Saturday, February 28, 2015

Restraint by Erica Chilson

Restraint (Mistress & Master of Restraint, #1)

Restraint by Erica Chilson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I originally picked up Restraint as a Kindle freebie back in July 2012. At that time, it was common for me to “buy” six to ten freebies a day, so it was pure randomness that I actually read it within a couple of weeks of “buying” it. Upon doing so I was immediately compelled to buy and read the next three books that were available in the series. And while I have read several of the revised editions of Restraint, this is actually the first time I’ve ever written a review. Why? For me, Ms. Chilson happens to be one of those authors whose books affect me so viscerally that I have a hard time expressing my love for her work. She is my kink equivalent of Kristen Ashley – someone whose books are at the top of my reread list when I’m in a particular mood and whose work I love so much that I feel like anything I say is inadequate. And while my review writing skills have improved over the past year as a blogger, I still find myself grasping for the words that properly convey the depth of emotions I experienced when I read the 5th edition of Restraint.

As our criminal justice system has improved over the decades, I am fortunately among what seems to be becoming a minority in this country – a woman who has never been sexually assaulted, molested, or intimidated. I share this fact because I feel it is important to note that in the case of Restraint I have absolutely no personal experience from which to draw upon. Yet, Ms. Chilson has such a way with the English language that I felt Katya’s emotional violation each and every time she relived her assault in her dreams and memories. And while the act itself is horrific, there is a beauty in the way the author conveys Kat’s memory of the events and how with each recollection, more and more details about that fateful day are revealed to her by her subconscious mind – something I can appreciate due to my education. Even though the catalyst for Kat’s story is that day, Restraint is actually about the first part of Katya’s journey to healing and becoming who she was meant to be. That she takes this journey accompanied by a merry band of psychopaths (not really and said with affection) makes her tale all that more interesting. Even though this is easily the 10th time I have read Restraint, I still find myself overwhelmed by the sexual chemistry between Kat and Ezra, and Kat and Cort. Despite her past, or maybe because of her past, Kat’s need for dominance and submission is palpable as is the way she responds to those around her. Yet I feel I should note that Restraint is not an orgy – there is little actual sex, but there is tons of sexual tension and seduction occurring. Oh boy is there ever!

Restraint is the first book in the Mistress & Master of Restraint series and this (final) edition lays the groundwork for the entire series – of sorts. Ms. Chilson does an excellent job of introducing us to many of the key players, especially Ezra, Cortez, Aaron, and Queen, as well as acquainting the reader with a couple of characters earlier in the series than previously occurred. As someone who has read books 1-11 (most of them multiple times), it is easy for me to see where the author has tightened the storyline, closed plot holes that developed in later books, and provided more foreshadowing of future events that won’t mean anything to newcomers until the secrets are revealed later in the series but fans of the series will be thinking “oooohhh, I know what that means” while grinning like a loon <= yes, I did that several times while reading this edition of Restraint. I absolutely loved revisiting Katya and the gang and cannot wait to see what changes Ms. Chilson makes to Unleashed, hopefully sooner rather than later as I find myself drawn back into the world of Restraint, a ready and willing observer of the games afoot.

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