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KITTY THOMAS writes dark literary erotica that explores dominance and submission. Not really classed as romance, though some readers see it that way. It's a case of your mileage may vary. Romance genre conventions and rules not usually followed but some books could easily be classed as "erotic romance" such as Mafia Captive or Tender Mercies.
Her latest work, BROKEN DOLLS, is now available. Her newest release is THE EROTIC PARANORMAL COLLECTION: a bundle of The Last Girl, Blood Mate, and Submissive Fairy Tales.
This work is fiction and meant for an adult audience. The author does not endorse or condone any of the behavior carried out by characters in her stories.
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I finished this book with very mixed feelings. I would say the author's description and disclaimer are right on. If you are looking for an erotica book with relatable characters and romantic undertones, this isn't the book for you. It felt more like a first hand account and in-depth psychological case study of kidnapping with resulting Stockholm Syndrome. Unfortunately, the 'Master' had no redeeming qualities whatsoever. His story was compelling and at times, I thought I could understand where he was coming from but every time I started to approach empathizing with him, he did something that confirmed how much of a monster he really was. He was cold-hearted and calculating throughout the entire book and Emily was subjected to torture - literally, the stuff of nightmares. I completed the book and just sat there, a little dumbfounded, and thought about everything that transpired. The book displays extreme power dynamics, female subjugation, and sexual abuse. If that's not your thing, DO NOT read this book.
I'll state outright that I don't read erotica. Period. It's not my thing. But I am into psychology, and I was so intrigued by the concept of this book, I had to give it a try. I expected to be disappointed, to have all kinds of psychological science violated. Instead, I was riveted from the first page. Ms. Thomas absolutely NAILS the psychology of this situation. Emily is not a heroine who is like me. But the first person POV gives the reader total insight into her vulnerability, such that we witness her transition into a sort of madness. It is the most twisted form of psychological conditioning, I've ever read. It is not a warm or cozy story. There is no traditional Happily Ever After. Comfort Food is an edgy story that will stick in your brain for days after you read it.
Not for the faint of heart, but definitely a must read for those looking for something different and challenging.
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I did a long review and my computer shut down, so I must restart this Grr...........
Kitty Thomas really knocks it out of the ballpark with the story of Emily Vargas, a Psychology Major who gives speeches on empowerment and self improvement. She is kidnapped by a man, who will later be known to us as only by the name "Master". He is obsessed with Emily. He attends all her lectures and workshops and devises a plan how to capture her and eventually make her his. He knows that she craves human interaction, so he uses silence in order to break her. She is perplexed by this mans actions and how he refuses to answer her questions. Most kidnappers speak to their victims. He does not.
While keeping her in a cell, he feeds her chicken soup, 3x/day. He knows that will bring her comfort from her childhood. He did his homework on her and knows her likes and dislikes. When he feeds her the soup she must allow him to fondle her breasts, or else be left hungry and alone. When she flinches, the soup is withdrawn and he leaves the room. She begins to learn over the course of time that:
When she starts to do what he desires, he moves her to another cell where she recives creature comforts. He provides her with books she likes to read, clothes she likes to wear, bath products she uses and great food. He is a very wealthy man. When she is moved from room to room, she is blindfolded. This keeps her anxiety and fears at the surface, in order to further her conditioning process. He sets up every situation where she has to make the ultimate decision, but what good is a decision, when you will lose at the end?Read more ›
Comfort Food is crazy. Emily Vargas is crazy. Her captor is definitely crazy. And, after reading this book, I think I might be a little crazy. Can a book give you Stockholm syndrome by proxy? Because it definitely feels that way.
When Comfort Food first begins, I wasn't sure how to feel about the storytelling style. The heroine's internal monologue is a bit rambling and all over the place, with a general man-hating vibe. Not that I blamed her for it at all! When that was combined with the mysterious captor's conditioning methods… which involves a lot of chicken soup and groping… I almost set the book aside. Day after day of internal monologue and chicken soup. It took some getting used to.
Then, somewhere around the 10% mark, things changed. I got it. Emily's thoughts started to feel like my thoughts. And her captor's conditioning methods may have started to work on me as well because, oh, he is good at it. He never physically hurts her. He never hits or strikes her. He never does anything (other than the initial kidnapping, of course) she doesn't allow. Granted, there is a lot of psychological manipulation… but he makes it so it's all her choice.
I don't know what else I can say because there is a twist. And a turn. Then a U-turn. Seriously. There's a twist a little more than halfway in that made me reevaluate how I felt about Emily's captor. Then the turn directly after where he does something that is a huge game changer. And, just before the end, is a U-turn that I shouldn't have wanted but kind of (okay, yes, more than kind of) did anyway.
Mind. F--. All of it!
In a nutshell, I would say Comfort Food is similar to C.J. Robert's Captive in the Dark - if you took all of the romance out. And yet...Read more ›
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