The Story of X by A. J. Molloy

The Story of X by A. J. Molloy
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (266 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/F, Multiple Partners, Anal Play, Forced Seduction, Toys, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Thistledown

A darkly seductive and passionate tale of secret societies, elaborate rites and sexual experimentation, in the tradition of the captivating classic Story of O and Kubrick’s film Eyes Wide Shut.

Shy American student Alexandra Beckmann-‘X’ to her friends-arrives in Naples desperate for adventures beyond the sheltered life she has led. She is there to study the Camorra, an infamous Italian crime organization. But in the sun-soaked, ancient city streets, her research leads her to a man like no one else she has ever met.

Irresistibly handsome, Lord Marcus Roscarrick is an Italian aristocrat with a mysterious past. Yet, underneath his refined exterior, X senses a man who is well-acquainted with danger.

Soon they begin a passionate affair, and X is drawn into Roscarrick’s world-a world she never dreamed existed. But as she falls ever more deeply under Roscarrick’s spell, X must decide whether she dares to submit entirely to this shadowy realm of dark desire.

When X goes on a work study program to Italy, she goes looking for love but never dreams it will lead her head long into ancient mysteries best left alone.

Alexandra Beckmann, otherwise known as X, is in Italy with her friend Jessica working on her thesis. Choosing to write about the mob is probably not the safest subject matter, but being steeped in all of Italy’s essences, it stirs her blood. X and Jessica meet an enigmatic wealthy man at one of the corner cafes and he pays for their drinks and food. X is transfixed by the allure of the mysterious Marcus Roscarrick. Wealthy, hot and eligible, X pursues him only to be rebuffed. Feeling like a fool, she heads off and resumes work on her thesis. Wandering the environs of Italy’s darkest corners, Roscarrick saves her when she gets into a situation over her head. The game is on.

From the first page, this story grabbed my interest. Here was a girl in Italy studying the mob. Talk about poking a bear with a stick! As X gets in deeper, you get a tour of the best and worst that Italy has to offer, both in experiences and travel destinations. As she becomes involved with Marcus sexually, hidden dimensions about the man, his past and whether their relationship can possibly go any further glued me to my chair. Was he in the Italian mob? How did he garner his fortune? What was that about a dead wife with a whole lot of money that he inherited? Lots of questions kept me guessing and that wasn’t even the best part.

Marcus is a member of a Mystery Religion based out of a Dionysian tradition. It is secretive and dangerous and in order for X to see him, she has to be initiated into the society. Fearful and upset, X is repelled by the idea, but can’t stand the thought of being apart fromMarcus. The Mysteries are a series of rites performed in secret locations that involve ancient knowledge, sexual situations and drugs. Leading her into this hidden world, Marcus tries to protect her even as they both get deeper into the intricacies of the Italian mob and the web of violence and intrigue that comes with it.

The Story of X is a compelling read that takes smoking hot sex scenes and pairs them with a Mystery religion so that the two are intertwined. BDSM elements including voyeurism, drugged orgies, multiple partners, public spankings, nudity and whippings are all a part of the initiation process. Not to mention a special tattoo as well. Marcus is a conflicted character with a lot of personal history to deal with and X has to navigate some seriously shark infested waters if she is going to be with this smoking hot billionaire.

Overall, this book was such a different BDSM twist that it had me guessing the entire time. Part mystery, part erotic romance, this story was unique enough that I could not put it down. Everyone hears about the fun parts of Italy, but what about the slums and crime ridden parts? This author did a great job of letting me see the good, bad and ugly while still keeping me riveted to the passion between the characters and what was at stake if the initiation didn’t take place.

For a hot read with some biting dialog, nicely rounded characters and a tour of Italy that reads like the most interesting travel brochure ever, put this one on your reading list.

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