March 3, 2012

Review: Natural Law by Joey Hill

So far there has been a theme on this blog of books that don't quite do it for me, for one reason or another. I'm going to spectacularly break that trend by talking about one of the best books I've ever read. I keep returning to read Natural Law because I believe in the relationship it portrays.

Mac is a homicide detective working on a case of a domme killing submissive men. All the victims so far have been members of The Zone, an exclusive BDSM club, so Mac is sent undercover to The Zone to investigate. There he catches the attention of Violet. Their attraction is instant and sizzling. Their first confrontation is just that - a battle of wills. He tells her to go for an easier target, she responds by thrusting her riding crop between his testicles. So there's no lack of physicality in this relationship, which makes it all the more surprising that what really works is the emotional side of it.

Mac has always treated BDSM as a workout; Violet calls him on this and won't fall for his tricks or accept anything less than the total submission of his "heart, soul and cock" to her. Both characters seemed real to me, I think because they had existence outside of the their straight D/s dynamic. That is to say, when Violet was not being The Dom, she was a human being, with normal wants, needs, emotions, a dog and a job. Lots of stories seem to 'soften' their female doms by giving them secret submissive tendencies, or have them be absolute cold, heartless bitches all the the time. Violet is neither. She is a dominant and doesn't need to prove that to herself or anything else. She doesn't need to be sadistic and mean to show that she's on top, but there's never any doubt that she's the boss. The only question is whether she is the right dom for Mac, and whether he will accept that she is.

It's funny, because although there are several scenes in Natural Law which involve multi-partner play, or at least spectators, the main focus is always the developing relationship between Mac and Violet. This book doesn't get so caught up in hot bdsm sex that it forgets about the feelings of the main protagonists. It does rather forget about the murder suspense sub-plot, but to be honest, that doesn't bother me in the least (though if you're expecting a proper thriller, you will be disappointed). The main part of the book takes part in a relatively small amount of time, but there is progression to it, development from strangers and sex to two people in love.

There is really very little that I don't like about Natural Law. Alright, there is something I don't like about Natural Law. I think the cover is naff. The woman's fingers freak me out a bit. It's not bad, but it is very 90's and naff. I won't hold that against it though.


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