Rating: 3.5 stars
I really didn’t know what to expect when I received this novella. I haven’t heard or followed Ms. Maine’s Dolls & Doms series on her blog, but I was curious. I’ve read, as I’m sure so has everyone else out there, many books where the male is the dominant and the the female was the submissive, so to read a story where the roles were reversed interested me. However, that wasn’t exactly what I got either – which surprised and delighted me.
The story is about Black Betty, we find out her real name later, who is one of the star Doms at Dolls & Doms in Vegas. Dressed in a leather corset, spiked heels and sporting a whip, Black Betty has been hired to entertain movie star, Alistair Ingram, at his bachelor party. Something about him reminded her of the previous men in her life – “someone that needed to be taught a lesson” – so she strays from club policy which leaves Alistair with red blisters on his skin. But something happens while Black Betty and Alistair are behind closed doors – something Black Betty has never let happen – which ignites something in both of them (get your mind out of the gutter people – it’s not sex!). After their encounter that evening, events occur that lead the media to “out” Black Betty causing her past to catch up with her and causing Alistair to make a drastic change in his life.
After the night at Dolls & Doms, the story really seems to develop and take off. Because it is told in 3rd person point of view, you get a glimpse inside both Alistair and Black Betty’s heads and learn a lot about who they are. Black Betty fascinated me. When she started peeling back her layers, you understood that she had so much hidden and buried and why Alistair was actually good for her. I’ll be honest, I really didn’t like Alistair all that much, at least at first. If I was Black Betty, I would’ve done a lot worse to him that first night (yes I really did just say that)! He’s arrogant and kind of a dick. However, as he started showing why he was like that, he began to grow on me as did their relationship.
I did find myself wanting more from both Alistair and Black Betty. Sometimes I felt like their relationship was all sex and control, but nothing more. I think I wanted a little bit more depth to their relationship especially since they each gave up so much to be with one another. Ultimately, I just felt a little disconnected to both of their characters and I never really found out who they are. I know they were both dealing with inner demons but it felt like there were two sides to their personalities. With Alistair there was the British, caring guy and then there was the Hollywood movie star guy. With Black Betty, there was a take crap from no one Dom and then there was a scared and broken girl. Both of their personalities were around so I never knew what to expect. I hope in the next installment this clears up a bit.
This is a short read and it really does have a lot of character development, despite being a novella. Alistair & Black Betty’s story is not over and I look forward to reading what happens next with them. Their relationship is anything but black and white and I think that’s what I liked most about it!