Sunday, December 12, 2010

Review: Hurt Me So Good by Joely Sue Burkhart

Hurt Me So Good by Joely Sue Burkhart
Genre: Adult/Erotic/ Romance/BDSM

From Goodreads:
Victor Connagher is no stranger to the Dallas BDSM scene. As CEO of a risqué cable channel that caters to adventurous adults, he ensures the lifestyle is portrayed in a positive light. He even supports a local bondage club. Yet behind the cool, confident mask, Victor lives in fear.
Once, and only once, he lost control of his inner Dom—and it cost him his fiancée. Now, no one knows how hard he works to keep his darker appetite for pain buried. No matter how much his saucy, confident associate producer makes his fingers itch to once again take up his riding crop.
Shiloh Holmes is a sub, but she’s no doormat. She’s always suspected Victor has the skills to feed her insatiable need for pain, and now she’s found the perfect way to crack his formidable control. Develop a new reality show, America’s Next Top sub…and dare him to compete.
Week after week, as Shiloh fearlessly challenges the real Victor to come out of hiding, he realizes his past mistake was only a blow to his pride. If he loses Shiloh, he could lose his heart.
Warning: Explicit sex, BDSM, reality television, a very reluctant Dom, an audacious sub willing to do anything to win for him, and one very wicked riding crop.

~~~~~~~~
Shiloh is in love with Victor, her boss. Cliché, you might think, but maybe you'd reconsider if I told you that Shiloh is into BDSM and she wants Victor to be her Master, knowing that he is a Dominant. Everyone has fantasies, but Shiloh took this one step further.
You see, Victor is the CEO of VCONN, a local Dallas TV channel which specializes in erotic shows. When they are in need of a new show, that will help increase ratings, something innovative and shocking, something that will enthrall viewers, Shiloh has the best idea.
One she'd been perfecting for months, having Victor in mind. She suggests that they make a reality-show called: America's Next Top Sub: Submit to the Master.
To get it started they audition well-known people from this scene and, of course, Victor, like the Dominant he is, cannot resist entering as well. For Shiloh that is the chance she had been waiting for, so she signs up, too, as a submissive.
What ensues changes their lives forever and reveals their deepest desires and needs and ties them together...

Review:
I actually got this ebook from Chrizette @ Everything's Just Peachy Today, because she didn't think she could finish it and I was curious about it.
I try to keep an open mind with anything and everything I read, so even though BSDM novels aren't really my thing or rather I haven't really read that much in this genre, I wanted to give it a chance.
I had read a couple of fanfictions which entailed a little adult play like that, as a courtesy to some friends, but I was generally unimpressed.
I know a lot of people have embraced this lifestyle choice, so I was curious to see how it was presented.

I have to admit that I was surprised by this book.
Initially, I thought it would be too “harsh” or too “distasteful” and I'm sure a lot of people think that, but overall I think it was a book I enjoyed for the ongoing struggle description, both physical and emotional.

Shiloh was a likable heroine, because even though she was a submissive, that was only in the bedroom, because in her real life, she was brave and strong-willed and knew exactly what she wanted and how to get it. I always admire characters that know what they want and fight to get it.
Shiloh was like that, relentless and persistent, but not in a bad way.

Her life wasn't easy and it actually made her unhappy how she could not find the one person that could truly love her for who she was and give her what she needed, without fear or shame. For her, punishment and pain given to her by the person she loves, is an indication of commitment and testament to both their loves for each other.
It's like the ultimate gift of trust and devotion anyone can ever give and it's what she craves.

She is capable of doing almost anything for her lover, but, sadly, no one has been able to hurt her as mush as she wants, so that she loses herself, feeling safe at the same time, because she knows that her lover is there to both punish and reward. It was the reason she parted ways with her previous lover, whom she loved, but he hated that part of her and they could not remain together.

Victor on the other hand, is a dominant. Meaning that he likes to inflict pain on his lover, not exactly as a punishment, but as an indication of their love for him. It should be mentioned though, that he is also a masochist, meaning that he also likes pain inflicted on him, because it helps keep him focused.
He is deeply disgusted with himself, because he has been taught to be a gentleman and, indeed, his need for pain, is not because he hates women, is not an act of hatred, but a promise of commitment and dedicating yourself completely to the desires of another person. It was really sad to see him suffer this much, because he was a good person, devoted and loyal and caring, but he thought that his "darker" self would scare his lovers away.

He really thinks he is a monster and he struggles to keep those needs in check, more so because he was once engaged to a woman he really cared about and she indulged him in his games.
He always held back for her, because he knew she only did it for him and didn't enjoy it.
Actually, Kimberly thought it was just a game, just a fantasy of his and that he didn't really enjoy it either, and was mortified when she realized that he was, so she abandoned him, leaving him heart-broken and wallowing in self-loathing and self-pity.

What's interesting to note here, is that it wasn't just the shock and the fear, it was the absolute disappointment that she couldn't make him happy, that she had let him down by not being able to endure that for him, to prove her love for him that way.
But Shiloh, is certain that she is able to do just that and she is willing to demonstrate.
~~~~~~
I really liked the writing in this book. The pace, the way the story proceeded, the characters. You really got a feel of them throughout the book and you learned to care for them, not just the protagonists but the secondary characters as well, mostly Mal in my case, but characters like Patrick and Andy were clearly defined, too.
The way Ms Burkhart immersed into the very psyches of both Victor and Shiloh, was amazing. For the most part, I found myself astounded by the detailed description of emotions and thoughts going through their heads at any moment. Even if you -like me- don't read that kind of books, I think you will appreciate the story for the romance it provides, because it is, at its core, a romantic novel of two people desperately trying to find love and acceptance, even though they think they don't deserve it, (mostly Victor and not Shiloh, because she really fights for what she wants), and even if he thinks that this somehow makes him less of a person, or a horrible person. I always understood why they acted the way that they did, even if I am not inclined to endure pain this way and I was happy for them. I really wanted them to end up together.

