Winner of the National Leather Association's 2008 Pauline Reage Novel Award. Take two caring, thoughtful individuals with some highly unusual sexuality, let their paths cross, and watch how far their obsession takes them. That's the essence of this story about an intense bdsm relationship: extreme, loving, creative, steeped in imagination, embedded in the real world. What emerges is a passionate, private sexual reality, in which the balance of power tips only one way. Maia and Anders want nothing less than total power exchange, without games, negotiations or safewords. Any pretence is out of the question; for both of them the power relationship has to be as genuine as it is absolute, but Anders is more than aware of the risks to inexperienced Maia if she should be wrong about what she can handle. Early on, he steers a careful line between games and gobbling her up. His ownership is established step by step through conditioning, painful consequences, humiliation and constant bondage, and before long, Maia finds walking away has become inconceivable. Anders keeps his slave increasingly 'like an animal on a very short tether' something to which she struggles to adjust, in a continuous state of terror and joy His love of technology takes some interesting turns, particularly around orgasm control, teasing and denial. The intensification of Maia's enslavement is balanced by the pair's affection, sense of humour and intelligent conversation, and by the real world of work and friends. Some of these friends become integrated into the menage one way and another, and help Anders create the setting in which Maia's uttermost submission can flower. Graphic BDSM content.