Saturday, January 16, 2021

Judgment by Denise Hall

 

I can't remember how this book crossed my radar. I think one of my readers recommended this to me because they thought I would enjoy it as well. And I did but it was a bit too hardcore for my tastes in places, especially with bits of borderline medical kink and a hell of a lot of caning and whipping.

This is like one of those enslavement eroticas that started coming out after FIFTY SHADES OF GREY forced open the gleaming doors of kink and everyone tried to race through it all at once while wearing fetish gear, trying to outdo each other in Who Could Write the Kinkiest Story That Ever Kinked (although I think it did it first, so there's that). It's a bit like a more brutal version of CAPTIVE IN THE DARK or COMFORT FOOD, only in a facility-like setting and with more girls. I'm pretty sure I read naughty fanfiction with this concept when I was a teen reading all that stuff I wasn't supposed to but did anyway because it was about anime shows I watched, so how bad could it be??? (She said, innocently, before being scarred for life.)

The heroine, Carrie/Mischief/Red is kidnapped and sold to this group of slavers who buy women and "train" them to be submissive and then sell them as sex slaves to rich and pervy men. But C/M/R captures the attentions of the head honcho, Tane, who decides he wants her all to himself. We know she escapes him at some point because parts of this story are with C/M/R being interviewed by detectives who have picked her up somewhere and want to get to the bottom of this trafficking case and find out more about her captors and the other women.

As I've said, it's pretty brutal. Corporal punishment, slave kink, non-con/dub-con, non-con TPE (so, slavery), trafficking, rape, abuse, and medical kink (speculums D:) are just some of the "joys" that await in this book. I found the story gripping enough that I didn't want to put it down but it doesn't end in a way that resolves any of the questions or provides any closure, so I guess you're supposed to pick up the next book to find out. I'm not sure I will. I did enjoy the story and thought the author did a decent job with the writing and the characters, but this was a bit too extreme and dark for me. I had similar issues with AS SHE'S TOLD, which has many of the same kinks in this book but all of them are consensual and, as with this book, someone recommended it to me and I found it fascinating but didn't love it.

2.5 to 3 out of 5 stars

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