19 July 2010

Researching the smut: Kitty Thomas COMFORT FOOD + GC Giveaway

Today I had a column planned on me and my smut habits but something intervened with that plan, or should I say, a story intervened ;) I love the side of reading where a story unexpectedly grabs you by all of your heartstrings and broadens your horizon. Where it dares you to look at emotional attachment/love from a different angle and come to realize it fits the main characters to a tee, that this is what makes them happy.

An unexpected read made me research a different erotic lifestyle. So instead of a lighthearted column about me rambling on my smut habits, I give you my review of a novel that was an above and beyond experience and a five-stars-story on my reading Richter scale.



Kitty Thomas – Comfort Food
author website
Published: Mar. 21, 2010
Category: Fiction » Erotica » Literary Erotica
Words: 52396 (approximate)
Language: English
!!!!At Smashword it's free with code SW100!!!! (Offer good thru Jul. 31, 2010)

Ebook Description
Emily Vargas has been taken captive. As part of his conditioning methods, her captor refuses to speak to her, knowing how much she craves human contact. Told in the first person from Emily's perspective, Comfort Food explores what happens when all expectations of pleasure and pain are turned upside down, as whips become comfort and chicken soup becomes punishment.

Parental Rating:
This book contains content that may not be suitable for young readers 17 and under.

Tags
bdsm, bdsm erotica, dark erotic fiction, dark erotica, erotic suspense, erotic thriller, erotica, literary erotica, masochism, masterslave, punishment, sadism, sadomasochism.

Note: Before I give you my review I just wanted to give some kudos to Cecile, her review of Comfort Food was one that triggered me to buy this story and all I can say is; Thank you Cecile!

My Review: COMFORT FOOD was a story that I received, read, and it conquered me with such a powerful story I’m left awe-struck. This is in no way, shape or form a mainstream erotica and a one-of-a-kind story I feel will fascinate many avid readers of this genre. I can warn you of all the things that might throw you out of your comfort zone; yes this is a story with the Master/slave trope. Yes there is no traditional romance. Yes there are actions and decisions that challenge the very moral foundation of our society. And yes, this erotic story has a darker, gritty tone that will push the envelope. Don’t let this hold you back though, let it challenge you instead! Kitty Thomas gave me an emotionally stellar read where both Master and Emily Vargas are mesmerizing characters and their synergy struck a very elemental cord with me. For the life of me I couldn’t put this book down, all I wanted was to continue delving in the psyche of both the Master and Emily. I wanted to know what made them tick, why they chose certain actions or made certain decisions and gradually I witnessed the blooming of something more, something that was so elemental, undeniable and real, I was left stunned by the end.

Emily Vargas is on the top of the world in her career as an author of self-help books. She is an attractive, confident and self-sufficient woman of her time who lives her life according to her rules. She never thought it possible for someone to kidnap her, she never let her drinks unattended, and still, she finds herself in a situation where she is confronted with a darker part of herself. Emily’s dynamic world came to a halt and suddenly was narrowed down to only one person – him…Master.

The male opponent of Emily, who never receives any other name then Master, is very detailed and meticulous in his actions. Though the interaction comes from Emily his presence is such a force within the story told. Without little to none dialogue coming from him or POV given by the author his personality is very well fleshed out. Expression of body language, the look in his eyes or simple gestures were all the communicative skills he needed to make himself understood.

Comfort Food revolves around two characters in an extraordinary situation. Because the author keeps it very close to Master and Emily there is lots of room for the unraveling of personality characteristics, one on one interaction or lack thereof, and allowing the reader to really come to understand how their relationship dynamics work. The intensity of the story needed nothing more and I was wholeheartedly succumbed to witnessing the reasoning clash with the emotions. In this Kitty Thomas really let me understand Emily. As a woman I related myself to her and I really needed to understand how a captive could fall for her captor? First of all I think the flashback to Emily’s past was a very strategic move to explain an essential issue for me. Second, Emily has a major in Psychology so she understood on a basic level where certain behavior was coming from. If she would act out there would be ramifications, period. And third, the Master. I think I got enough point of view from him to know his state of mind and emotions and two-third into the story there was a revelation that convinced me of the great characterization abilities of this author, suddenly things were understood that made me raise my eyebrow in question before.

