Review: Submission At The Tower by Felicity Brandon


Author: Felicity Brandon

Genre: Erotica, BDSM, Romance

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My rating: 5 out of 5

Blurb: This is not a love story. This is the story of the hunger inside of me which must be fed before it consumes me entirely…

After a chance encounter with a handsome stranger introduces her to The Tower, an institution that trains women in submission, Janie McClusky is irresistibly drawn to the place. But admittance comes at a price, and soon enough Janie is utterly bare and fully on display, blushing crimson as the men at The Tower thoroughly explore her body, bringing her pain, pleasure, and shame as they see fit.

As Janie’s training begins, there is one man among the group who seems to know her own needs better than she does, and before long she finds herself yearning and even begging for his touch. But if she relinquishes control completely to this captivating stranger and allows him to break down her remaining defences, will there be any coming back at all?

When you are faced with your strongest temptation, deepest longing, most shameful fantasy, buried under layers of social masks and acceptable behavior, will you embrace it or will you run away scared, like you did all your life? Will you surrender to the calling coming from the depth of your soul or will you withdraw to the comfort of your shell, forever asking the question “what if”? How do you get over the habit of resisting your urges when you have been fighting all your life?

2These are some of the questions the heroine of Submission At The Tower must answer for herself during the most intense, humiliating, painful and arousing audition. The audition to be accepted in the Tower, a mysterious club meant to bring fantasies to life and train submissive women. Janie finally can have an abundance of what she always craved and get in touch with the desire to submit, with her slutty side, to get over the fear of being labeled as a “whore” and let the wave carry her away. All this can be hers, if she finds the strength to get over the resistance and her own pride, to embrace her new role at the feet of the man who understands her needs and nature better than anyone.

This is the first book by Felicity Brandon I read, however, it will surely not be the last one. Her writing is flowing, well-structured, beautiful to read. Submission At The Tower is a perfect balance between dirty, shameless eroticism and emotional intensity. It is as if the reader experiences all that Janie goes through during her journey through the world of kink and domination.

The characters were very well-drawn and felt real even if the whole setting was meant to be more about a fantasy and was somehow surreal. I loved that the heroine was a more mature woman with life experience and not the usual wide-eyed ingenue and innocent. Still, that didn’t prevent Janie from being awkward and clumsy like a blushing schoolgirl during her first attempts at submission. The conflicting emotions were overwhelming her and she’d often go from shy and somehow prideful person to a woman fully confident whom Master she wanted to belong to.

That brings us to Shaw, the man Janie feels instant chemistry for and her guide through the audition and initiation. In many ways, I feel he was a great Dominant with quiet strength and hypnotic, alluring presence. It was no wonder that Janie was instantly drawn to him. He’d be the perfect Master for a woman like her who wants to learn how to surrender. A person used to be in control needs a subtle yet firm guidance during such a scary transition, from an independent woman into a willing submissive. Someone harsher and colder would have either completely broken her or would have steeled her resolution to fight back. The moments when he lost himself in his sudden passion for “number 16” were quite endearing, as well as boiling hot erotic.

As for the sex scenes, Felicity truly knows how to make even the harshest kink and most humiliating tasks appear like the most sensual and exciting experience that can happen to a girl. Even the things I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy reading about, let alone going through in real life suddenly were so seductive I longed to be in Janie’s place.

So, the book has a strong story, amazing erotica, and intense characters. In time those two characters would become a perfect synch of dominance and submission once they allowed the wave to bring them together.

My biggest problem was exactly that, the time. The whole book takes place in one day, which was way too overwhelming and a little rushed. Even though I understood the characters I don’t feel like I truly got to know them in the context of the outside world. What is Janie’s social history, first kinky thoughts, and feelings, her past relationships, why is she fighting so strong. All we really learn about her is that she is a very sensual woman in her late thirties and that she’s been fighting for respect all her life but that didn’t satisfy me. Shaw is an even bigger mystery. And The Tower? How does it function exactly? How was it ever founded and how did Shaw find himself as one of the Masters? What happens after the end of the week at the Tower? Do the women walk away more sure of themselves and their submissive nature or do they continue visiting that strange, erotic place?

Perhaps we’ll get all the answers in the next book and I really hope there will be one. All of this didn’t diminish my enjoyment of the story and the exploration they went through. However, it left me hungry and in need of more. So I hope that Felicity will bring us back to the Tower soon enough. There is so much left to learn about the world she created.

Even if pain and humiliation are not your particular kinks, I’d strongly recommend this book to anyone with interest in human nature and sexuality. It’s a great example of erotica done right.

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