Title: The Contract
Author: Claire Thompson
Publisher: Romance Unbound
Characters: Jace, Quinn
POV: 3rd Person
Out of a job and betrayed by his lover, Jace Thompson jumps at an opportunity almost too good to be true. On a private island in the Florida Keys, a secret BDSM community exists in resort-style luxury, the wealthy clients served by paid submissives who meet their every erotic desire and sensual whim. As Jace works hard to serve the men of the island with submissive grace, he is challenged at every turn by a manipulative trainer who seems hell bent on his failure, and another who brings out a deeply submissive nature Jace didn’t realize he possessed.
When trainer Quinn is asked to assess Jace for his submissive potential, the connection between them is immediate and intense. He might have to make an exception to his rule to never get involved with the service subs. His jealous ex-lover has other ideas.
Dark intrigue and unrequited desires combine in a tangled web of danger and deception. Against a backdrop of lush tropical beauty and steamy BDSM passion, Jace and Quinn begin a tentative and ultimately powerful exploration of Domination and submission not only of the body, but of the heart and soul
Imagine a private island filled with sex slaves where wealthy, dominant men vacation. Imagine if you’re sexually submissive and are offered an opportunity to make a lot of money—seventy-five grand in three months. The catch? You’ll be a one of the sex slaves on this island, at the beckon call of an island full of BDSM Masters from sunup to sundown every day. Would you do it? Would you sacrifice your free will and surrender to the sexual desires of others?
This is the decision that Jace Thomspon faces. After his boyfriend dumps him, leaving him penniless and devastated, he’s propositioned in a sex club and offered a very tempting opportunity to make a lot of money working as a “service submissive” (i.e. a sex slave) at a private island that caters to the desires of wealthy clients. Jace agrees to visit the island, and once there decides to sign a contract.
Being that Jace is truly a sub, the training comes natural, and he excels in his newly acquired position. The clients love him, and he develops close bonds with several of his fellow submissives. But more significantly, he realizes how taken he is by one of the trainers, Quinn. Almost immediately, Quinn and Jace form a bond and their connection begins to develop into a blossoming romance.
As can be expected, things don’t go smoothly. The couple faces challenges. An ex-lover of Quinn’s also happens to be a trainer on the island, and he’s insanely jealous. Drew, the villain, tries to sabotage their relationship and sets Jace up in situations where he’s in danger. While Jace battles against Drew and his devious tactics, Quinn faces challenges of his own, including the grief he still harbors for his longtime lover who passed several years previously.
I loved the story, and I have to admit I’m a big fan of Claire Thompson. But this particular book was not my favorite from this author. As usual, the BDSM elements within the story are spot on. The author really knows how to get inside the heads of these characters and explain the feelings/thoughts of the characters within the context of their BDSM roles. Just like with all of her books, she transports the reader into the BDSM reality and depicts the dynamic of Dom/sub in an understandable, extremely erotic way.
On the other hand, there were little things that didn’t sit well with me. The villain seemed almost too villainy for me. He was a bit overblown, and I couldn’t figure out why a sensible guy like Quinn would have ever been with such a brat.
And I was a little uncomfortable with the fact that Jace, although he had hard limits, felt the need to push himself beyond those limits to please his Master. Although I understand that this is often the mindset of many Masters and subs alike, to me it’s off-putting. I don’t see that there is anything wrong with limits, and having them does not make a sub any less of a sub. And expanding limits, in my view, is no accomplishment. For example, Jace was proud of himself for being able to endure caning. Well, I think a lot of subs will go their whole lives without ever being caned and will be just fine. I don’t see them as being at any lower level than those who enjoy caning. I mean, some subs are just not into pain. Period.
Overall, the book delivers. It contains a beautiful love story, hot and steamy BDSM scenes, and a happily-ever-after ending. Claire Thompson has been an auto-buy author for me for some time, and she’ll remain on that list.
Reviewed By: Trevor