Two short extracts:
It fills me with a hot, wild surge of womanly pride. There’s nothing special in the way I’m built. But this guy’s slow-burning, horny fascination is making me feel like the most special woman in the world. No-one’s looked at me like this or made me feel beautiful like he does. Ever. Not even my face, let alone my body.
He laughs softly, whips me again, that quick, vicious whip lashing down again and again. I’m floating somewhere near the ceiling observing what is happening below. I can see myself stretched out like a sacrifice at the mercy of this tall, strong man who could easily finish me off if he wanted to… I strain at the silver chain binding my wrists, trying to understand this degrading, nasty thrill releasing me from all that stress, the dark memories, trying to understand why the helplessness is turning me on so much, poking little fiery sparks of pleasure right up there between my legs.
My own brief synopsis.
The story revolves around Serena a young photographer who has just travelled to London to try and make it in the industry, but has also purposely left Devon and her troubled upbringing behind her. She then meets the mysterious Gustav Levi the owner of a gallery who has an eye for both her and her photographs. Gustav is much older than Serena but is no less troubled and through their mutually beneficial contract the two try to heal one another. This is not to say it is in any way easy and Gustav is like most men, struggles to communicate effectively, a character trait that I fully enjoy reading about. The story is told from Serena’s view point and this adds to the mystery of Gustav. There are also some brilliant surprises and turns, especially the ending which I did not see coming!
I was slightly dubious about reviewing this book mainly as it was likened to Fifty Shades of Grey, and as everyone knows, I loathed that book. However, in my opinion this comparison does Primula Bond an injustice, as The Silver Chain is far better. Yes there are similarities between the two stories, in particular the character of an older, dark, and slightly damaged man wanting to dominate a younger, inexperienced woman. But that is where the comparison ends. The Silver Chain is not only very well written, unlike Fifty Shades, but I also loved these characters. I will openly admit that as much as I love reading about domination there is a line for me and often in these kinds of novels the women become annoying, boring, weak, limp girls who end up infuriating me because they refuse to stand up for themselves. Thankfully, Bond does not put me through such dull reading and instead creates a strong, wilful and interesting character in Serena Folkes. She even made me wish I had long flowing red curly hair!
The Silver Chain is a slow burner and although contains plenty of steamy sex scenes they are not as abundant as in many other erotic stories. However, I get the impression that for Bond this is a far more character-driven story and the sex has been carefully constructed to illustrate the relationship and emotions of these characters, rather than splattering page after page with explicit descriptions purely for the sake of it. I did find it took me a while to get into it, however, once I was about 100 pages or slightly less through it, I couldn’t put it down.
The sex is built up brilliantly with a lot of teasing and tension being beautifully created by Bond. There is no humiliation or true degradation. Yes, there is dominance, spanking and chains but there is a tenderness as the relationship grows. Rather than it simply being a case of an older man ‘educating’ a younger woman, they are saving one another and helping them both to confront and move on from their different painful pasts.
The silver chain of the title at first brought my feminist tendencies roaring to the surface as Gustav used it to control her, reposition her onto her hands and knees so that she could give him oral sex. However, I quickly realised that for both these characters it was not a symbol of pure submission and domination. It represented a lot more: security, an anchor, love. My perception quickly changed and this was down to the skill of Bond who transformed something that could have been used as a restraint and complete dominance, to something that was positive and required for these two characters to move forward.
What I loved about Serena was her inner strength and curiosity, even when chained to Gustav by their bracelets she never backed down, only succumbing to him when she wanted to. He never killed her spirit, but instead made it stronger. I ended up enjoying their relationship; its ups and downs were understandable and at no point did anyone compromise their morals, beliefs or sexual preferences. For me this was incredibly important as in books like Fifty Shades I always felt that the woman had to compromise herself to be with the man, which I always had trouble digesting. Instead, Gustav appreciates Serena for her unbreakable strength and wants to help her, just as she desires to help him.
My only warning is that it is slow to start, but I have never enjoyed a novel of this type this much. There is rarely a book that the second I finish it I read the extract from Book 2 but in this case I did and from the taster I will not be disappointed.