If the first thing that comes to mind is a cartoon and not Hentai then you might as well turn around now. As for everyone else if I have to sum up Isabella Starling’s “Pet” in one word it would have to be awkward, not that it wasn’t sexy, hot, it turned me on but as Madonna put it “like a virgin” so yeah awkward.
Not that original either, “Marco’s Redemption” and “Otherwise Alone” come to mind but like any other writer in this genre, Isabella puts her own spin on it. Think of it as sugar daddy 101 except they never discuss money, and with a name like Sapphire… relax she was a waitress one time and never a stripper, I actually have a cousin named after a jewel. I don’t know whether to compare this to a fairy tale or as I said before, for any guys reading, again this genre is either porn with more talking or Hentai without pictures and for me yeah this seemed animated.
“You’re excited but you don’t really know what the hell you’re doing. And some way, one way or another, it’s over too fast.” Yuri Orlov
I’m sure there are plenty of Sapphire’s out there minus the dark past… hopefully but it just seemed way too easy; there’s another comparison “Fifty Shades of Grey” young woman steps in for a roommate and ends up with powerful men. Men would want to live King’s life and I do mean life… what guy doesn’t want to have money and then have a girl that wants him but money not being the issue, to be honest, it never was between Sapphire and King. It was more their past that is the meat of the story other than them beginning together for the most part although I’m sort of okay with the fact that they glossed over some of that otherwise this would have been even more cringing inducing, and it will be a bit.
I looked up to see in this was Isabella’s first story, seems she built up a following and I haven’t read any more of her stories but this one was not a home run for me. There are pretty big moments but this is a decent story that transformed near the end into, just well, always leave them wanting more but this… always leave them wanting to know what they read and the reason why.
Okay, stop me if you’ve heard this one, poor girl down on her luck, rich guy, sex, bad history, more sex, another bad boy rich guy, climax, happy ending. I suppose these stories are made to make women feel more feminine and since I don’t know any other guys that read these, for me personally yeah I wanted Sapphire/Pet but daddy, protector, doctor; I said most men would want to be King in a way but I’m not most men…
“To call it a dungeon would be an insult. The women I played with came willingly, in more ways than one. It wasn’t a room out of a lame BDSM movie. The equipment was hidden in plain sight, and the room could look as innocent to an observer as it did dirty to someone who knew their shit.’ Isabella Starling, Pet: A Dark Menage Romance
This isn’t a spoiler if not happening this moment somewhere, Sapphire meets King who then names her Pet, his Pet and they begin a sugar baby relationship with elements of BDSM mixed in. We also have Angel/Maria who is the former pet and I will admit she was somewhat a surprise along with the Stranger/Felix that sort of just made me go hmm. Every other character will make you want to punch them in the face for various reasons and then the whole let’s tie this up in a neat little bow, so awfully fast.
As far as the cringe factor, Pet’s past… King, of course, wasn’t what was best but considering everything that happened to her he was pretty much a saint. The finale while a twist does make you think Isabella sort of ran out of ideas or maybe I’m just dense because I didn’t see it coming. For me though the absolute worst was something that happened in the playroom, see these stories let you know where your line is and let’s just say I would never do something like that to any woman, I’ve seen it done but it scares the crap out of me and I’m sure every woman clinched.
This book didn’t make any outlandish promises but even the erotic book club I’m in was disappointed, I can’t stress this enough though, it’s a decent read as long as you don’t have a history with these titles. It should make it easier for men to get, though most won’t pick it up, guys it’s this, disregard females acquire currency.
This ends up being a love story because don’t they always end up that way and I’m glad that a choice was made, albeit an accident, manipulation, and some luck but something had to give. With that being said I’ll give it three stars out of five and not just two, I didn’t hate this book but it didn’t exactly make me think anything other than I’m an old man who wouldn’t mind a sugar baby hanging on to me.
“Accidents ambush the unsuspecting, often violently, just like love.”
― Andrew Davidson, The Gargoyle (2008)
The sex scenes were pretty nice in the beginning but I guess I’m not a fan of the “devil’s three-way” at least not with women that are mine; I leaned more towards King getting back at people for hurting Pet. I also liked those easy relationship moments between King and Pet, and Felix and Pet/Sapphire, the innocence of her seduction, from calling one Master to F to baby it was what really brought out the characters. There are plenty of good quotes that I can’t use (Amazon *sigh*) but the dirty talk is pretty sweet, even if the story is just a decent holding place.
Three stars as Felix and King were rushed near the end… King’s final act just came out of nowhere for me, oh angry guy then, “Father Figure” in a George Michael sort of way to, everything is going to be okay. A woman… barely she’s eighteen, falling in love at first sight, as much as I want to believe it, everyone seems so susceptible to it, maybe that’s just me being a cynic and while this is decent fiction. If this was the first attempt it would be awesome but considering the litany of work, I suppose this was a shout out to Isabella’s fans.
The only reason I picked this one up was to stay in the know and now I know I might not go looking specifically for this author’s books unless I see a free one at some point. There is so much you can do to a pretty Pet but don’t be like King if you see this title, Isabella Starling’s “Pet”, please don’t walk out.