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After a near-fatal accident, Logan Walker seeks help to control the compulsive blood fetish that almost cost his submissive’s life. Help happens to be in the form of an athletic, smart psychologist by the name of Dr. Kasper Bromley. Kasper, though, soon finds himself swept up in the fantasies Logan came to him to control. Reluctantly throwing his ethics to the wind, Kasper submits himself to Logan, gambling his career, his future, and his heart on this intriguing man and the lifestyle he offers. But when Kasper’s desires outpace Logan’s, the young doctor is swept down into a whirlpool of sex and sadism that even Logan’s love may not be enough to rescue him from.
Oh, isn’t blood so damn beautiful? That gorgeous crimson that pumps hotly through your veins, makes your cheeks flush and comfortingly, inevitably flows out of cuts, guarantees bruises more colorful than the woods in autumn…and that taste! Which is unlike anything else and best served hot; spicy yet sweet, only slightly syrupy, with a metallic tang.
You don’t share my sentiment? Don’t worry about it. A selection of my friends’ reactions to me reading this book (lol!):
Friend 1: Ewww, really?
Friend 2: *blink*…um..ok
Friend 3: Uh ok?
Friend 4: Blood play *Yuck*.
But..will you look at him?
To add sex and an edge of danger to THIS….I… well, I wouldn’t want to go there myself, but I can imagine the level of intensity that must accompany bloodplay.
And the funny thing about Catalyst is that it really isn’t as dark and ‘disgusting’ as you might assume. Quite the opposite actually! The bloodplay element appears to be introduced mostly to provide an interesting opening and excuse for the two MCs to meet during their lengthy patient & therapist sessions. What follows is anything but hold-your-breath edgeplay and the exploration of the mind of someone who lusts for blood. Instead, the focus is on relationship issues and on the therapist’s discovery of the BDSM scene. As the blurb mentions, he loses sight of what’s considered safe, sane and consensual. Something the authors emphasize in a way that borders on lecturing. It’s not what I had expected and I have to admit that I didn’t enjoy having to alter my expectations all that much. Basically, I had hoped for a more thrilling and intense read.
Catalyst started out interesting enough, with a man admitting to his therapist how his obsession with bloodplay almost cost the life of an ex-lover. For a change, I didn’t mind these information bombs in disguise sessions all that much. They were a crucial part of the plot. What followed were a few sex scenes, a visit to a BDSM club, actual bloodplay taking a backseat to the daily humdrum and a patient/therapist affair that ran hot and cold and that took off in a direction I didn’t really believe in.
Sure, some of these sex scenes vaguely made my belly tingle (except for the cumming on command thingy, that got old after the third time). Truth to be told though, I think the dash of D/s was responsible for this rather than the writing. The author’s style will perhaps not be to everyone’s taste. Its lushness sometimes struck a chord with me. But often the attempts to reach for poetic quality didn’t convince. In fact, Catalyst suffered a bit from it. Especially during the sex scenes the long-winded dialogue seemed contrived.
All in all, my reading pleasure ran as hot and cold as the relationship of the MCs. It felt to me as if an interesting idea that could’ve made for an intensely passionate and tragic story collapsed like a soufflé over the course of the book, ending in an average BDSM story that wasn’t particularly enthralling or refreshing in my eyes. Of course, your mileage may vary! If you like BDSM with struggling characters and somewhat purple prose, changes are that you will enjoy this. In that case, don’t let the bloodplay factor put you off, this book is less dark, dirty and dangerous than you’d expect.
Title: Catalyst (Catalyst #1)
Author: S.L. Armstrong and K. Piet
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Pages: 243 pages
Release Date: February 8th 2011
Purchase Links: Smashwords