Like a Thorn

An Anthology of BDSM Fairy Tales

Cinder Feet by Mari Ness--A variation on 'Cinderella', the premise was good (Cinderella being submissive to her stepmother) the story itself was a little too short.  I spent most of the 4 pages uncertain who exactly was giving Cinderella orders and it was only on the second read through that I understood.

The Princess and Peony by Mercy Loomis--A variation on 'The Princess and the Pea', I enjoyed this story the most.  The Princess, Cara, arrives at the Prince's castle after chasing down her former lady-in-waiting Peony.  Apparently Cara's parents didn't like Cara and Peony's relationship, so they sent her away.  It’s a sweet and a treat to read.

The Last Mistress of the Chatelaine by Kieran Wyn Dewhurst--A variation on 'Bluebeard and his wives', I enjoyed this, but was at the same time unsettled.  Told in the first person from Sophie' viewpoint, the story takes a sharp turn in the other direction upon the revelation of her lords sin.  The story was good, but meandered a little bit in the middle.

That Wicked Witchcraft by Sunny Moraine--A variation on 'Hansel and Gretal', I did not particularly like this story. I didn't like Greta--swarmy is perhaps a very good term for her and Han was kind of a throw away.  I liked the 'witch' Circe and was sad at her fate at the end.

Skin Deep by Shanna Germain--Another variation of 'Beauty and the Beast', but not quite.  I won't ruin the surprise for you, but I was digging this one and really had hoped it would end out with our narrator, Beauty, winning out.  It’s open-ended however, so I live in hope!

Overall the anthology is a solid one--it definitely explores several different ways that BDSM can be used (or abused) and the stories were well-written.  I definitely found a couple new authors to keep an eye on!

Book Blurb for Like a Thorn

Five classic fairy tales reemerge as deliciously dark erotica stories with a BDSM twist. These stories describe the many diverse faces of bondage, discipline, sadism, and masochism in sexy encounters ranging from haunting to healing, and painful to playful. You'll discover .how a witch really likes to punish naughty interlopers, why Beauty might love her beast more than the prince, how to produce handy bruises when a pea just won't do the trick--and more. Ranging from present day to "once upon a time" settings, each story offers a fresh perspective to both legend and BDSM.

Many people know that today's idea of fairy tales is a far cry from the darker, original versions. Like a Thorn explores this underbelly of the fairy tale through the many faces of BDSM. Far from run-of-the-mill handcuffs and dungeons, this diverse palette of tales features BDSM as a vehicle for unorthodox moods, relationships, and dilemmas. Mari Ness' haunting "Cinder Feet" tells us just how high a price Cinderella might have had to pay for not making it home by midnight, yet how worthy that price might be. Next up is "The Princess and Peony" by Mercy Loomis, a charming romp between a princess and her part-time maid, full-time lover who plot to produce princess-ly bruises with a sexier method than sleeping on a pea. Kieran Dewhurst's "The Last Mistress of the Chatelaine" tells of the sweeping yet down-to-earth romance between the dread Bluebeard and his seventh wife, who uses spunk and sense to help her husband face his sins head-on with a deliciously brutal punishment. "That Wicked Witchcraft" by Sunny Moraine follows, a present-day story in which a modern witch discovers two teenage thieves in her house--and comes close to eating them for dinner after she ties them up. Finally, Shanna Germain's lyrical "Skin Deep" tells of a controversial Belle: one who didn't go to the beast as his saving grace, but to revel with him (and often over him) in the darkness of the enchanted castle and the painful price he must pay for her affections. These imaginative retelling captures the complex psychology, emotion, and harmony between pleasure and pain present in every BDSM encounter--and every tale is titillating enough to become any grown-up's first choice for a bedtime story.

Includes the stories:

Cinder Feet by Mari Ness

The Princess and Peony by Mercy Loomis

The Last Mistress of the Chatelaine by Kieran Wyn Dewhurst

That Wicked Witchcraft by Sunny Moraine

Skin Deep by Shanna Germain

Night Owl Reviews Sep, 2009 3.50