For me, due to my constant curiosity regarding everything and anything, it was enjoyable because it felt like a psychological study of two people, who generally are defined as Masochist and Sadist. Well, maybe not so technical, but it really opened my eyes as to what two people into the BDSM scene could be thinking and feeling. Plus, up until the middle of the story there was almost no scene I found unsettling or harsh, it was mostly thoughts and even though Ms Burkham has the ability of creating powerful and vivid imageries with her words, it was only the last few chapters that I found a bit harsher, since I'm not used to it. But, still, the descriptions of the emotions and the joy and catharsis they felt through that play, made me understand them better and, well, BDSM are acts among consenting adults who actually like that and we shouldn't forget it.
The ending really put a smile on my face. :)

Verdict: Hurt me so God is a novel which was written beautifully and evocatively with powerful imagery and insightful emotion and thoughts description and even if you are not into reading this genre, is still a good book for the romance it entails and you know what? I think I'd read a sequel! :)

Rating: I have to give this book something between 3 ½ and 4 stars because it was really well-written, even though I'm not really drawn to this genre. I think that if you enjoy reading this genre, this book could be a solid 4+ star because it was incredibly well-written and well-paced.


Find Joely Sue Brukhart
Online

Find the prequel to this story and more free reads by Ms Brukhart:
Here
Buy Hurt Me So Good at: Amazon

~ Kelly ~

28 comments:

Cherry said...

BDSM is not my thing too... wonder if the author writes in other genres... 'coz if this book is well written, her other books might be as well...

Kelly aka yllektra(I Work For Books) said...

Yes, she does write lovely, so I'm inclined to read more books by her. I think she is a really good writer and I loved how well she describes emotions!!

:)
Thanks for commenting!

Joely Sue Burkhart said...

Kelly, thank you so much for taking the time to read HMSG and write a review! I'm so glad that you enjoyed it.

Cherry, I also write romantic fantasy and science fiction romance with varying heat levels. Thanks for your interest!

Kelly aka yllektra(I Work For Books) said...

You are welcome!
I hadn't read anything like this before and I thought it was really great.

Also, romantic fantasy and Sci-Fi Romance sounds so good, too!
I will check it out! :)

Btw, will your books be released on Smashwords in different formats, as well?
I broke my kindle and I can't read Kindle books, atm :(

Thanks in advance! :)

Joely Sue Burkhart said...

Kelly, I don't know if my publishers will put the books up on Smashwords or not. However, all e-formats are available directly from the publisher bookstores (e.g. pdf, etc.). I'm hoping Santa brings me a Kindle for Christmas! I do a lot of reading on my iPhone using the Kindle app.

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