I’ve said a gazillion times that I love Alison Tyler’s stories, and two of her most delightful works are the first and second book in her Story of Submission series, Dark Secret Love and The Delicious Torment. In anticipation of the third novel, Wrapped Around Your Finger, coming out in barely over a month, it seemed a fine time to share my full thoughts on the beauty contained within the first two books. And—as an ode to Alison Tyler’s work—I figured two at once was the only way to go. 😉
If you have never read an Alison Tyler story, here are the main things you need to know: they are traditionally rich, vivid, and deep, but most importantly, they’re real. Her characters don’t just intrigue you; they jump out of the pages, take your wrists, and drag you into the backseat of a speeding car destined for a journey full of sights, sounds, ideas, and memories. You won’t read her work—you’ll feel it. Part of this is Ms. Tyler’s almost confessional style, but the bulk of the reason is that there’s not just sexy going on, there’s much, much more—images you want to savor, dialogue that makes your heart skip, and truth that makes you tilt your head and breathe out a big, deep sigh before turning the page for more.
The first book, Dark Secret Love, introduces us to a woman named Samantha who has an itch that needs to be scratched—but it’s deeper than that, an essence of being, a real soul-yearning ache that carries us through her early days in BDSM and onward into her relationship with the incredibly sexy Jack. As Ms. Tyler weaves her magic, you can feel everything as raw and tantalizingly sweet as Sam does, both in her head and on her skin. Jack is a Dom who knows exactly what he craves, but also what Sam needs—and he wants to take her there. Some of these places are gritty and raw, but all of them expose who she is and how much he cares for her. His love is hard. It’s rough. It colors in and outside of the lines, sometimes with hues so intense they make you a little uncomfortable. But no matter what, goddamn, it’s good.
In the next book, The Delicious Torment, we follow the budding relationship between Jack and Samantha, and also get a peek at the true role of Jack’s assistant, Alex. The evolution of all three relationships paired with the overall dynamic is powerful as it unfolds. For starters, Sam has been coming into her own and uncovering her true desires, which leads her to deeper connections with Jack. Meanwhile, he is living up to his Dom nature in new and more adventurous ways, making the heat level between these two scorch the pages. But then there’s Alex—a man who’s not as hard as Jack, but equally exciting and intriguing. There is a scene in the middle of this book between Alex and Samantha that—months after reading—has still stuck out to me. This scene is where everything gets more complicated (that’s all I’ll say other than read it), but let’s say it opens up a door—now there are higher stakes, heavier emotions, and as if this book wasn’t already smoking before…well, things just got real fucking hot.
I have many favorite erotic reads, but one of the things that’s always made me love Alison Tyler’s style a bit more is that it’s conversational and fast-paced. I whip through her work quicker than anyone else’s—her writing is rich yet straightforward, not to mention mouth-wateringly captivating. She breaks rules in all the right ways, and her voice is so strong, you can almost picture her winking at you as she wraps you up in all her pretty words and makes you really, truly feel them.
But of course, you’ll probably be too lost in her tale to notice, because she’s that good.
So, if you haven’t already checked out Dark Secret Love and its sequel, The Delicious Torment, I highly suggest you do. And if you’re lucky, you’ll finish just in time to get sucked into the madness like the rest of us, all eagerly awaiting the release of Wrapped Around Your Finger in September.
Enjoy the ride.