Claiming Ruby by Scarlett Sanderson


Claiming Ruby by Scarlett Sanderson
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (118 pages)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Spanking, Voyeurism, Toys, Multiple Partners (M/F/M/M), Menage, M/F/M/M, Fetish (Wax play)
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Ruby has a secret. Beneath her prissy exterior lies a submissive in desperate need of a Master. After her past disastrous attempt at exploring her fantasies, she buried her cravings deep and told herself she’d be fine without giving in to them. Then she meets Joshua. He’s everything she’s ever fantasized about—and everything she’s feared.

Joshua didn’t start out wealthy—he’s an ex-marine who made his fortune after seeing his fair share of war. His wealth and lavish lifestyle are nothing next to his driving need to claim Ruby for his own. He’d give up everything to collar her for a lifetime, and he’ll have to use every sinful dominant trick he knows to make her let him in.

Ruby wasn’t really a part of the BDSM lifestyle. Her co-worker and good friend, Jamie, had a part-time gig as an on-stage submissive. Ruby often went along to the privately held parties Jamie worked at, helping Jamie before and after the sessions with her costuming and make up. Only there, in the background of these private parties could Ruby safely fantasize, to imagine what it would be like if she were the perfect submissive, up on that stage being treated like a much-loved toy by her Master. During one performance Ruby notices a handsome stranger, and she’s put off balance when she realizes he’s just as interested in her. Could this man fulfill her every fantasy?

This is a steamy and well written story, definitely not for the faint of heart. It absolutely has some strongly worded language and if you blush easily I’d recommend you read this in private – not on a public commute to work or where you’ll get curious glances. I loved the pacing of the story – I felt the introductions to Ruby and Joshua in particular were excellently written and drew me right in almost immediately. As a reader I felt initially that I connected quickly to Ruby and found her to be a relatable character I could sympathize with. She had plenty of desires but after being burned in the past she squashed them all firmly. After the story swapped to Joshua’s perspective I also found him a lovely character I really wanted to know more about. As the story progressed there are some strong secondary characters that are also introduced and (I hope!) main characters of the two upcoming books in the series.

I found there to be plenty of sex, and while kinky and extremely detailed I also definitely found there to be an emotional connection between Ruby and Joshua. It’s a very fine line, but while I liked the emotional connection between them I didn’t really feel like there was a romantic link between them, and for me this was the main thing I found lacking in the story. I had no doubt that Ruby and Joshua lusted for each other, that they were sexually attracted and fitted together well. Their needs and desires were very well suited. But I didn’t really feel that the spark of romance was there between them and annoyingly (for me) I felt this was in large part due to Ruby – who simply would not let go of her previous bad experience and trust Joshua.

Why Ruby couldn’t see how she was constantly being set up – even after Joshua had proven himself and assured her multiple times – really annoyed me and squashed a bit of my enjoyment of the story. Mis-trusting your partner once, or in trying circumstances even twice, I can understand. But Ruby doubted Joshua over and over and it just got to the point where it really dragged the story down for me. A BDSM relationship in particular needs to be built on trust – if she constantly questioned his loyalty, how can I believe she’d trust him to do kinky things to her? I really wanted to shake Ruby near the end of the story, which was sad because there’s so many other excellent things that I genuinely enjoy here. The sex scenes were delicious, I was very intrigued by Joshua’s friends and hope they get their own stories and much of the BDSM club scenes were really interesting.

With a couple of major exceptions this is a good story and strongly written. I will certainly be keeping an eye out for the next two in the series.

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