The eroticism is in some ways explicit but not graphic and tastefully written to allow the imagination to work as well. At first I was afraid Emily’s fear would remain the trigger for her obedience but it slowly evolved in to something else, something deeper that conveyed the steep emotions behind the erotic actions. When you strip away everything else, at the core Comfort Food is about a Master conditioning his slave. I absorbed COMFORT FOOD, immersed myself in the growing attachment between these two intriguing personalities. Emotions poured out of me while reading. I cried, I felt joy, I rooted for Emily and her inner strength and I was relieved when Master showed a more personal side to himself. As this story is told it’s portrayed not to judge but to expand the horizon. This is no mushy love story but the connection forged between Master and Emily is one that’s tested, tried and overcoming personal boundaries to release inner fears and accept your most inner desires. Which ultimately is setting them both free to be…

The depth of the erotic ministrations, the fundamental interaction and the psychological working of a Master and his slave is showcasing a stark but intrinsic love that impressively goes against type! I can’t emphasize enough how beautiful and honestly this story is written! I love it when an author delivers a thought-provoking story that challenges me to look beyond what I know. I love it when an author introduces characters who make me believe in their kind of happily ever after. I can’t get enough of authors who deliver a story that triggers all of my emotions. Only two other authors in the Erotica genre had this specific effect on me; Joey W Hill and Diana Hunter with Secret Submission, now I can add Kitty Thomas to this small but very cherished group.

The ending broke my heart and healed it almost simultaneously and with closing this novel I know without a shadow of a doubt I will never forget either Master or Emily! COMFORT FOOD is an invitation to explore a different kind of Erotic story and I hope many of you dare to accept it! I know I have read a story that will definitely end up in my top 20 of 2010.

5 stars

Quote:
If I'd learned anything over the weeks of my captivity, it was that obedience equaled reward, and disobedience equaled punishment. He never lashed out in anger. He was always in control, both of me and of himself. It made me put faith in him that ultimately, if I followed the rules, he wouldn't harm or kill me. Masturbation wasn't allowed for any reason. Sexual pleasure would come from him and him alone. He mentioned the erotica. He wanted me to read it, at least one book a week, but I wasn't allowed to touch myself. If I did, I would be punished. Punishment was as I thought and as he'd confirmed earlier with only a look. I would be sent to the cell for any infractions.

****Research the smut Giveaway****
A $30,-(thirty dollars) giftcertificate, so you can research your own smut, to any online e-bookstore where I can pay with the options available to me.

The rules for each giveaway:
 You can assume each giveaway is international unless states otherwise. Author’s have been extremely generous but even their generosity has limits sometimes!
 Every [meaningful] comment you make on a blogpost with a giveaway attached will be an entry to that particular giveaway. So if you make 3 comments, you will be entered 3 times.
 I will announce all winners to each giveaway on August 4th, you are personally responsible for contacting me with your snail mail or e-mail information.


post signature

61 comments:

  1. Will be back later when I have time to read your review, but couldn't pass by without a quick "hi" :-)

    I just did a huge shopping spree on Smashword this weekend (or thanks to their amazing sales I should rather say collecting spree) and I also got Comfort Food! I haven't read anything about it before, it was the intriguing cover which grabbed my attention. Great to see you loved it so much, makes my expectations rise then :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Fantastic review!! I'll admit that when I first saw that it was a kidnapping BDSM, I was a little turned off. But reading your review has made me sneak over to smashwords and download it!

    I'm always up for the reads that push you past a comfort zone. The whole master/sub relationship doesn't scare me away, but after reading The Reluctant Dom a couple of months ago, it's been hard for me to pick up an 'emotional' dom/sub book since then! That book was a little too much for me.

    I also love to see the way authors can evoke new emotions and feelings out of a reader, so if it had that effect on you, then I'm willing to give it a shot!

    Like I said, fantastic review!

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a wonderful review! I absolutely loved Comfort Food. So much so I did a review and interviewed Kitty as well on my site.

    What I appreciate so much about this piece is its unique take on a love story. Comfort Food is unique, unashamed, and honest. Kitty didn't give it a politically-correct ending to satisfy socially acceptable morals of "This is wrong and shouldn't be treated in any other way."

    Comfort Food made you think as a reader. It questioned, pushed, and pulled.

    As you can tell, I just loved it too! :)

    Anyways, I'm so glad to read someone who this book touched and was open-minded to explore and see this for the fantastic piece of literature it is!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow Leontine what a great review!! I have heard several things now about this story and am very curious so when I bought another book from Smashwords I could not resist getting this one as well. Now after reading your review I hope to read it soon!

    ReplyDelete
  5. @Stella - I never knew about smashwords until I purchased Comfort Food but already it's a site I frequent regularly :) I hope you enjoy CF Stella and look forward to talking more tonight!

