Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Blog Tour + Review + Excerpt: Beyond the Compound by Claire Thompson



Title: Beyond The Compound
Series: The Compound
Author: Claire Thompson
Genre: Erotic Romance
Publish Date: October 3, 2014
Review Source: eARC



 

After two months of intensive BDSM training at The Compound, Hailey Davenport is ready to be placed with a Master to whom she will promise complete sensual submission and obedience. Thinking her contract has been purchased by the kind, older gentleman at the auction, she is surprised to be whisked by private jet to the Malibu home of a reclusive movie star.

Ronan Wolfe is devastatingly handsome, wildly famous, hugely successful, and utterly miserable, trapped in a plastic world of Hollywood typecasting and more handlers than a prized race horse. Hailey, a quiet, self-contained yoga instructor from a small Vermont town, doesn’t own a TV or computer, and rarely goes to a movie. Ronan is shocked but pleased to realize her focus is entirely on their D/s connection—she knows him only as Master Ronan. Their relationship blossoms from the start, each of them eager to explore the intense world of erotic dominance and sensual surrender.

Their lives are turned upside down by invasive paparazzi determined to “out” the couple, no matter the cost. When their secret life is splashed across the internet, the strain on them both threatens to destroy not only their contractual arrangement as Dom and sub, but the very fabric of a new and tenuous love




Beyond The Compound is an erotic romance that is based around BDSM.  Ever since Fifty Shades came out we have seen a trend in these stories becoming more and more popular.  I, myself, found a love for not only erotic romance but for romance novels in general after reading the trilogy.  I have had the chance to read some really great BDSM series, and a few not so great.  With that being said here are my thoughts on Beyond the Compound.

When I first set down and started the book, we were introduced to Hailey, who was just finishing up her submissive training and was up to be placed with a "Master" for the next six months.  Since two men were interested in her "services" The Compound decided to have an auction to see who she would end up being placed with.  Hailey being the soft spoken, some what recluse of a person was unaware of the man she would end up with.  Ronan was a high profile actor who was trying to keep his life low key but knew that his sexual tastes was that of a more serious nature.  So with this being said you now see how Ronan and Hailey came to be united for lack of a better way to put it.

I was a bit unsure as to how the book would go after reading the first few chapters.  Ronan got Hailey to be his full time sex slave, in order to have her with him at all times.  The thing I noticed about him, in my opinion, was that he seemed to be distant with his feelings or interactions with Hailey.  I understand that her sole purpose was to be there for her to submit to what he felt sexually, but even in the beginning the seemed to just go through motions with out any type of feelings, which for me seemed kind of odd considering that with most D/s interactions the Dom even though he controls the scenes still has some sense of feelings towards his sub, even if it is just pleasure.  To me Ronan did not express his feeling very much.  It seemed as if he was stating do this, ok now do this, and ok you are doing good.  Thank you... just like that.  Hailey being the "sex slave" or the submissive was attracted to Ronan and unsure of what those feeling represented or what she should do with them.  Being that this was her first "assignment" you could see the unsure thoughts or actions that she had.  For me this was another part of where I felt like the book lacked in the emotional sense because when he punished her Ronan seemed to just go through the process, where as with the aftercare there seemed to be very little connection, it was like ok you know what you did wrong, here is what your punishment is, ok now go get some rest.

I guess for me these were the toughest parts to come to grips with in the book. I did not get the feelings of love and happiness from them, I know it was a business transaction, but even after months of being together there seemed to be a closeness or bond lacking emotionally for me.  I was unable to connect to them like I normally do with couples in some of the books I read. Even towards the end of the story I still did not get that feeling of love.  Is it a bad book no, I as a reader just did not get pulled in to the story as if I was there experiencing it with the characters which for me is what separates a good book from a great book.



