by K.L. Silver
review by Mark McCawley
by K.L. Silver
K.L. Silver, publisher; 1st ed. (February 16, 2014)
US $11.69 Paperback | US $6.01 Kindle |
9 x 6 inches, 200pp
Weary of secrets, Of shame and denying,
A lifetime of stories, Excuses, and lying,
Dark nights lying awake, Frightened and crying,
With society’s eyes, Judgmental and prying.
Existing in limbo, No peace in her soul
Just shadow and smoke, And a vast gaping hole.
Submissive by nature, Now taking its toll,
Shan’t ever confess, Yearns a Master’s control.
(MASTERED, the Poem, p.6)
K.L. Silver’s Mastered is a rather unorthodox Romantic Erotic Novel. Unorthodox in that it is self-published; unorthodox in that it includes elements of the BDSM lifestyle, primarily the Master/Slave (dominant/submissive) dynamic featuring explicitly erotic scenes of bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, and sadism/masochism.
With the explosive runaway success of E. L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey in 2011, Silver’s book is one of many hoping to repeat James’ success. That sort of lightening, though, seldom if ever strikes twice.
MASTERED is the story of Missy Weaver and James Colton. Missy, a divorced single mother of one son, plagued with low self-esteem with a drunken bully for an ex-husband. Deeply submissive, she is terrified of being labelled ‘deviant’, so she buries her true submissive nature, and its place, constructs an unfulfiling but socially ‘acceptable’ half-life, where she exists in quiet self-denial. She encounters James Colton, “a Dominant to the bone,” while grocery shopping one evening after work. “While she had no idea who he was, she instinctively knew what he was. No matter that she wasn’t able to assign it a word.” (MASTERED, p.7)
Weak-kneed and goggle-eyed, Missy was the proverbial deer, paralyzed in the hypnotic headlights which were his eyes. Without a word, he gazed down at her — into her. She was powerless to look away.
Written in Third Person Omniscient point of view, this form of narration allows the narrator to move freely through time and space, giving essential information in a smaller amount of time, and revealing what multiple characters are thinking within a given scene, chapter, or novel. This point of view works particularly well with the episodic nature of genre, or formula fiction. And Silver uses this point of view to vivid effect, for instance:
The intoxicating sight before him was humanly impossible to resist. James was not reticent. He smartly delivered three stinging slaps to each quivering cheek, producing what he considered to be the perfect shade of scarlet. He had no doubt that Picasso himself would be envious. Missy’s asshole contracted deliciously around his phallus in tandem with each blow. On the sixth and final smack, her entire body convulsed as she orgasmed anally. As she moaned and shuddered, the strength of her orgasm milked his cock. There was no more holding back. At that moment, wild horses couldn’t have stopped him…
She belonged with him and to him. She was the perfect yin to his Yang, the perfect follow to his Lead. Most significant, she was the perfect woman to his Man. She relived the collaring ceremony for what had to be the umpteenth time.
First, James transformed the sofa in his office into a comfortably appointed queen-sized bed. Next, he sat on its edge, having her kneel up from her customary position at his feet. He removed the silver chain from around her neck. Immediately, she felt nervous and naked without it. Not understanding, she wondered if he was displeased with her.
He then produced a flat, square box, seemingly out of thin air. Opening it, James allowed her a glimpse of its contents. A black leather collar sat atop a cloud of shredded silver tissue paper. Polished to a deep, lustrous sheen, it was lined with luxurious sheepskin. Three sturdy, silver O-rings were placed strategically. The largest was perfectly centered while the two smaller flanked it on either side.
The rings were secured to the thick collar with what appeared to be three small, perfectly-cut diamonds. Each demanded the eye of the beholder, glittering haughtily against their backdrop of blackest leather.
Placed within the circle created by the collar was the bloom from a single red rose. Before sliding it behind her ear, he gallantly attempted to untangle her sweat and sofa-matted hair. It was a wasted effort.
Missy recounted his every word, verbatim. “This collar signifies that you belong to me unequivocally, little one. If you accept it, it will represent an immutable decision on both our parts. Its meaning is deep and steeped in tradition. You must recognize the gravity of this moment, and base your decision on that understanding.”
He continued, “The choice that you make here and now is absolute. You will be my love and my whore, at my whim and for my pleasure.
The one recurring flaw within this type of Romantic Erotic genre, though, is its sole dependance upon the female sexual fantasy of being taken care of by a sexy, stronger, imposing, economically independent male. The same flaw exists in MASTERED as it does in Fifty Shades of Grey or in any title of the genre of formula fiction.
Those in the BDSM lifestyle come in all shapes and sizes, economic standing, as well as sexual orientations. One way MASTERED could have made itself distinct from other titles within the genre, would have been for K.L. Silver to delve more deeply into the psycho-sexual roots and compulsions of her character’s domination and submissive obsessions. Although K.L. Silver seldom deviates from the formula of genre fiction, it is exactly when she does so that her story and characters — and most of all her readers — benefit most from this writer’s transgressive, fecund imagination. UG
K.L. SILVER is a justice-minded, left-handed Libra. A global thinker, she believes that each and every one of us can make a difference. K.L. fantasizes regularly of a more open-minded and compassionate society.
She grew up and still resides on the frozen prairies of central Canada. At the tender age of fourteen, she left friends, family, and country to train at the National Academy of Artistic Gymnastics in Eugene, Oregon. The only Canadian, she spent seven hours a day in the gym with a serious eye towards the Olympics. She quickly learned the meaning of commitment, loneliness, pain and yes – even hunger.
When considering a genre for her first novel, K.L. had only to recall the sharp visceral reaction she experienced after reading ’The Story of O’. Just sixteen years old, she discovered the once-banned novella buried deep in the cushions of an old couch. Naughtily, she slipped it into her fringed hippie shoulder bag faster than you could say ‘Twiggy purges’!
She read it gob-smacked and goggle-eyed, and then she re-read it; this time with the kind assistance of Sir Webster, the Dictionary.
Long story short; MASTERED’s seeds were planted a long, long time ago.
Currently, K.L. Silver is working on the sequel. Her children, whom she adores, are grown and, thankfully – self-sufficient. She lives quietly with her dog, Tiger, and equates yoga and writing with sanity.