My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts as I went with the book...
I seem like the odd bird who didn’t like this story. Before going into Laila Blake’s Driftwood Deeds, I read some reviews that were very positive. This led me to hope for a rather intensely sexy read because I hadn’t read any book by this author before. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy the story or the characters that much.
Let me start by saying that Laila’s writing is marvelous. She has a rather whimsical narrative style, her perspective making you notice and experience things in a different way. I liked this about her writing. Driftwood Deeds is a short story, yet it took me quite a while to finish it because since the moment the hero Paul is introduced, things kinda started going downhill for me.
Here is the gist. Iris, a young journalist goes to interview a reclusive but prominent script-writer, Paul Archer for a piece that might become a highlight of her career. Or so I thought. She meets Paul, who is much senior to her, I gathered at the least 15+ years. But his easy smiles, spectacles, laid-back approach and intense stare start working on Iris from the get go. After the introduction, they talk a bit about some mundane things, alongside the interview that Iris means to conduct. But when she leaves, it remains incomplete.
We don’t get a lot of background info on the characters, apart from their sexual proclivities, which was the first thing why I had trouble connecting with either Paul or Iris. Iris seems like a smart, career driven girl. Paul is said to be brilliant in what he does, yet he’s living like a hermit in a faraway small-town.
Their communication jumps into the talks of sex and sexuality rather suddenly, then, Paul having Iris on his lap, spanking her, all the while recording her moans in Iris’s own recorder. I was left agape, thinking, WTF? They don’t even know each-other! This is the first they met, and in only a few hours she’s panting for his touches, showing her submissive side already? From what we learn of Iris’s past sexual encounters, she didn’t have any submissive streak in her. She has not been into BDSM, her idea of this practice being sketchy at best. So why would she say ‘yes’ to a man she hardly knows at all? Honestly, I didn’t feel any intensity or attraction that would make me validate Paul’s action or Iris’s reaction to whatever he was doing to her.
After quite a few ‘sessions’, when he lets her know that he had ‘researched’ her before giving consent to this interview, I thought, OMG what a creep! Researched, I felt, to see if she’s suited to become a sub. I had the distinct feeling that he has done that before, looking for women this way to suit his kinky needs; something didn’t quite sit well with me. Was he lying in wait to see if she’d jump into bed with him?
The rest is what you can say was about Iris’s journey into transformation. Quite a few times in the story you’ll find her thinking to herself ‘I’m a feminist... but, I love what Paul’s doing to me!’ I couldn’t help rolling my eyes at those. A feminist who loves being called a ‘puppy’ by a man who she has known for all of... a day? WOW!
This brings me to the other thing that I absolutely disliked. The puppy play. No, just no. NO! Every time Paul called Iris ‘puppy’, acted like she’s, indeed, a puppy, I cringed... which was about 60% of it. That was not sexy IMO. Might work for some people but not me. I would’ve given this story a 3+ star had this part was not included.
The story finishes in HFN, as Iris leaves, leaving a note for Paul, who goes after her before she boards the train, giving us hints that there might be something ‘more’ into this relationship. I see now that this is going to be a series titled Breaking in Waves. At this point, I’m unsure about picking up the next installment.
3 stars. If the above doesn’t bother you much, I’d say go ahead and give it a try.
I received a review copy from the author in exchange of an honest review. I'd like to thank her for it.