The slave girl stood perfectly still, arms raised high over her head, crossed at the wrists. Her eyes seemed turned inward, as if she were lost inside a dream. The only hint she was suffering, indeed, that she was even aware of what was happening to her, was the slight wince that moved like a whisper of wings over her features when the whip found its mark.
The Mistress stood to the side of the slave, who faced George in all her naked splendor. Her breasts were marked with a pleasing pattern of thin red lines left behind by the perfectly aimed strokes of the whip. When the tip caught her nipple, a small sigh escaped the woman’s parted lips and a tremor moved through her lithe form.
“Focus,” Mistress Miriam commanded in a low, clear voice. She struck the other nipple with the knotted tip of the whip, and the slave girl’s composure slipped a little more. She bit her lower lip and George could see the sheen of perspiration on her face and throat. “Remember why you exist,” the Mistress intoned. “You were born for this, Hailey. Let the pain take you where you need to go.”
The slave girl nodded slightly, serenity once again suffusing her delicate features. She had a narrow face, large dark blue eyes and shoulder-length blond hair, the kind that wasn’t any one color, but more like a blend of pale ash, buttery yellow and shimmering gold.  “Turn,” the Mistress commanded, and the woman pivoted slowly, arms still raised and crossed over her head. Christ, her ass was perfection itself—two round, lush globes absolutely made for spanking. George shifted on the sofa, using the contract he held in his hands to hide his sudden erection—not that anyone was looking at him.
The other bidder was focused squarely on the two stunning women in front of the huge stone fireplace. He didn’t look much over forty, no gray yet in his slicked-back blond hair. He looked like one of those Wall Street investment banker types dressed down for the weekend, consciously casual in rumpled linen pants and Gucci loafers with no socks.
George shifted his gaze back where it belonged. The slave girl was now panting, making sexy little sounds not unlike a woman nearing orgasm, as if the whip were a cock, instead of leather, and stroking her cunt, instead of brutally marking her ass and thighs. She wasn’t merely enduring this whipping with grace—she loved it. She craved it. She was perfect. He had to get her, no matter the cost.
Finally Mistress Miriam lowered the whip. “You may thank me,” she said imperiously, and the girl, her entire body trembling, lowered herself as gracefully as a ballerina to the floor and pressed her pretty mouth to the toe of Mistress Miriam’s shoe.
Mistress Miriam stepped back. “Kneel, at ease, facing the gentlemen,” she commanded. The girl lifted herself so her back was straight. Still on her knees, she pivoted so she faced the room. She rested her hands, palms up, on her thighs, her eyes appropriately downcast, though George could see the strength in her bearing and pride in the lift of her chThat was all to the good. George had never favored timid, simpering women. He liked them strong and sassy—all the more fun to whip them—metaphorically and literally—into shape. At the same time, she had to be willing and eager to accept whatever devious torture her Master’s active imagination and even more active libido could devise. What’s more, she needed to know how to keep her mouth shut, not only during her tenure, but afterward.
George glanced down at the contract he held in his hands. Six months—the timeframe was a little long, and the starting price a little steep, but it was still within budget. The girl, of course, was disease free and also on birth control, a definite plus. Naturally he’d had to provide a clean bill of health as well. Everything else looked to be in order. No question, The Compound ran a first class operation.
George, an attorney by profession, though he no longer actively practiced, was aware this contract would never withstand the scrutiny of a court of law. It was illegal to sell one person to another, even if that person was complicit in the sale and would be handsomely paid at the end of the term. You weren’t allowed to buy a sex slave and keep her under lock and key, there solely to do your sexual bidding and accept whatever erotic tortures you chose to mete out.
No matter—no courts would be involved in the process. George knew the slaves trained at The Compound received the finest education in the art of erotic submission, which included absolute obedience. In a word, Compound slaves knew to keep their mouths shut.
in.  Another naked beauty, one of The Compound’s staff slaves, glided silently into the room, carrying a bottle of the very fine Cognac she’d served them earlier in the evening. The second bidder held up his brandy snifter and the girl poured. George shook his head at the offer to replenish his glass—he was working and needed his mind clear.
Mistress Miriam sat in a chair across from George and the other bidder and crossed one long, perfect leg over the other. “As you can see,” she said, “slave Hailey can take a very solid whipping with grace and courage. She is also highly sexually responsive, and extremely capable of serving a man’s every sensual need and desire. Hailey craves intensity of experience. She needs a Master who will challenge her and take her to the edge of her limits and perhaps a bit beyond.”
