22 Apr '13

A Nix FemDom Review – Still by Ann Mayburn (4.5 Stars)

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Dr. Michelle Sapphire and Gunnery Sergeant Wyatt Callahan formed an unbreakable bond and an unacknowledged, forbidden attraction to each other while serving together in Afghanistan. Their lives are forever changed when a mortar attack grievously wounds Wyatt and Michelle brings him back from the brink of death. But when they both return to the civilian world, Michelle discovers that her rock-solid Marine is suffering from severe PTSD and may even be suicidal.

Wyatt Callahan fell hard for the aristocratic blonde doctor the moment he laid eyes on her. After reentering civilian life in his hometown near Austin, Texas, Wyatt is plagued by nightmares of the death and suffering he witnessed during the war. He’d love to reach out to Michelle, but — Michelle is a Dominatrix, and she has made it very clear to Wyatt she isn’t interested in a relationship with anyone who doesn’t accept her lifestyle. An Alpha male to the core, he can’t imagine the appeal of being submissive. At the same time, the idea of serving Michelle, of being everything she wants and needs, rings true in his wounded soul.

Michelle has dark secrets of her own, and together with Wyatt she will have to battle her personal demons during their emotional journey of healing, redemption, and love

I don’t know why I love FemDom but I do. The problem with this genre is that there are very few that are written well.  Some authors make their Dommes cold, unfeeling bitches and this creates a character that I, as a reader, cannot connect with. In this book, Ann Mayburn does not make that mistake. She has created damaged and vulnerable characters that hooked on my heart strings and made me feel. The introduction made me cry; I knew that this was going to be a book that played with me.
Wyatt is a troubled man suffering with PTSD after serving in the army. Spiralling out of control he decides that the only way forward is to turn to the woman who offered to Top him years before, the woman who attracts him like no other and can possibly save him; Michelle. I loved that the author had decided to go with this particular storyline. The realities of PTSD were shown realistically and sensitively throughout the book and it was the perfect emotional hook for me; I wanted him to be able to control his attacks. I was willing to put up with a lot from this woman as long as she could help him which was lucky, because she put him through a lot when she was dealing with her own issues.  All throughout the book I could see that he truly wanted to get help; that he didn’t want to suffer from these attacks and my heart broke when he did. I could see how ceding control would work for him, the only thing I wasn’t convinced about was his ability to actually cede control (although the nipple piercing was a nice show of willingness…I liked that).
Michelle was a more complex issue for me as sometimes I liked her and sometimes I felt she let her issues influence the way she treated Wyatt. As a Domme during scenes, or Domina, she was amazing. She didn’t allow sex to be the main driving force of their relationship and she eased him into the relationship without ever allowing him to get too comfortable. The sex scenes, when they did happen, were fabulous and truly creative (making the sub make the sex furniture? Hot!). However, Michelle had some issues herself which, although didn’t stop her being a fabulous Domme in the bedroom, did make some of the other scenes more uncomfortable. It was an interesting twist on the typical D/s tale as the Domme was truly more out of control than the sub and I felt that, if there hadn’t been another Domme there in the form of Yuki, I wouldn’t have been comfortable with it. Although the saying is true about the sub having the majority of the power in the relationship, control is handed over and, once it is, it is trusted that it shall not be abused.  Michelle did and said things that were not very respectful of the trust that Wyatt had placed in her, and they certainly showed that that trust wasn’t completely reciprocated, and it was left to Yuki to reel her in. On a side note, I adored Yuki and James. I wouldn’t mind reading more about their story J
The depth of emotion in this tale is astounding. It isn’t an easy ride for characters or readers as these characters continue to struggle with the trauma of their past whilst stepping into a fledgling relationship. It is a series book and the next book features the same characters on a continuation of their journey. I don’t mind this. I think the issues that these characters face will continue to throw new challenges at their relationship and I can’t wait to see how they overcome it!
Overall, this is a very good start to a FemDom series that I will continue with. I’m intrigued by the emotional ties between these two war-broken people and it has ensured I will buy the next one. Of course, the smoking sex and Alpha sub helped make my mind up too….


Nix

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