    @Tanya - Now I must look for info on The Reluctant Dom!! Kitty Thomas really invites you to step away from your comfort zone but what's more important IMO is that she makes me understand why certain things happen, how they come to a certain point and where they are coming from. I hope you're going on the same ride I was on, it's going to a titillating one :)

    @Claudia D Christian - You loved the book, I can tell *wink* And the ending as Kitty thomas gave it is a part of what created the stellar impact....no society morals but a HEA that befitted and stayed true to the characters. I can only applaud KT for doing it!!

    @Marissa - YAY, I'm so glad you're going to read CF too!! We must talk details afterwards :))

    ReplyDelete
  6. Whoa! Free BDSM smut and a giveaway!?!

    This book really looks awesome! Thank you for the code. I can't wait to get the chance to read it. This is definitely my type of read.

    ~smooches~
    Jase

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great review Leontine. I have this book I just have to find the time to read it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hey! Great review! I started to read this book, I managed until half and stopped. I'm not in that mood right now, although it is interesting an story.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great review. Both you and Cecile have raved about this story. I'm heading to Smashwords now.

    Thanks for the heads up, Leontine.

    And I tried to follow you but kept gettng an error message.

    ReplyDelete
  10. @Jase - Your welcome, I hope we can talk some more about CF when you've read it :) And a free read & a giveaway...you might almost think it's Xmas morning *wink*

    @Elaing8 - Oh I do hope you find time soon girl!!

    @Host - Perhaps another day then, and I agree, the premise is such a unique one!

    @Harris Channing - crappy blogger, it's been acting up since a few weeks *shakes fist* I hope you get to enjoy Comfort Food :) When i read Cecile's review this story was screaming my name, I haven't regret it for one moment purchasing it!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Nice review.
    *Cheers for the opening of smut week!*

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great review Leontine! I've only read a few books in the BDSM genre and this one sounds interesting and a new type of read for me since I haven't read any master/slave relationship books.. yeah for smut week!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow, great review Leontine. Your love of this book was tangible.

    I'm definitely a fan of BDSM and while you say this isn't a mainstream romance nor even mainstream erotica, I'm still very much intrigued.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you for the lovely review! I'm continually blown away by the open reception this book has gotten from so many readers and am very grateful so many are willing to open their hearts and give it a chance.

    Re: The Reluctant Dom, I loved that book. It was so sad in some ways, but I knew that going in from the premise. It's definitely not "light" fair, but it was really moving.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you for the lovely review! I'm continually blown away by the open reception this book has gotten from so many readers and am very grateful so many are willing to open their hearts and give it a chance.

    Re: The Reluctant Dom, I loved that book. It was so sad in some ways, but I knew that going in from the premise. It's definitely not "light" fair, but it was really moving.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Cecile's review put this book up on my radar as well. But I'm not sure I want my heart broken today. I will most certainly have to be in a particular mood for this read. Thanks for the review. The quote you choose also helped me not be so hesitant about this read.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Leontine, that was a wonderful review and I had to read Cecile's review as well. When my fellow smutty hussys rave about a story that makes them sad, cry, rejoice, and all the other emotions, I knew I had to see what the commotion was about.

    Thank you for steering me to Smashwords and Kitty Thomas's book. I will indeed read this tonight. You might also want to read The Reluctant Dom by Tymber Dalton.

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway, and the heads up for the free download.

    armiefox at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  18. I've never heard of Smashword before. Thank you for listing the code. After such positive feedback from you and Cecile's blog I am excited to read this story. The list of authors that I read who write about this subject matter is small, so I'm looking forward to adding another name.

    ReplyDelete
  19. @Blodeuedd - I'll toast to that :)

    @Heather - Glad you could join Heather!! Comfort Food will definitely add to the erotica experience :)

    @VFG - Oh, intrigued is good...intrigued is very good. Give it a go then hon and see where Master & Emily will lead you.

    @Kitty Thomas - You're very welcome :D I'm looking up The Reluctant Dom this evening!!

    @Sweet Vernal Zephyr - I'm glad the quote gave you a small taste of this book.

    @Armenia - You bet I'm going after The Reluctant Dom! And I hope you get absorbed by CF like many other readers have. Would love to hear from you the moment you finish it!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm intrigued by the review - will be looking into this one...sounds like an emotional read...

    *hugs*

    ReplyDelete
  21. I have a couple of MUST review books to do, but this read is jumping to the top of my fun reads.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Great review! At first, I thought it would be a bit much. But your description makes me very intrigued. Off to Smashwords to get this now.

    joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  23. I loved reading your review of Comfort Food and it definitely made me want to read it!

    lilazncutie1215 @ yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm back... and I'm totally going to kick my own ass tomorrow! I have a final in one of my classes, but I went to Smashword, downloaded the book and read it this afternoon instead of studying!!