The girl remained still as a statue, a small, secret smile playing over her pretty lips. She was so young and beautiful—why would she sell herself like this to some old man she’d never met?
Money, of course. It made the world go round.
Which wasn’t to say he wasn’t quite impressed with what he’d seen. The tour of the facility supported the stellar reputation The Compound had garnered over the past years in the international BDSM community. Though they’d been around less than a decade, The Compound was known for producing highly trained sex slaves and placing them with carefully screened Masters around the world, and unlike some groups he’d been involved with, the slaves actually received a significant portion of the proceeds. Maybe Mistress Miriam really did give a shit what happened to the girls she placed, but even if her motives were primarily altruistic, she was running a business. She could spout all the lofty sentiments she wanted about the art of erotic submission, and the grace and courage of their highly trained slave girls, but in the end the girl would go to the highest bidder.
“Would either of you care to examine slave Hailey before we begin the bidding?”
The other bidder rose to his feet, his eyes fixed hungrily on the naked, kneeling girl. “Yes.”
Mistress Miriam turned to Hailey and lifted one eyebrow, which was apparently enough of a command to cause the girl to rise to her feet in a fluid, sensual motion that made George’s bones ache with desire.
The guy strode to the front of the room. He moved with the kind of confident determination of someone used to being in charge. He stood in front of the slave girl, but George was enough off to the side that he could see what the other bidder was doing. He lifted his hand, and for a second, George thought he was going to slap the girl, but instead he gently cupped her cheek and murmured something George couldn’t quite catch.
His hand slid down her cheek to her throat, his fingers gripping her just below the jawline. Hailey’s pupils dilated and her lips parted. It was clear the guy was pushing some submissive buttons with his sensual chokehold.
He let her go and stepped back a little. Gripping one of her lovely nipples between forefinger and thumb, he gave it a sudden, savage twist. The girl rounded her lips into apretty O, but otherwise made no protest. The guy slapped at her thigh and she widened her stance, bare feet flat on the stone hearth.
Again he murmured something George couldn’t quite catch. The girl tilted her pelvis forward, her face outwardly serene, though George couldn’t help but wonder what was going on in that pretty head of hers.
The man gripped her vulva like he was grabbing a piece of fruit. He must have been doing something with his fingers, judging by the pretty pink blush that moved over Hailey’s throat and cheeks and the way her head fell slightly back. “Oh,” she breathed, the word like fingers stroking George’s cock. This one would be a prize, no question about it.
The second bidder withdrew his hand and nudged the girl’s shoulder. She pirouetted so her back was to them, and George fondled that perfect ass with his eyes, even as the man used his hands to do the same thing. Finally the man returned to his seat.
Mistress Miriam turned to George. “And you, Sir?”
George shook his head. He’d seen all he needed to know. The girl was perfect.



 

Claire Thompson has been writing erotic fiction and romance since 1996. With over fifty novels published, Claire recently established hew own publishing venue, RomanceUnbound.com, where all of her work is available for direct sale. Claire’s novels involve the sensual exploration of D/s and erotic romance, as well as the more intense and edgy side of BDSM. Her D/s romances explore the power and beauty of a loving exchange of power. Her darker works press the envelope of what is erotic and what can be a sometimes dangerous slide into the world of sadomasochism. Ultimately her work deals with the human condition, and our constant search for love and intensity of experience.


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1 comment:

  1. I find some contradictions in what the reviewer has said. The 50 Shades of Grey comment is seems inapplicable when an author has been producing works in this genre long before 50 Shades was even a concept. It seems kind of lightweight/trendy to make a comment like that. In the biography published with and as part of your review, it says the author has been writing/published in this genre for at least 18 years. Casting her work in that light is a disservice. That said, we are all entitled to our opinion and my experience with this title and her other works has been much more positive than yours. I found the characters very feeling, connected and extremely erotic. I can't quite tell if you liked it or not. You did give it a 4 out of 5 and to me that indicates it was a very good read for you.

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