Living Doll 2: Make It Rough by Carlanime Bligh

Living Doll 2: Make It Rough by Carlanime Bligh
Publisher: Changeling Press
Length: Short (40 pgs)
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Other: BDSM * M/F
Rating: 4 cherries
Review by Lotus

Honey, a reluctant switch, has pretty much given up on the idea of ever meeting her perfect Dom. Right now she’d settle for finding a date to the Ironclad Resolution Ball, since her friend James has flaked on her at the last minute. Thinking she’s hiring herself an escort, she accidentally orders herself a doll from the Living Doll Test Kitchens, and gets way more than she bargained for. Thane is ready and able to assume every bit of power she’s willing to yield to him, and fully capable of bringing her to the point of willing surrender.

I’d like to raise a glass to Carlanime Bligh. She is writing a series about women who special order soulmates online, and she is doing so without apology. Consider, for a moment, how revolutionary it is for a woman to decide that there is no man out there that is good enough for forever, and so decides that she’s going to have one made for her from her exact specifications. It would seem silly if it wasn’t so provocative.

Living Doll 2: Make it Rough returns us to the world where the ladies at the Living Doll Test Kitchens are busy at their craft, making dolls that women want to bring to life. Whereas in Make it Real Bligh told us a lighthearted tale of wish-fulfillment and belonging, this time she’s decided to explore the flip-side of her theme. Thane, our hero this time round, really is the perfect Dom. For all that his dialogue is sometimes awkward to the point of mystifying (I think Bligh may have been unsure of his voice), it is a pleasure to watch him ride the line between asshole and perfect top. And Honey, our reluctant-switch leading lady? The poor girl doesn’t know what hit her. Honey is capable, in control, and fastidious in both work and play, but Thane utterly upends her life, using some delightfully-choreographed BDSM sex.

It seems obvious that this series was going to have to address BDSM at some point, and I’m grateful to Bligh that she did it almost right away. However, I would have preferred it if she left some of the finer points of her research out of her narrative. The BDSM scenes are beginner-level, and at times read like an instruction manual for those new to the scene. This is probably very useful for those who like to try out what they read on their lovers, but it interrupts the flow of the story here.

That said, Bligh seems intent on fulfilling my wishes by exploring the relationship of a dominant partner to a submissive, again in the context of possession and ownership. Honey initially feels violated by her loss of control, but Thane insists, and eventually she realizes he’s everything she could ever want. Thane himself, although in control and on top in every scene, admits freely that he belongs utterly to Honey, and that without her his life has no meaning. This is why the sex scenes in Make it Rough carry more power than their basic action usually allows. Bligh’s talent is in constantly reminding the reader that this is an emotional and mental game, and only works when both players know what’s at stake and are willing to play.

Go now, read this story and Make it Real if you haven’t already, and join me in praying to whatever sex-deity you believe in that Bligh keeps this up.


  1. Thank you so much for this–I couldn’t be happier that someone is enjoying these stories, because they’re a lot of fun to write.

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