I was one of those who contributed to Laura Antoniou’s Kickstarter back in November, the one where she made The Inheritor, the latest book in the Marketplace series, available to contributors only, as it is still not yet released. It was a $6,500 experiment that turned into an over $35,000 success. And well deserved success at that!
This weekend, I finally flipped the last page on my Kindle reader and let out an amazed sigh. Although it took me awhile to get through all 700-someodd pages, it was worth it. Since the book (e-book version) is not due out until February (yes, the same month as THATGODDAMNMOVIE), I don’t want to unduly spoil the book with details on plots and characters, but I did want to offer a few words about my thoughts after reading the novel.
Marketplace was one of my first introductions to the concepts of M/s as written by someone who actually understood the subject, or wrote well to it. I’m not counting my prepubescent encounter with novels of Gor written by John Norman that I found in my father’s cabinet – as I don’t believe Norman actually knew about or understood concepts of kink and BDSM. Not in the 60s, at least. My only other erotic books that spoke to M/s for me were Story of O and Mr. Benson. And those are hot books, intense and raw in their own way, but … Laura’s Marketplace hit the sweet spot with me. It was in no way “real”, but it had the feel of someone who dreamed of Mastery and slavery, of service and of those dark corners where whips flew and welts bled and the whimpers and moans were a mixture of fear and desire.
The Marketplace series also has the feel of the all too-flawed and all too-human characters, ones that I could connect with. The millionaires and their slaves weren’t caricatures of figures written for a bodice ripper audience, they were written as a love story from someone who dreamed and masturbated to things that were close to my heart. They showed a love for the attention to detail, a flair for the grandeur and an imagination for taking a fantasy and then saying “what if…” The Inheritor gives that, in spades, as well as setting up the series for more. Because there has to be more. Right? RIGHT?!?
As a side note, if you’re familiar with the Marketplace books, I highly recommend you seek out Laura’s keynote speeches delivered over the years. Start with Unsafe At Any Speed, be prepared to shift and squirm in your seat and wonder about that scene where she went a lot further… then jump a decade to Still Unsafe But Making Good Time, still shifting from the brutal truth then forward 4 years to You Must Be This Tall To Ride, where you’ll nod and agree. Just as her Marketplace series books have progressed in character growth, in the way she clearly connects with her characters, but has broadened her view of the world she’s created, you can find a parallel progression in her speeches and in her approaches and thoughts on our lovely little niche of a sexuality niche.
The Inheritor continues that progress in her Marketplace series and it’s a wonderful insight into her love of her world, into the realities of that made-up world and the world we live in… how things must evolve, grow and change. It will bring tears to your eyes and it will turn you on with a lot of hot sex. A lot. And NO FUCKING INNER GODDESSES! (ahem).
The Inheritor is also a book that crossed a boundary for me. It hit home during my shower this morning that Laura had finally given me a language for my own M/s relationship. And that’s kind of funny. That has never happened – even after reading the other Marketplace books, Story of O, Mr. Benson, and the other fun erotica like the Beauty Series, some of that forbidden Nazi/slave porn in those “red books”, the fabulous text files on alt.sex.stories, and other related erotica … and yes, even the Gor novels. I had picked up a lot of the fantasies from those books to be sure, of the dreams and things that made the authors hot and wanting to find a dark corner and a vibrator or willing victim. Those were the stories that could help ignite a fun evening or give me some ideas on role play… but not something that really crossed over into how I do M/s on a daily basis.
Until The Inheritor. Again, no spoilers, but thank you, Laura… because ultimately, I want what Aidan wants. You gave me a word that I didn’t even know I was looking for. And, although I can’t do the same things to slave Angie that Aidan can with his slave(s), I’m doing it my way and OUR way – and I think she’s coming along far more amazingly than I could have ever read in erotica.
As a final note, I think we should celebrate the erotica that inspires, arouses and challenges our daily M/s relationships. If we’re not having fun, if we’re not getting something fulfilled in living in an erotic power dynamic relationship, then why do it? What a better way to have some nitrous oxide injected into the fuel than to read some damn good erotica about M/s?
Buy the e-book in February, or the paperback in August. And if you know someone that has the leatherbound edition from the Kickstarter, start the begging now to borrow it. Because … leather bound Marketplace book. Be prepared to sell your soul for that one, though. (Or a lot of service).