Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Book Review: Playing With Dolls by I.G. Frederick

I was given the opportunity to review an erotic novel by I.G. Frederick, so here is what I thought of it:

Playing With Dolls by I.G. Frederick has an intriguing plot and brings insight into the realm of male submission. Jesse has always been led to believe that he should be gay just because he prefers to wear women's clothing and enjoyed playing with dolls as a child. His exposure to gender identity and sexual preference has been dictated to him by his therapist who fails to separate expression from orientation, and the theory is rather forced upon him by his parents because gay is an easier answer on the surface. His father accepts him, and his mother expects him to be a gay rights activist.
Over time Jesse explores his sexuality starting in a lackluster relationship with David, where he loses his virginity on his 18th birthday in a scene that is written in a way that easily conveys his disappointment with the encounter. He is then introduced to BDSM by a lesbian couple (Ashleigh and Rachel) that more or less accepts him unquestioningly, but thinks that they know what is best for him much like his parents believed. He does enjoy the experiences of "flying" that they provide. Ashleigh and Rachel pass him off to Tony, a leatherman who further brings him into a Dominant and submissive relationship. Jesse is unsure of this arrangement, but goes along with it and continues to let others decide for him. It's entertaining to watch his attempts to make the best of some scenes that he finds to be not quite the right experience for him.
In general I found the progression of encounters to be appropriately more exciting and sensual as Jesse discovers what he enjoys. The book is oddly insightful in regards to the main character's slow revelation of finding himself through gender expression and sexual exploration. He begins to assert himself by choosing a career and life path that he wants rather than appeasing his parents. I enjoyed the varying degrees of information on the BDSM community, and even the fact that some of the characters didn't quite know the proper guidelines that go along with BDSM, but that's also an aspect of Jesse's education. This book is a delightfully sexy read that effectively evolves into Jesse pursuing possibilities for himself rather than just accepting what others have planned out for him.

Playing With Dolls can be purchased on and All Romance ebooks, and will be available on SmashWords later this week.
I.G. Frederick can be found online and on Twitter

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