Review: Shameful Desires 1: Enslaved

Shameful Desires 1: EnslavedShameful Desires 1: Enslaved by P.J. Proud
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Shameful Desires 1: Enslaved is presumably the first in a series of books about Andre and Jeremy. I definitely won’t be continuing with this series unfortunately as the bad writing, cliché characters, and overwhelming sex scenes left much to be desired. I wouldn’t recommend this book sadly on any level either. I don’t think it hits the right BDSM note or the right romance note. It feels flat, empty, and utterly predictable.

The plot revolves around Jeremy and Andre. Jeremy is a nurse with a huge crush on TV actor Andre. Jeremy eventually writes a best selling story and screenplay and insists on Andre playing the lead role. Although Andre is standoffish at first, the two eventually start an affair. It doesn’t seem to matter that Jeremy is married or Andre is engaged, they get into hot and heavy BDSM almost immediately. What remains is how they’ll work things out with their women on the side.

The story is told from third person, present tense perspective of Jeremy. For starters the present tense is choppy and ill-used. The writing also flips tense several times and tends to write in a more conversational style, often leaving sentences hanging. The story also lacks any kind of descriptive quality. It’s bland and very routine, describing the same repetitive acts over and over with no different language. The writing itself is the biggest obstacle to overcome with this story and I found myself struggling very hard to keep my attention on what I was reading.

Part of this is that the story setup – prior to the two men meeting – is very perfunctory. The story is entirely told to the reader, despite the present tense use, and immediately the reader is told what a bitch Jeremy’s wife is and how his life came to be at the current point. Instead of explaining how Jeremy went from nurse to successful author, the reader is simply told the following:

And then, the letter … “accepted your submission …provide us with agent name so that we may make an offer …”

And the publication, the sudden fame. Book signings and television interviews, newspaper articles and magazine writeups and his life had suddenly changed, different, scary and exhilarating at the same time. When he’d been contacted for a screen play, he’d almost passed out from excitement—
This is symptomatic of the story as a whole, which tends to leap over important changes with a quick narrative while going into excruciating detail in what is really one long sex scene for 200+ pages.

Along with the problematic writing, the characters lack any real definition or depth. Jeremy is a basket case who can’t function without extreme pain and exhibits wildly explosive and inappropriate emotions. This is supposed to be very sub-like and ok but I’m left feeling he badly needs therapy. He has a very classic evil bitch wife who hates him and spends all their money but he just wants to make happy. Jeremy has zero self respect, dignity, or ego yet all of his considerable problems are supposed to be fixed with extreme and rather damaging spankings and whippings. BDSM is certainly not a cure-all fix and in this case Jeremy is so damaged emotionally and mentally that he’s in no place to be starting a masochistic relationship, even if you can ignore the fact that he’s cheating on his wife no matter how heinous she is.

While all the women in the book are very empty, classic horrible people, Andre is not much better. He comes across very angry and seems to have control issues of his own. The amount of routine “punishment” he deals Jeremy is always extreme, every single time, and often Andre is quite angry while doing it. There’s no question their relationship is mutual and consensual but I’m not convinced it’s very healthy on any level. Jeremy literally can’t function without Andre and the co-dependant nature of their relationship doesn’t feel BDSM, it feels wrong. I also say this having read and enjoyed a lot of BDSM and extreme sado-masochistic stories so it’s not the element of BDSM and pain that bothers me. It’s the emotional instability and clear problems each of these men possess on their own, let alone together.

Once the two men are together the story devolves into repetitive sex scenes. Jeremy is angry/jealous or lonely and thus the two get together for an extreme spanking scene that goes through about six or seven vicious beatings before Jeremy finds his sub-space and all is well. The scenes go on in great detail and length only to speed through any time not together and get back to more in depth sex. The last 150 pages are basically the same sex scene repeated over and over with a bit of angst and drama thrown in about Andre’s fiancé. Not to worry because there is a happy ending of the most obvious and cliché kind. The story needed to resolve the issues with Jeremy’s wife and Andre’s fiancé so it took the extremely easy way out to do that and lost any actual positive feeling I had up to then, which granted isn’t much.

Overall there’s not much I would recommend about this book unfortunately. I didn’t hate it to its very being (such as I do a 1 star book) yet this book isn’t much better. It’s predictable and poorly written with no real character development or depth and the BDSM feels like an empty excuse to have a ton of extreme sex. In the end I wouldn’t recommend this and sadly I won’t be continuing with the series.

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