Tamsen Parker knows how to research. BDSM erotica is written by many authors, and not few of them hit the nail on the head, doing a fabulous job. But when an author is writing a world that’s about a complete 180 from their own, culturally and traditionally, and hits all the little nuances – I’d say she knows her research skills.
Judaism is on one hand – very complex, and on the other – very very simple. The religion itself, probably just as all old religions, is plain. It’s based on honest and sometimes naïve values and on the purest form of worshipping God. Then you have all the years following the origin of Judaism, and all the additional rules and traditions that make it, to outsider (and more often than not – insiders) seem like it was dropped from outer-space.
You’re probably wondering why I’m babbling about religion when reviewing a BDSM novella. Well… first of all – I’m Jewish and as one who’s as far from religion as possible in my culture, I still know a lot about it and am mostly fascinated with the little intricacies of it. Secondly, I’m a professional reader and the combination of BDSM and the insanely closed off lifestyle Orthodox Jews lead – it just made me have to read this story.
Tzipporah and Elan’s story is unique in so many ways I’m not even going to try and touch them all. I’m also not going to explain the traditions and reasoning behind everything in this story. If you’re interested (and you should be) just read it. It’s worth your two hours. I promise.
For them both, their marriage is a second round. Elan is a widower and Tzipporah is a divorcee (a huge no-no, btw, in their culture). Yet, they’re matched together and somehow, they hit it off.
I was mesmerized by Tzipporah’s openness when asked what she likes. I was beyond shocked that Elan was more than willing to provide her with her heart’s desire. I was astonished by the easiness they both experienced delving into their physical relationship. But that’s not the point in the story.
The point is breaking past the emotional barrier of their relationship. Of each of them not truly believing they deserve the other, or is enough for the other. I think that in this – Tzipporah’s efforts were brilliant, even if a little unorthodox.
Their love is felt through the words from the very first scene of them together, and it just grows and grows throughout the story.
I feel myself lucky to get to read amazing novellas so often. I’ve said it before, but this is a case where stressing my thought on novellas is important: reading a novella where a reader gets a complete experience is rare. Creating a world, explaining the aspects of it (even through the actual plot) and plotting an emotional story is no easy feat when writing a novel. So when an author manages to do that with a novella – it’s amazing and notable.
I want to give a little spoiler, which isn’t really a spoiler, but still – Tzippora in Hebrew is derived from the word Tzipor (=bird). Knowing this little fact made me swoon at various parts in the story. I really wish it for you as well.
Tamsen Parker wrote an accurate depiction of extremely orthodox religious life and incorporated into it unorthodox lifestyle. She did it beautifully and passionately and it shows – in the descriptions, the terminology and the delicate way the interpersonal relationships in this culture is written.
This story deserves 5 stars at least. It’s gets it from me.
Tzipporah Berger is thirty-seven and single, which is practically unheard of in the Orthodox Jewish community she now calls home. Her increasing religiosity and need for kink may have broken up her first marriage, but she’s decided it’s time to try again. And the rabbi’s wife has just the man in mind.
Elan Klein is the neighborhood butcher whose intimidating size and gruff manner hint at a deliciously forceful personality. But BDSM isn’t exactly something you discuss during an Orthodox courtship. Will a marriage to Elan solidify her place in the community that she loves and provide the domination and pain Tzipporah craves or will she forever have to rely on flights of fancy to satisfy her needs?
Craving Flight is a novella written for the Goodreads BDSM Group’s Bring Out Your Kink writing event. Members provided a photo and letter to inspire writers to create an original story and writers picked the prompt that spoke to them most. It will be available exclusively to BDSM Group Members on September 7th and to the general public on September 21st. And best of all? It will be free! Join the BDSM group now to see the prompt that inspired the story (prompt 16)!
Tamsen Parker is a stay-at-home mom by day, erotic romance writer by naptime. She lives with her family outside of Boston, where she tweets too much, sleeps too little and is always in the middle of a book. Aside from good food, sweet rieslings and gin cocktails, she has a fondness for monograms and subway maps. She should really start drinking coffee.
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