Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Review - Marianne! A Journey Round a Golden Sun © Simon Lowrie

 Marianne – A Journey round A Golden Sun

Author: Simon Lowrie

Publisher: eXcessica

Buy link

Marianne and Simon have been more than friends since they were kids, but when she meets Mark her whole life changes. It’s not easy being spanked when you’re not used to it, but although the two men in her life are rivals the one thing they agree on firmly is that Marianne needs her wild side taming. And once she's had a taste of what that kind of life can offer, she's no longer sure she wants to argue. She loves them both and means to have it all, but Mark is not the kind of man to share. He breaks the triangle and makes her choose, but at a cost to everyone – himself included.

Can Sophie save the day? She isn’t beautiful and dazzling like Marianne, and the special qualities she has aren’t on the surface. Sophie is a quiet girl who accepts Simon’s discipline with absolute humility and never one word of complaint. It’s how she wants her world to be, and her love for him goes past all limits. Shy and gentle though she is, perhaps her resolve to heal two broken hearts will prove to be more powerful than all Mark’s dominance and strength...

 

Then one day she rang my doorbell and I could tell at once something had happened. Her pupils were all big and shiny, and the smile she was wearing just shouldn’t be allowed out – way too naughty, too happy and excited. And as for that magnetic shimmer of hers, which normally only radiated about ten feet from her body, it was more than any man who couldn’t make love to her should have to bear. But as ever, I was the lucky victim of her beauty.

Of course I knew she must have met a man, so I duly waited to be rocked back on my heels by this astounding news. Marianne always had a sense of drama about her, and before she spilled a single bean, she insisted I fetch her the exact same shirt I had given her that wet and dreadful night some eighteen months before. She also wanted the same CD playing in the background. And so, to the theme of Roxy Music’s dance away she slowly dance-peeled to her bra and panties, superslow and superslinky, before putting on my shirt for the second time in her life. This time she was twenty-three, and managed the unthinkable by being even lovelier.

“He’s called Mark,” she said smiling, knowing that I already knew everything. Well, everything except his name and who he was and what he was like.

“And is he the ogre or Prince Charming?”

“Oh Simon! That’s just it! He’s both!”

“Oh dear, a mutant. What rotten luck.”

She hit me again. It had long been an unfortunate habit of hers.

If you ever see a donkey dragging itself along manfully with just its two front legs, you’ll know it must have got caught up in conversation with Marianne at some stage. She told me about Mark without mercy, and every time I yawned or my eyes glazed over, she'd incrementally hitch her skirt to show me ever more of her phenomenal legs, adding progressively more of her panties to the mix as well, as she knew this was the simplest way to lead me down her road. When even this didn’t work and I threatened to go to bed, she was so keen to keep me that she stopped all pretence at subtlety and openly used her polyester trump card.

© Simon Lowrie - MARIANNE

My Thoughts

Once in awhile I read a book that falls so outside the norm and takes me outside of myself that I have to wonder why don’t I find these little gem of a book more often.  The book I am talking about is Simon Lowrie’s – MARIANNE.

MARIANNE is a book that feels like three parts. The first part deals with the relationship between Marianne and Simon. They have known each other since childhood and have the type of relationship one can only dream of or can only think is odder than hell. Marianne is a beautiful girl, spoil, selfish and yet the sun that Simon revolves around. She knows it, Simon knows it and they push the boundaries of their relationship (and I say relationship because what is between them is more than mere friendship) as much as they can but has never gone the distance because that is a line that they know they are never to cross.

Marianne as only she can do creates havoc in her wake and in everything expects Simon to be there for her – this happens time and time again and Simon creates a space for Marianne in his life and this is where the problem starts. Marianne has found a new beau and  he is more than Marianne has ever known, he knows what he wants, he’s not afraid to go after it and he expects Marianne to toe the line or ELSE.

And the plot deepen yet further because she refuses to be anything less than herself, except with Simon and that is just not acceptable to Mark, the new boyfriend and he puts that to right with some interesting result.

The book literally revolves around four people and the second part of the book is where I was introduced to Sophie. A girl born to be with Simon, knows that Simon is her everything and without Simon she is only a shell of herself. Sophie has to be content  with always being second in Simons life to Marianne and Simon makes no bone about the fact that he expect a certain standard from her and nothing less will be tolerated.

The third part of the book is where I not only got to see Mark come into the plot more but the last last third is also the   part where all the fowls comes home to roost so to speak. These four people must find that path of compromise and it involves all four and some level of craftiness and a level of maturity that I could only dream of to make their relationship work.  

MARIANNE is not a light read,  I want to make that clear right upfront, this book is a mixture of light physical BDSM and emotional submissiveness the likes of which I have never read before.

Some of the things that makes my spine stiffen in rejection was as expected, the “men's” treatment of the “women”.  I want to say “woman you are better than this, stand up and find your own path” – but as I mentioned before none of these people could live without the other and they had to go through a huge amount of pain and uncertainty in order to find the right balance to make them all happy.

There was nothing predictable about MARIANNE and because there was so many WOW moment’s it took me a while to pinpoint the little things that niggled me, because as much as I ended up loving this book there are things here that didn’t sit well with me at all.

Firstly the book is wordy and I will admit I struggled to get past the first few chapters – getting there however was so worth it, but this is a book were I could not miss a word or I would have ended up missing some very important points.

Then there was both Simon’s and Sophie age which was a problem for me, as Simon showed phenomenal experience as a Dom at 25 years, That did seem a bit young to have that much experience, Sophie on the other hand was a mature teenager at nineteen, but she played her part in the story superbly, but her age and lack of any life experience bother me when she makes this commitment to not only Simon but to Marianne and Mark as well.

