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I’m so thrilled to be here at the RT Book Reviews website talking about my book Power Struggle!
Power Struggle was my third book with BDSM themes. For those of you reading this who don’t read BDSM stories, let me assure you that all my books are very romantic, very emotional and very sensual stories even if there are scenes involving light bondage, domination, submission and yes, some ventures into mild sadism and masochism. When my characters have sadistic tendencies (and so far those have all been my main male characters, but stay tuned for an upcoming release that switches things up a bit!) they’re not sadistic just because it gives them pleasure to hurt someone. They’re definitely not cruel. Their pleasure comes from knowing that their partner needs, wants, even craves sensation, and that in giving it to her, they’re giving her pleasure, too.
The idea for Power Struggle came after my first two BDSM books in which the heroines are reluctantly drawn into some light bondage and domination and submission. For a change, I wanted to write about a heroine who’s experienced with that, who knows who she is and what she needs. And that is Tori — a mature, successful businesswoman who has spent a lot of her life looking after others, who knows exactly what she needs to deal with the pressures and stress of her high-powered career. Then of course I wondered what would happen if she fell in love with a man who knew nothing about BDSM.
The usual “Dom” hero in a romance is a man who’s experienced and knowledgeable about BDSM, often someone who has to coax the heroine into it. He sees inside her, knows what she needs, and knows how to give it to her, even if she herself doesn’t know it. But Doms don’t just miraculously have experience and knowledge―they have to start somewhere, and somehow they have to learn. So I wanted to write a hero who’s just learning. It then made sense to me that Tori would be a little older than Dev, my hero, so this also turned into a story about a romance where there’s an age gap between the hero and heroine ― in this case, older woman, younger man. But unlike other “May-December” romances, this is not the main obstacle to their finding happiness together. In fact, for them it’s really not much of an issue.
Writing a story about a “new Dom” (which was my working title for the manuscript!) was a challenge. It was a challenge to get inside Dev’s head and imagine how he was feeling and how he would react. It was a challenge to create a hero who didn’t come across as weak or submissive just because he was younger and less experienced in BDSM than the heroine and has to learn from her. So Dev is smart and strong and successful in his own right. He has dominant tendencies deep inside him that he’s never fully recognized or explored. He gets turned on by the idea of dominating Tori even as he’s deeply conflicted about that because of his background and training as a doctor, and he has get past that if he wants to have a relationship with her. And Tori learns things about herself, too, from Dev.
And that is what I think draws me to write stories involving BDSM ― the journey of self-discovery that makes for a character arc rich in growth and learning and, ultimately, makes for a deeply satisfying story.
- Kelly Jamieson
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