2 1/2 out of 5 flames
I tried to read a Penny Birch novel a year or so ago but never finished it so when this one came in for review I figured I’d give the author another shot. According to my web research, Penny Birch has written some 100 or so novels under various names. Wow, that’s quite a body of work! I’m guessing there are a lot of folks secretly reading these and refusing to admit it because the reviews were few and far between. After reading this one cover to cover strictly for review purposes (of course) I can understand why. These are fetish books and really only recommended for those amongst us who are into pleasure/pain/degradation/purely reading it for the smutastic-ness that it is. You won’t find a smidge of romance here but you will find lots of reddened cheeks and copious body fluids spurted upon young pretty flesh by old, fat, and/or ugly as sin men.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Though I’ll read just about anything, I do need a whisper of a plot and at least one character I can latch on to. This book had neither and finishing it at times was a bit of chore. The author doesn’t waste time establishing any sort of meaningful relationships between her characters. It’s simply about the sex, the humiliation and the power plays. The setup goes something like this: a young woman’s evil step-mother to be sends her away to some hotel somewhere frequented by horny people who like to use and abuse pretty young “maids”. Jemima is given a skimpy maid outfit and is forced to wait on and submit to the guest’s sexual whims. But don’t be feeling all sorry and weepy for Jemima, she thrives on the attention, the money the old lechers provide and she initiates quite a bit of the punishment and the sex. Spanking makes her wild and dirty sex helps her find her happy place.
Now I am not squeamish by any means but I could only read so many scenes of gross men and women defiling the young heroine over and over again before I started feeling really dirty and more than a little squicked out. At one point Jemima comes across two hot men and comments on how nice it would be to have sex with someone handsome for a change. As we go deeper into the heroine, eh story, the sex gets increasingly messier. I’m not talking about the leaking c and p’s here folks, nor am I alluding to the usage of all three orifices (sometimes all at once), that stuff is almost vanilla here. What I’m talking is urine, snot, vomit and feces in all its graphic glory. That last one, I believe, is what did me in and had me reaching for the brain bleach. Maybe I am a wimp after all.
Ok, so as not to be known as Ms. Negativity I can honestly say this book does have some arousingly written scenes, especially earlier on before things got too gross for my personal comfort level. The author does a decent job of showing Jemima’s point of view and her craving for punishment and degradation and how it gives her a feeling of personal power. I never felt like Jemima was being used against her will, sure some of the nastier scenes got a little out of control but deep down she got off on it. I didn’t understand her or sympathize with her and I didn’t like her very much but hey I don’t think I was supposed to. This is a smutty fantasy (but not the paranormal kind) for those who like it extra dirty. If that’s your thing Penny Birch has plenty of books just for you. As for me? I think I need to go read something sweet and innocent about baby unicorns running through a meadow of wild flowers.