Marianne was the only one that was fully developed as a character in the book and as such I had the chance to hate her and love her; the other three – I only saws the bits of them the author wanted me to see.

Now that I have mentioned the niggles, what worked for me.

Lowrie has a way with words and I will admit I have already had a second scan through the book already – as there are just some phrases that are so right.There is also a descriptive style to the writing and I really got into the book because of this.

He began to kiss me and I felt ashamed. I wanted to be
reassured, then punished, and only then feel his forgiveness.
But he’d never understood this from the start and, equally,
I'd never had the nerve to tuck my pride into my pocket and
explain all this. That just wasn’t me—not without Simon’s
help, at any rate—and I wanted Mark to take control and
simply make it happen.

© Simon Lowrie - MARIANNE

The book had a crescendo effect – that I could not help appreciating but loving as well, as this is not the easiest of book to read without all my sense of “I am woman” rearing it’s head at time, but I ended up loving the gradual journey to happiness that  I got in this book and the changes that all four went through to get there. It was like a burst of sunlight to see happening.. .

There was a nice balance of charm and frustration to this book. Charm in alot of the old world quality of courtesy and mannerism that both Mark and Simon displayed and frustration in just the fact that I wanted them to just get on with it already.

Femininity is treasured in MARIANNE. From the clothe, to the language and even in how both Marianne and Sophie  are handled.  

She had her own look, her own style, which was very distinctive
but hard for me to explain as I'm not a woman. With a gun
to my head, I'd say it had something to do with creatively
mixing textures and embroider, taffeta with suede maybe, or
chiffon with alpaca. Without being busy or a mess, there
was always plenty for the eye to ponder, as well as which
you always felt it would be rewarding in a tactile way to run
your fingers over her.
She never showed above the knee unless encased in
thick black leggings, and worked her effects by topping
elegant backdrops of creams and blacks and greys with just
one thing that was exuberant and oddball—an Afghan scarf
perhaps, or a Peruvian shawl, or there might be some
intriguing piece of Celtic jewelry, wooden bangles out of
Africa, or some strange and lovely haircomb glinting lapis
lazuli or malachite.

© Simon Lowrie - MARIANNE

Different POV in a book can sometimes not work for me, but coming in at 270 pages, I got some info from all four protags and where one persons opinion can be subjective – hearing it from the horses mouth put paid to alot of doubts and issues that I had with the concept of submitting to someone else's will.

I wont lie and say I was happy with the submissive element of the book, but the author paced himself and made it a journey. The characters embraced it – even if not in there own time, but freely. It was only abhorrent because that is not my kink – but there were some areas there that I secretly loved.

Lowrie  I felt did not shy away from some of the more embarrassing moment – I got it all. I got the spanking, the belittling, the power struggle and more importantly the pleasure at being forgiven…

Bottom-line

I really could go on and on about what worked and what didn’t work, but the long and short of it is that I was blown away by this simply tale of dominance and submission. It was told in style and with a very understated grace that made this book a winner with me.

The reviewer from Seriously Reviewed summed it up so well – and I concur.

If you love a story of true submission without the overly graphic qualities of typical erotic romance, this story is perfect for you. Memorable characters, a lesson in pleasure, and the beauty of surrender.

© Seriously Reviewed

 

14 Speak To Me:

Chris on 21 April 2010 at 14:20 said...

Hmm. I have so much trouble with m/f D/s books...

Lily on 21 April 2010 at 15:33 said...

Fabulous review, EH

I'm not into m/f now but it does sound intriguing.

Blodeuedd on 21 April 2010 at 15:48 said...

This one sounds different, and a book that leaves you short for words, oh those I like

ErotRomReader (Janna) on 21 April 2010 at 23:09 said...

Wonderful review! The combination of D/s and menage is not one of my favorites. I'm wondering if this is an autobiographical novel.

Helen Hardt on 21 April 2010 at 23:25 said...

EH, I always enjoy reading your reviews, but this one blew me away. I definitely have to check out this book! Thank you for such a lengthy and in depth review :).

Smokinhotbooks on 22 April 2010 at 06:06 said...

Great review EH! I've been on a m/m trend, I need to change up my book diet and incorporate more girls.

Simon Lowrie on 22 April 2010 at 07:07 said...

Thank you for taking the time to read and review my book, and I'm glad you found it worth your while.

Erotic Horizon on 22 April 2010 at 17:08 said...

@Chris
This book would drive you up the wall Chris - It was good - really good in fact, but with your aversion to the D/S kink, you wouldn't make it very far in..

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 22 April 2010 at 17:09 said...

@Lily..

Thanks Lily.. and this book is intriguing..

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 22 April 2010 at 17:11 said...

@Blodeuedd..

You said it my dear - I really had a hard time putting how I felt into words..

It's one of those books that won't please the masses - but it is worth the read regardless..

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 22 April 2010 at 17:13 said...

Hey Janna..
MARIANNE is all Dom/Sub, there is no menage at all in the book - but the type of relationship that is between the four is quite different and was a journey..

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 22 April 2010 at 17:16 said...

@Helen

Thank you - Lovely as always when you stop by.

This book is a little gem that I am thrilled to have read...

Loved it..

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 22 April 2010 at 17:19 said...

@SHB..

I know you are on a M/M blitz at the moment - I am loving your fun with it..

I have to mix it up to find all the little treats out there, and Marianne is definitely one..

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 22 April 2010 at 17:22 said...

@Simon..

Thank you for allowing me into the lifes of these people..

Everyone should be so lucky to meet someone like these four at least once in their life..

E.H>