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TheFangirl

The Fangirl

Long time geek, fangirl, mother, and reader. I've got a lot to say, you might not like it all, but it will be honest and hopefully helpful.

SPOILER ALERT!

Women and fans of BDSM Deserve Better Than This.

Impossible Desires - Tamsin Baker

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

 

I give period pieces a lot of leverage when portraying kink. Given the oppressive attitudes about sex in general. So I allow for the treatment and attitudes toward kink to differ from modern safe, sane and consensual practices. That being said, it’s still important to avoid reenforcing inaccurate stereotypes about people in kink, but I suppose one has to know what a healthy kink relationships looks like in the first place.

Impossible Desire not only doesn’t deliver on its promises, but relies on one of the most offensive BDSM cliches around, and feeds into popular misogynistic stereotypes about strong women. It’s a slap in the face to female readers specifically looking for erotica featuring sexually dominant women, and a poorly written one at that.

 

Even if it weren't for the misrepresentation of BDSM and sexism, this book still has a lot of issues. There are modern words and terms littered through out the book, not to mention a lot of misspelled words. The references to the Regency setting were strong at the start of the book, the quickly became riddled with inaccuracies and inconsistencies as the book went on. 


Spoilers after the cut.

Good GOD, where to begin?

First, the story starts with a lot of promise, Eleanor is a self confident and seductive woman, who cleverly uses the privilege of being a widow to her advantage. Gareth is a bachelor who has put off marrying for as long as he could, but now must relent. Sadly, he’s not interested in any of the innocent, virginal girls that society has to offer. And of course he’s yearning for something more. That’s when Eleanor appears, literally from the shadows, to change his life.

They flirt, dance around each other for two days, at two different parties. The story and relationships is barely building momentum when all of sudden they have sex. Eleanor literally bends over a chair, lifts her skirt and says ‘you may fuck me now.’ What proceeds is a clumsily choreographed, and laughably bad, extremely vanilla sex scene. Where Eleanor’s ‘moist canal’ is ‘pounded.’ (I wish I was joking.)

All the sexual tension that had been built bleeds away, while I wondered why the author didn’t realize that delaying sex would work better both for the story and the authenticity of a D/s relationship. Soon enough it became clear that this story isn’t very accurate portrayal of real kink play.

The story goes downhill from there. Gareth visits Eleanor lavish house. She gives him zero explanation of the BDSM, kink or any real warning before slapping him for asking if she’s sleeping with her butler. He grabs her face and kisses her, this pretty much sets the tone for their sexual and kink interactions. No respect, no consent and not an stitch of healthy, mature interaction through the rest of the book.

We learn that Eleanor was introduced to kink by her dead husband, who used to use it to abuse and rape her, great teacher. I will conceded that the brand of BDSM presented in the story is abusive and dangerous, so that part make sense. However, it also plays into one of the worst stereotypes about kinky people, aka that we’re all victims of abuse who are so broken by our experiences we can’t enjoy ‘normal’ sex.

‚Ä®Impossible Desire goes one step further, and has Eleanor’s desire to dominate stem from her damaged psyche, and of course, Gareth heals her by dominating her during sex. Because all a strong, dominant woman needs is a man strong enough to put her in her place, right? *throws up*

Gareth is an emotional infant, who vacillates betokening being jealous, possessive and extremely horny, with very little real personality. He is a sexually confused, walking hard-on, and he’s boring.

Eleanor is equally immature, and irresponsible in her training of a new submissive. She’s also vindictive and abusive toward Gareth, essentially manipulating him into proposing to her and ultimate serves as a straw feminist and sexual dominant.

Both characters acted like shallow teenagers, but I attribute that to the overall immaturity of the writing and storytelling. This is just a Regency era step-child of Beautiful Disaster and Fifty Shades of Grey. The best thing I can say about it is that at leasts it's not a full length novel.