A Game of Dress-Up - Elliot Mabeuse My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts as I went with the book...

Another crazy Dr. Mabeuse book and I’m not sure what to feel about it overall. I only know that I have this strange fascination with his stories; even though there are elements I find offensive and thoughts I don’t at all agree with, I still read them. I was almost giving it a 2 star when I fortunately got the lessons it offered, which saved the book for me. Guess I should’ve put a bit more trust in Dr. Mabeuse.

After Vanessa’s father passed away, Rob Taylor, who is her mother’s friend, helped out her family. She has always had a little crush on him. Vanessa is basically a nice, very studious collage going girl. But her fantasy is something entirely different; to dress up like a slut and be used. It makes her feel empowered to ‘think’ that all men losing control over her blatantly slutty dress-up and behavior. She works at Rob’s beauty salon as an accountant or something as a part-timer. Her mother obviously knows nothing about her dresses and various other kinky sex toys and BDSM props she had brought home secretly. Anyway, one day when no one was at home, Vanessa was usually dressing up like one of her fantasies when Rob comes in and catches her like this. This definitely makes him lose control. They have sex and it seems like Rob always had the hots for Vanessa too.

Vanessa wasn’t by any means a virgin and has had boyfriends from time to time. But the world Rob has opened up before her was so different; something that shames her and yet, strangely arouses her to insanity. Rob is into light BDSM as well, and that day in Vanessa’s room he saw her props which made him realize that she’s a girl after his own heart. He’s waited for a long time to find a partner who’d understand his dominant streak. His marriage, most probably, didn’t work out because of this. After their 1st encounter, Vanessa ignored him for sometimes but she had to go back to her work. When Rob had her alone, he apologized to her for his behavior. This lead to another dressing up session and as Vanessa learns to look at herself through Rob’s eyes (and make-up done by him), she saw how beautiful she truly is. This evidently led to another tamer encounter. Vanessa wasn’t still sure what to do about this ‘strange’ relationship she has with such an older man (sorry, but this time no doctor is waiting for me, just the usual beard, among other things... lol). When she was vacillating, Rob makes it easier for her by lying to her mother about some nonsense about taking care of his dog while he’s out for the night. Vanessa’s mother is very trusting and has NO idea whatsoever throughout the story of what her good little girl is doing. She actually pushes Vanessa to take care of Rob’s dog, which I felt out of gratitude for his help. But Vanessa knew the crap for what it was. She was still unsure about it all but her body always has a mind of it’s own whenever Rob is near, so she gives into his ‘strange’ games and wishes when she’s at his place.

I knew that there’s going to be a big age difference so can’t say I wasn’t warned. Even then, time and again I didn’t like it, especially in the middle of the story where Rob ‘makes’ Vanessa do things publicly and I wanted to slap the grin off of his face, I was so pissed. Then, at times, maybe because of Vanessa’s age, I felt that she’s being manipulated by Rob. But I have some idea about EM’s writing and kind of what to expect, so I read on.

After that night together, Rob and Vanessa carried on with their ‘games’ into some rented hotels or motels or just in his house. This part I didn’t like much, that how Vanessa was lying to her mother constantly and the woman knew nothing of Vanessa’s secret lifestyle. I wanted to beat the hell outta Rob. One day, he rents room in a very posh hotel with a big casino. Vanessa comes in as usual, dresses up as per his instructions (like their other ‘sessions’). Then Rob comes from in and makes her take in a small vibrator, which could be remote controlled. The perv actually makes her dress like a slut, with the vibrator inside her and takes her out in the casino. What followed afterwards made me really angry. It was simply too much... afterwards, they return to their hotel room to their ‘usual’ sessions and have mind-numbing sex. This encounter in particular plays badly with Vanessa and when she wakes up at dawn, she decides to leave Rob and not continue this ‘thing’ they have anymore. Can’t say I blame her.

Then starts another twist in the story. On her way back, she sees the model-like good looking man, the one she met last night when Rob was ‘toying’ with her, literally (don’t ask!), again. The man is very charming, even if a bit self-centered. He introduces himself and flatters her with all sorts of compliments, that she should be modeling and stuff. Vanessa falls for that… and she almost pays the price for being so stupid. I didn’t like reading what the man made her (and other girls) do and the obvious implication of his so-called job, of what the girls were actually doing. I was getting irritated because I wasn’t sure where this whole mess was leading to. I was thinking, how can a girl with a little self-respect let her be used this way just for money? Was Rob the better option than this because I knew she was quite effectively trapped by the oily man’s evil machinations? When Vanessa finally understood her predicaments, she was already on the motion with the other girls. It was a little scary to think that those girls did it all so eagerly for money and took it as a game. Good God! But thankfully, Rob was there to save Vanessa who just wanted out now. I didn’t see this twist coming, which was good. Vanessa learns her lessons; that her fantasy of dressing up for men’s entertainment should’ve been left as what it was, a fantasy because reality is not always a pleasant place after all!

In the end, Rob decides to leave her be because he was feeling genuinely guilty for what he’s done to Vanessa. He wants her to have a life without his influence. The ramifications of what might’ve happened to her if he didn’t rescue her hit hard. At this point, somehow, I was wishing them have a good life together. I know I should’ve been put off by the age difference but I felt that Rob’s feelings for Vanessa were real, that he really cares for her and so, I didn’t want him to let go, as Vanessa herself didn’t.

They don’t in the end, thank God for that! I only wish I knew what her mother’s reactions were. Lol 3.75 stars. Sex scenes were usual EM’s standard, very hot and intense. I liked it that there weren’t too much use of BDSM props throughout the story.

Warning: This book might not be for you if you do not like BDSM in any form, H/h having ‘encounters’ with the others, voyeurism and backdoor lovin’!