    But... WOW!!! That book was freaking fantastic! Nothing like I thought it was going to be. You're right. It did evoke a whole spectrum of emotions, but in a very good, even tasteful way. I never felt 'weird' or 'uncomfortable' reading it. It did have my psychoanalyzing the characters myself, and even starting to identify with them. It was wrote very tastefully, and I absolutely LOVED the ending!!

    As for The Reluctant Dom, I can't wait to see what you think of it if you read it. It will tug at your heart like something fierce- in a sad way. Maybe that's why I had such a difficult time with it. I spent the majority of the book huddled around my kleenex box crying buckets.

    Thanks again for the great review! I'm so glad that I read it today! Are there any more books by this author?

    ReplyDelete
  25. ooooh! Amazing review and I read Cecile's as well, but my smutty research assistant is nervous of me reading the book and using it for a few research studies. *winks*

    I most definitely will have to add it to the list now! For research of course! XD

    ReplyDelete
  26. Exceptional review Leontine. I too enjoy books that force me to step outside my comfort zone somewhat and in essence "open a new reading opportunity" or sub-genre to explore.

    While some BDSM stories tend to break through my reading wall, I'm okay with others, it really depends on the author.

    Comfort Food certainly sounds intriguing.

    Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Great review, but I still just can't bring myself to read it. The emotional impact would tear me apart. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and review.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Tanya,

    Thanks for reading! Glad you liked it!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Leontine, I am tearing up that you would include me in the review. You are such a sweetheart!!! I luve you!!!

    I am just glad that it feed you what you needed. It is an awesome book. No matter where you are in life, this book is a must read - by anyone!
    Your review is simply awesome hon!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  30. I had read another rave review about this book, but even though it is currently at the right price, I just can't bring myself to get it. I love intense books, but this just sounds to be too much for me. Thanks for reminding me about the Smashwords sale though, I've really got to get over there and check it out.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thanks for the wonderful review :) This book really sounds interesting ... it might be too much for me, especially since I've never read anything BDSM before ... but I went and downloaded it from Smashwords, and I'll definitely be giving it a try :D

    Enjoy the rest of your week xx

    ReplyDelete
  32. Great review! This isn't normally my type of book...but I'm intrigued! I think I'll give it a try!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Late to the opening but damn, I about devoured your review. ;D I have read some BDSM in the past and liked the almost dark aspects of emotion explored and evoked within. The interaction between the characters, done right, fascinates me completely. I thrive from the emotional impacts that certain books can deliver - and thus will definitely be checking out Comfort Food.

    TY for the heads up!

    ReplyDelete
  34. I like a good BDSM story, and your review is fantastic. Thanks for the heads up about Smashwords -- I wasn't familiar. :>]

    ~Lindy
    aromagik@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  35. Oh wow! This sounds really interesting... I am definately going to have to check it out. Thanks for the great review!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Great review this is not what I usually read but I think I'll look into it. It sure will take me out of my nice safe comfort zone.

    sstrode@scrtc.com

    ReplyDelete
  37. s7Anna - An emotional read it is indeed!

    @Natasha A - Oh, I'm so looking forward to exchanging thoughts on this book :)

    @Tanya - My thoughts too and wow, are you a speed reader...or come to think of it...I had this story read in a few hours too LOL I will definitely write up a review about The Reluctant Dom!

    @Redd - Tell your assistant it is a new experience you two can share ROFL All in the name of research!! I'll raise my cocktail glass to that :))

    @Lea - I feel Kitty Thomas handled the topics so incredibly well, I hope you'll give it a go :)

    @Twimom227 - You definitely need to be able to handle the emotions...perhaps someday...If you would've told me 2-3 years ago i would be reading erotica I would've LOL and now...it's a huge part of my reading world and I wouldn't have it any other way *grin*

    @Cecile - Your review literally hit home with me and i just had to give you some kudos, you wrote so incredibly moving...*sigh* (((hugs)))

    @JenM - I never heard of smashwords either until I read Cecile's review of Comfort Food.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Awwwwww Leontine, hugs honey!! Thank you so much. This is what makes my reviews so much worth it when I sit and think about it. This is what it is all about. Pushing each other buttons, make us think above and beyond what we are use to. Hugs to you honey!!!

