Beware - this novella is not for the faint of heart. It is a very dark BDSM story that delves into true self-inflicted abusive behavior. While many readers may not connect with the shocking compulsion that Justine indulges in, she is a witty and self-deprecating heroine that readers will want to see heal. Justine knows who she is and doesn’t shy away from her true self. This story is more than just about pain, but also one of overcoming the past and moving into the future. If you are looking for an unusual read and aren’t easily put off by extreme fetishes, then this may be the Christmas read for you.

Justine Crenshaw does whatever she has to do to put bruises on herself – whether it be “accidentally” tripping into a doorknob or joining a club where others will inflict the black-and-blue marks onto her body. It is only with these bruises that Justine can find sexual fulfillment. Her destructive impulses lead her to make some bad choices in her love life since the men she has sex with must be okay with inflicting pain on her in the bedroom. But after years of sordid affairs, Justine is ready for a “normal” lover and she has just the man in mind – Nathan. However, Justine is not ready to discuss her fetish and only hopes that Nathan will want to stick around after her secret is finally revealed. (Ellora’s Cave, Dec. 2010, dl. $4.98)

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Reviewed by: 
Dawn Crowne