February 8, 2012

Review: Taking her Boss by Alegra Verde

I've picked Taking her Boss as my first review because it's actually a pretty interesting example of some of the things I like and really object to in a book. 

Glory is happily being fucked by a client from work when her boss walks in. Bruce Davies is not especially upset but sees her in a different light and wants her to consider dominating him. Glory doesn't really want to, her internal monologue is unsure and not especially turned on by it,  but she begins to find that life is good when she tells him what to do. When she has a sexual encounter with him, he rewards the whole office with his good mood. When she ignores him, he stomps around like a bear with a sore head.

The relationship is quite interesting and as a submissive, Bruce is clear and unashamed about what he wants. He's a much better character than Glory imo. He wants her to dominate him and he wants to make a relationship of sorts work between them. Glory on the other hand is a strongly opinionated character who is pretty clear that she is uncomfortable but neither stops, nor admits to herself that she likes it.

I really like that this story isn't all about BDSM clubs, pathetic sniveling male submissives and whips. It's a normal kind of guy, who has fixated on a strong, sexual woman. The sex scenes are very hot, without being over the top or completely unrealistic fantasy.

Taking her Boss is written in the first person and has a slightly snarky tone and the suggestion that you are getting a bias view point, which I find enjoyable. But I really struggle with the implication that Glory isn't really enjoying dominating Bruce, that she is "uncomfortable" with it. There is conflict between the fact that she in some ways gets off on dominating him but she will only do it if he demands it. She's doing it because he's demanding it rather than because she likes it. There's a suggestion that she does like being dominant and that she won't admit it to herself - but I'm not sure if I'm really reading that or if I'm hoping that it's the case. This is admittedly an interested dynamic, of a strong woman dominating a man because he is in a position of authority and is making her do it. If that was all, I could deal with that, as it's interesting to explore that power dynamic. However, at one point she speculates:

"I even wondered if his crazy sex habits were the reason he and his wife divorced". 

WTF?? I really have a big problem with that. It suggests that the 'normal' or 'correct' way round is for the man to be dominant. The story line somewhat plays that implication out, with Bruce taking a dominant (or certainly, a leading) role in some of the sex scenes.

All those reservations aside, this is a very hot story with some great femdom type scenes. I'm going to give it the benefit of the doubt and label it femdom, as I'm hoping that Glory will sort it out and decide that she likes being in charge. It probably just about classifies as a romance, as there is an implication of HFN.

Overall, a good but short B-, with reservations about the sub-text.

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