Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Her Royal Harem Book 1 & 2 by N.J. Adel (#femdom #romance #reverseharem #bdsm)

Her Royal Harem came recommended to me as an "erotic romance novella with epic love and torture" with disclaimers for BDSM, female domination, violence, and explicit sex. To say that my curiosity was piqued would be an understatement.

Her Majesty's Harem, a reverse harem short story, serves as an erotic appetizer, a perfect little taste of what N.J. Adel is working towards. It is short and to-the-point, an intense scene of blindfolded commoners being auditioned for the Queen, and it hooked me from the start.

The whole scene itself is deliciously erotic, with these strapping young men conditioned to absolute submission, desperately and helplessly aroused by a woman they cannot see . . . and dare not touch without invitation. As for the Queen herself, she is confident and bold, but only as cruel as any experienced dominatrix might be. She is actually a rather likable young woman, and I loved that the whole experience was about her pleasure, her delights. Far too often all we get from these stories is the submissive's point-of-view.

As exciting as that is, however, it is the larger scene that is so intriguing, with a pair of the Queen's guards forced to stand and watch, knowing that they will never have a similar opportunity with the woman they serve. Clearly, there is more to this story.

With the overall concept so deftly introduced in that erotic short, Her Majesty and the Virgin is a proper reverse harem novella, complete with a plot, background, history, and character building. Having already teased us with her first taste, N.J. Adel satisfies us with the first course of what promises to be a sumptuous literary meal.

This begins much as the short story did, with an auditioning of nearly-naked, blindfolded men, but there is more discussion here, more talk of who they are, why they are there, and what they hope to gain from the experience. It makes the whole reverse harem idea less of a peculiar kink, and more of a cultural necessity. Where it get really interesting, though, is with the Queen hearing the pleas of young men and women who wish to be released from their service to the church, in order to follow their own paths. It is here that we get to know the Queen as a fair, understanding woman, a ruler who is genuinely interested in the passions of her subjects. She comes alive in that scene, and only becomes more interesting, more complex as the story continues.

Without giving too much away, the opportunity presented to one young man is exquisite, kind of a gender-swapped fairy tale where the power exchange goes the opposite way. It is not just a simple matter of sexual submission, but one of mental, emotional, and intellectual devotion, where Adel does some really exciting things with boundaries and limits in the name of love. Layered on top of that is a wonderful story of longing and jealousy from within the Queen's guards, establishing a painfully awkward love triangle that takes us further into the contrast between love and devotion.

I adored the whole concept of Her Royal Harem, loved the characters, and devoured the scenes of submission, punishment, pleasure, and sensuality. I cannot wait for the next installment!
N. J. Adel is a cross genre author. From dark women's fiction to sci-fi and fantasy. From sexy short stories to full-length literary books. She loves it all. She teaches English by day and writes fun smut by night with her German Shepherd, Leo.

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