From the Blurb:
When journalist Iris Ellis visits a sleepy seaside town to interview recluse screenwriter Paul Archer, he offers her insights into never acted upon fantasies of dominance and submission. Too curious to deny herself a taste of them, Iris gives herself up to Paul's gentle guidance, but when she realizes that a taste can never be enough, she must find the courage to ask for what she needs or risk losing it all.
Iris is a very sweet and innocent heroine. We don't get to know much about her background, and I perhaps would have liked to know a little more. She seems very young, lacking experience and self-knowledge. We get hints that she has questioned her sexuality in the past, but know that her experience with Paul is her first real taste of BDSM. Her sexual and emotional naivety is a blessing in this story, however, as I think most readers will appreciate and relate to her story of self discovery on some level.
I didn't quite know what to make of Paul. By contrast to Iris' apparent youth and inexperience, he almost seemed too knowing. This was certainly ideal for the narrative of their developing relationship between older, teaching dom and younger, learning sub. He taught Iris with understanding and compassion, but I got the sense that he was almost too perfect in Iris' eyes. I think in another novella, I would have liked to see a little more sign of vulnerability in Paul. However, there was something about this depicted perfect and understanding teacher, and the resultant uncertainty felt as a reader, that truly captured the snapshot of a sexual awakening in Driftwood Deeds.
In many ways, this novella is an erotic coming of age novel, with everything that such a coming of age must entail, from the rejection of innocence, even as it is so prized, to the realization that this is a transition which is both dangerous and uncertain, and yet, by definition, transitory (though this story does have a happy-for-now ending). The journey of self discovery for Iris requires a guide who she understandably puts on a pedestal, but it is also colored by a questioning sadness for what has been left behind, even as it opens up new opportunities and brighter more fulfilling futures.
Laila Blake's writing is uniquely beautiful. She describes the tangible surrounds with an intricacy that throws into sharp relief the intensity of Iris' experiences with Paul. What I enjoyed most about this novel, however, was its powerful honesty and genuineness.
Driftwood Deeds is a heartfelt novella that I would recommend to anyone seeking an erotic tale with emotional depth.
Driftwood Deeds by Laila Blake was released by A Hotter State on December 5, 2013, and is available from Amazon.
This book was given to Love Reading Romance in exchange for an honest review.