Today I’m reviewing Caged Sanctuary by Tempeste O’Riley. At around 204 pages this is a nice, medium length book. Warnings for this book include: a person with a terrible sense of self-worth, BDSM related physical pain, a bashing, and I’ll say, since I wasn’t expecting it, some outside of the relationship, fully condoned, sexual play. What follows is part discussion of the book, and part review (I’m always a little blurry on the two), so if you don’t want any potential spoilers here’s my two cents: it’s okay. It was very close to being stellar, but it never made it over that hill into awesome territory. Go ahead and buy it, but only if you like BDSM books.
Let’s take a look at the blurb.
Kaden Thorn, a dental surgeon who lives a quiet life, has no hope of finding the love he craves. A vicious gay bashing cost him the use of his legs and confined him to a wheelchair. He has given up hope of finding a Dom or even a nonkink partner to love him. When his best friend practically forces him to attend a dinner party, the last thing he expects is a strong Dom who can see beyond his wheels.
Deacon James is an architect and a demanding Dom, but he has spent the past couple of years without a sub or partner. When an employee invites him to a dinner party to meet his girlfriend, Deacon smells a setup but agrees anyway. He prides himself on being an excellent judge of character, and when he meets the younger dentist, he sees past the chair and finds a sweet submissive man who more than piques his interest.
Kade’s fears and demons continue to haunt him, challenging Deacon to use everything he’s learned as a Dom to earn Kade’s trust and submission. Deacon’s determined, though, willing to battle all of it to have Kade by his side and at his feet.
Find the Sample here.
I loved that this book explored BDSM through the eyes of someone in a wheelchair. This is, without a doubt, the most interesting look at the kink world I’ve seen in a while. The character of Kade was done to perfection, though I felt I wanted to shake him at times and just be like, “Dude, get over it already. You’re still obviously a hot piece because Deacon wants to fuck your brains out.”
There are a few foursome scenes in this book, and I have to say that I really enjoyed the way they were done as well. The characters all had friendly attachments so it wasn’t cold in the way a scenario like this could have played out. It was just the right amount of naughty sharing with a little possessive Dom stuff hanging out there, that I totally believed it.
I was really happy to see a different type of kink, or at least different from a lot of other books, explored in Caged Sanctuary. Orgasm denial. I have never actually seen a cock cage used in a story before, or at least not the way it is here, for an extended period of time. I was intrigued by the cock cage, but felt like maybe I didn’t get enough information from it by reading this story. I’ve lived the lifestyle, but this wasn’t something any of my partners were into. Is it total orgasm denial? If Deacon fucks Kade while he’s wearing the cage can he still have a prostate driven orgasm even though the cock cage, ostensibly, keeps him from getting hard? I’ve never…err…personally handled one of these things, so what does it feel like to touch it, or have it bouncing around in your pants? The only reason the cock cage went in the Okay section and not the Good section is because I really felt like while it was a central element of the story it wasn’t explored quite the way I needed it to be. I also had so much trouble visualizing it I took to google to look up cock cages, which was a giggle worthy and eye opening….hour or two.
Okay, so in this story, I have to say there was too much “things work out just so” for me. Deacon was just a little too perfect for Kade. Their relationship advanced just a tad too easily for me. All of the brakes on the happily ever after came from Kade’s personal hang ups and none of it really came from Deacon’s end at all. It’s like reading about two people who are utterly perfect for each other…where’s the excitement in that? And that’s a tad ridiculous because there are plenty of trials for the new couple, but most of them aren’t external, which…comes off a little ho-hum. I had such high hopes for this story. There were so many elements about it there were THERE: a take on BDSM I haven’t seen explored before, someone overcoming personal limitations to live their life, pissy ex…it just never congealed very well for me.
Let’s talk about Deacon’s dialogue. It threw me out of a lot of scenes. It was too…hrm…what do I want to say…put on. It just didn’t work that well for me. There’s not really much more I can say about that. It’s not that there is anything particularly wrong with it, it just didn’t sound right in my head while I was reading. Overly formal. If my lover were to talk to me like that, even in a BDSM scene, I would be snickering and getting my ass tanned red because I wouldn’t be able to contain myself.
Kade’s ex doesn’t get what’s coming to him, in my opinion, which should have been Deacon’s fist to his face, but whatever. I’m just going to pretend that does happen somewhere down the line.
And one last, final thing that literally had me stop reading this book for a day and a half: we don’t get Kade’s first orgasm with Deacon. We’re told about it later. I was very much miffed by that as I was reading. I felt I was denied something I really wanted from the book, especially given the type of kinks Kade has.
I enjoyed Kade and Deacon a lot. I think the book is worth buying. While there were parts of the book that never came together for me, it’s still one of the better BDSM books I’ve come across, with Safe, Sane, and Consensual emphasized at least once. Sometimes in the BDSM subgenre you come across stories that just read as cold or nearly abusive (or even center on abuse), but these characters were much in love and loving with one another, even in scenes. I liked that.
Go forth. Read all the things.
Pick up my newest release, The Shape of Honey!
Yulian Volkov is an entrepreneur and lone werewolf who hates the city. At a pack meeting, he learns the only member he’s attracted to is being expelled for crimes unspecified. Yulian strikes a deal with the pack leader to allow Rolly Witten to live on his farm and work in his Meadery. Although enjoying handsome Rolly’s company, Yulian must tread carefully, since Rolly doesn’t trust him and the pack doesn’t acknowledge homosexuality exists. Meanwhile, Yulian stealthily courts Rolly by teaching him the value of his wolf side.
Rolly, who’s known he was gay since he was a teen, has accepted a life of solitude—and a life of crime. He has no desire to relocate. Yet Yulian’s trust in his ability to do honest work builds his confidence. As life is settling well for them, Rolly learns a friend from his old pack had a crush on him, and he’s torn between returning his friend’s feelings or pursuing the budding relationship with Yulian. But that’s not their worst problem. Assassins are trying to take out both wolves, and they need to figure out who wants them dead or all the trust and happiness they’re building together won’t matter.