    ReplyDelete
  39. @Bella - Great!! You'll never know untill you try something if it will work. I'm suddenly discovering all sorts of new books and authors who write a darker erotica and I can wait to explore more :)

    @Pen - Intrigued is good! I hope Comfort Food will take you beyond the intrigued!

    @INCiDeNT - You go girl!!

    quote: The interaction between the characters, done right, fascinates me completely.

    I completely agree with you!

    @aromagik - Glad I could introduce you to smashwords, they've got loads of interesting books and offers!

    @Nicole - Woohoo, you go check it out *grin*

    @Sherry - Comfort Food is thought-provoking for sure :)

    ReplyDelete
  40. Great review. I haven't read any smut books, but this sounds pretty good.
    amandarwest at gmaildotcom

    ReplyDelete
  41. I look back on this post and the cover definitely draws my eye and is something that makes people wonder what it is about. After reading the review I think the cover really matches the darkness of this story.

    lilazncutie1215 @ yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  42. Thanks for introducing us to this book. I've just picked it up from Smashmouth. I've only read the disclaimer and the first few paragraphs, but already I'm intrigued. And it's short enough (109) to read in one sitting. Awesome.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  43. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I really enjoyed your review. Now I'm off directly from here to Smashmouth to pick this up. Thanks for the code and the chance in the giveaway.

    Jules
    onebookshy (at) yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  45. I'm telling you, both you and Cecile are luring me into reading this story! :) You've even arranged a Free code so I would get this book, right? Okay, I succumb! I can't help myself, I really want to know what all the fuss is about *wink*!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Comfort Food does not sound like my kind of smut, but your review was wonderful. Honestly, the whole master/slave scenario makes me uncomfortable, especially if it's supposed to be actual kidnapping and slavery (per the book's disclaimer). I'll stick with the "lighter" smut. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway!!

    Diana ♥ Book of Secrets

    ReplyDelete
  47. Leontine, I'm back after reading Comfort Food. I am in shock and blown away. Not because I hated but quite the opposite. It was a story that was brutally honest, emotional and tore me to the core. Both the characters are damaged souls but in the end found a middle ground of meeting each other's needs. I am not sure it was love, as Emily would say, but a feeding/nurturing a need that was a void in their lives. Whew, anyway, thank you, thank you for steering me to Kitty Thomas's story and I'm still in a haze and will be re-reading this again and slower this time, just so I can sort out some feelings I had towards the story. Kudos to Kitty Thomas on an intense story which will stay with me.

    ReplyDelete
  48. I absolutely devoured the book. Kitty Thomas pushed the limits in a way which made me uncomfortable yet wholly satisfied. I can certainly say, this was one of my favorites this year.

    I went to her web page and cannot express how disappointed I was to see this is her only book out at the moment. Any hints about her next book?

    ReplyDelete
  49. Wow! Awesome review. This sounds like an interesting story...something I wouldn't usually read but I think I will actually get this
    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  50. @Janna - YAY I look forward to talking with you about this book!!

    @Armenia - Woohoo I'm so glad you got swept in to the emotion of the characters YAY On to Kitty Thomas' second novel :)

    @Reena jacobs - I know KT is working on her second novel GUILTY PLEASURES, but no release date as of today.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Yeah me too, Leontine! But it probably won't be next Friday already... ;) But we already have enough other stuff to talk about then! :D

    ReplyDelete
  52. I've read so much about this book. First review had me thinking it would push me waaay out of my comfort zone. I love to read BDSM but the whole idea of a relationship that is not entirely consensual (at least at first) had my squirming in my seat. But the more I hear about the more I want to give it a try (and now that I can download it for free it will most likely happen). Thanks for the intriguing review.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Hey Heather S, thanks! Be sure to pick it up by the end of this month, that's when the freebie offer ends. :)

    ReplyDelete
  54. Thanks so much for the review! It's fabulous, thumbs up! :)

    ReplyDelete
  55. I love smashwords as well and frequent it often. Its is an amazing site for lots of great reads.

    ReplyDelete
  56. @Pink - Glad I could help :)

    @daydrmzzz - I agree, lurv smashwords so far and have a few new-to-me authors to read up on :)

    ReplyDelete
  57. Thanks for a great review. Don't know if I'll get the book or not. I like D/s stories, but not the ones where the sub is a slave 24/7.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I saw this book over at Cecile's place too and it intrigued me - your review has clinched it - I must read this book! Also, I don't know why but I love the cover.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Thanks Leontine for this review. I still don't know if Comfort Food is for me, but since it's free I should give it a try especially since both you and Cecile loved it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Wow, thanks for the code, will definitely be checking out this story.


    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete

I love to hear all your voices and opinions so thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.