogy, and I was intrigued enough to give it a go. With its sleek white cover, silver lettering and image of a riding crop, I knew what I was getting myself into: The Submissive by Tara Sue Me.

The Submissive by Tara Sue Me
The Submissive by Tara Sue Me

Interestingly enough The Submissive started off as fan-fiction, published online under the same title and pen name. It is said to have been based on the Twilight novels (Stephenie Meyer) that, much like the aforementioned phenomena of Fifty Shades of Grey, drove vampire/human and other such supernatural romance novels into the mainstream. Apparently The Submissive, and the two novels following it (The Dominant and The Training), were written before Fifty Shades' time and this has caused much unease in the online world due to huge similarities between the novels.

The Submissive is told from the perspective of Miss Abby (Abigail) King, a librarian. The novel begins with Abby entering the office of the highly esteemed billionaire, Nathaniel West, in the hopes of becoming his latest Submissive. What follows from there are the expected dominant/submissive scenes, sex, feelings, sex, bondage/discipline, public sex, love and more sex. The story isn't hard to follow and the language isn't verbose; it's all pretty simple. The sex scenes are sure to get readers a bit hot under the collar but the plot itself is a little bit predictable, and sometimes corny. But hey, maybe it was only me that guessed the ending before it came (pun not intended).

Comparing Abby King and Nathaniel West to Bella Swan and Edward Cullen, the star-crossed lovers of the Twilight sensation, it is easy to see where Tara Sue Me got her inspiration. Abby is a fairly quiet, pretty do-gooder who falls madly in love with the handsome, brooding dominant-male-type, Nathaniel. That's Bella and Edward all over. Of course, Edward didn't get Bella naked, chain her up and do her over with a riding crop.

The Submissive by Tara Sue Me was published in book-form by Red Publishing in 2012. It is a novel of 333 pages and, if you enjoy erotica or even the Fifty Shades trilogy by E. L. James, it is well worth the read.
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