Bondage With an Edge

Twisted is another interesting collection of short erotic stories from Cleis Press and edited by Alison Tyler, who is also one of the contributing writers. Its two shortest pieces - “Tie Me Up” and “Tie Me Down” - are used here as bookends, making them much more powerful than they might have been with less deliberate placement. What you’ll find between them are twenty-three other selections which run the gamut from the standard scene between an experienced Dominant and submissive, to a young man in the big city discovering his own personal shades of gray, to a woman whose orgasms appear to cause thunderstorms, and beyond. Bondage is the unifying thread for this collection, but each story takes its own individual turn with no feeling of redundancy, even as they all clearly flow well from one to the next.

Although I enjoyed reading the whole book, there were a few selections that I would definitely consider as favorites. They were the stories where I was immediately engaged without having any idea what would happen next, and pleased by where the story ended up: “Foundation Stone” by Jax Baynard, “Rope Drought” by Teresa Noelle Roberts, and “Broken” by Alison Tyler. These three stories explored a variation on the bondage theme that I found unique without being over the top, and each made me wish that they had more pages. Not because I found what was there to be incomplete, but so I could stay in the worlds they’d created for just a bit longer.

If you’re a fan of short erotic fiction, and bondage is one of your reading kinks, you can’t go wrong with Twisted. It’s a perfect example of what makes the Cleis Press erotic anthologies so reliably good.

Book Blurb for Twisted

"Be as kinky as you want to be," advises Alison Tyler in a commanding new collection that proves that bondage can bring a partner closer to their object of desire, both literally and figuratively. Whether by rope or silk scarf or cuffs, the bonds grow even tighter as readers surrender to the pleasures of BDSM. Twisted is a collection of kink and bondage tales curated by editrix extraordinaire Tyler, who has cornered the market in bondage erotica. She adds "I've been a bondage fanatic since I first understood that the word 'obey' could be used in a bedroom. That on my knees on a hardwood floor could be sexier than sprawled in a bed of silken, leopard-print sheets. That a velvet blindfold over my eyes or cold steel cuffs on my wrists could make my heart pitter-patter faster than a bouquet of scarlet roses or a glittery piece of jewelry." This sentiment is echoed in the author's tales in Twisted as well. These stories delve deep down into what bondage means, and prepare readers to bind down or behave.

Night Owl Reviews May, 2014 4.50