Review: Alchemy xii January

For my review of Alchemy xii: New Years Eve, go here.

alchemy xii january

The January chapter of Alchemy xii begins the series proper.  While New Year’s Eve was written from Harry’s point of view, January and the rest of the series will be told from Olivia’s.  While it marks a shifts in tone, the reader in no way loses Harry’s perspective while gaining Olivia’s.

While Olivia is hungry for the man and the sexual pleasure he brings her, submission doesn’t come easily to her.

“Rules,” said Harry.

“More rules?”

“What d’you mean?  We haven’t even started with rules.”  He frowned at me.

“Like, already I can’t orgasm.  I can’t choose my own food.  I have to call you Sir, Sir.”

“Holy fuck!  Do you know anything at all about submission or domination?”

“Not a lot,” I said.

“But you agreed to launch yourself headlong into it?”

“You didn’t exactly give me much time to decide, Harry.”

At least he had the decency to look contrite when I said this.

“We need to start with basics.  You first weekend’s training will have to be Subbing for Dummies.”

When I’ve talked about Alchemy xii as opposed to other BDSM works, I’ve discussed why I prefer Olivia to other heroines.  She is a fully formed woman with an existing interest in BDSM.  She was always going to explore kink, the question was with whom.  But the sexual desire to participate in kink does not mean that one is a natural all-knowing submissive (or dominant).

The reality of kink is that it is a set of skills, and no one can go from zero to suspension play without a lot of training.  I really like that Tamsin includes a scene in the library (which makes for an excellent read-aloud, for the record) where, among other things, Harry loads Olivia up with books about BDSM.  Subbing for Dummies, indeed.

Olivia is a strong and independent woman who doesn’t come across as particularly submissive.  Partially this is set up for her to train as a switch, but it is also an honest reflection of what is like to enter into submission as a woman who came of age in the age of third wave feminism.  If you were to meet me in person, you would never guess that I enjoy submission as my personality is anything but.  I submit to whom I choose and when I choose.  Which doesn’t mean that it always flows naturally–and in my situation that means there are weeks, even months when I don’t play.  Olivia is in a contractual relationship (by her own consent) she is trying to enter submissive headspace and behavior on a set schedule.  Whether she is struggling with submission or rejoicing in that, she feels familiar.

However, this is also erotica, and thus fantasy, so her struggles and experiences are far sexier than mine ever were.  I appreciate the balancing act necessary to add the realism while maintaining the fantasy.

wall flowers

I looked around any my mouth fell open.  Opposite the elevator bank, illuminated in pools of soft golden light, a row of beautiful, naked girls, stood, cuffed and collared, attached to a burnished chrome latticework on the walk behind them.  As they saw Harry, they all broke out in smiles.  One blew kisses, a couple of them writhed against their restraints, one called out his name.  Harry returned their smiles with a wide grin.

“Evening, girls,” he said.

“Evening, Harry,” they trilled in reply.

Harry turned back to where I stood, stock still and staring.

“These are my wall-flowers.”

Some of the things I mentioned anticipating in the New Year’s Eve review did come true.  We don’t see Dick Glass directly, but his presence is felt.  We do get Belladonna and Olivia’s first encounter.  It…doesn’t go well.

This is a great opening chapter for what promises to be a year of sexual adventure.  Read New Year’s Eve, and then get ready for January.  Each chapter will release on the first day of the month.  January is available for pre-order on Amazon, or you can subscribe from Tamsin directly.