Velvet Need by Sean Michael
I'm not a huge fan of BDSM, which may make you wonder why I was reading a novel all about it. There was a sale, I'll leave it at that. And yet...this novel was very good. Even if some of the subject matters weren't to my liking, the writing was done in such a sensual/sexual way that I found it enjoyable.The characters aren't flat and they both struggle with their place in the dynamic, eventually finding their balance within the relationship. While, obviously, BDSM practices are a core element of the story and sex, the author did a fantastic job of balancing them with development of characters and plot (although plot is mostly through the characters). While plot is important, it is mostly a tool to drive the character development and exploration.
Warning: Contains BDSM and the use of sounds/wands, enemas, fisting
The doctor. I was very wary of Lutrell when we were first introduced to him for several reasons. One, he giggled a lot, which I initially was concerned meant the writing was going to be bad, but it turned out just to be a character trait that I later kind of loved. Two, he was a Top with several interests that didn't, well, interest me. But as the story continued, I learned to love his laughing and his light-hearted nature, and while his sexual interests still don't do it for me, the affection and tenderness he puts into his work amends that.
Sensuality. The tenderness and care with which the sex was described, mixed with the complete abandon of passion and enjoyment made even descriptions of things that aren't enjoyable to me sound pleasant.
Writing. The writing is very smooth and Michael does an excellent job of writing two very different characters from two different perspectives.
Again, some of the sexual practices weren't "my cup of tea," so to speak, but they were well handled, not gruesome or too detailed, but instead sensual.
Plot. There is a plot, just very little. Hard-working business man thinks he's a top, a Top shows him how to let go, HWBM gets kidnapped and tortured and Top has to re-coop him. That's the basic plot, and if this wasn't in outer space (aka, not our real world), I'd question some of the legal elements. As it is, we chalk it up to "well, it's an outer space thing" and move on. The action plot is minimal, the emotional plot is the focus.