by Lena Austin

June 2004
ISBN: 1-59632-001-X
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Lena Austinís Black Widow acquaints the reader with the highly imaginative, pleasurable world of BDSM. To gain entrance into this very private circle, one needs to know someone already involved on the scene. Needless to say, reporters are not allowed access to this exclusive realm. But ex police officer, almost starving writer Calder Burgess has the chance to make some much needed cash if he can write an article on BDSM. Luckily he has friends on the inside, Brad and Angie. Even though he knows the society memberís wonít like having Calder inside their midst, Brad still takes Calder to one of the BDSM parties.

Although Calder is fascinated by all the new tricks he sees at the party, he is even more fascinated by the beautiful, dominating lady they call the Black Widow, Kelly Forsythe. Independently wealthy, Kelly does not train others in BDSM for the money; itís more for fun and entertainment. She also volunteers at a local hospice in hopes of making her boring life a little more exciting. The one thing she craves the most is something sheís been missing for years now, Mr. Right. When she meets Calder, she realizes that he may be the one sheís been waiting for, if she can train him correctly that is.

Unfortunately, Calder has always played by his own rules, and heís not ready to roll over just because a woman can bake a scrumptious chocolate cake and still find time to set him on fire for a pulsating adrenaline rush. Good relationships are based on trust and love, and when Calder continues to design his own game by not telling Kelly his real reason for joining the BDSM society, he begins to realize that itís not the Black Widowís venom that kills but rather the broken heart.

Although itís well written and quite entertaining, Black Widow is definitely not for the meek and mild; itís truly for those who like to swing those whips. If thatís you, then youíll love the hot BDSM scenes, many that will have you looking at everyday items in your household with a whole new perspective.

With this story, Austin seems to have had a dual purpose in mind and masterfully achieves both of those. Not only does she entertain readers with a combustible, erotic affair, but she also realistically informs them about BDSM, both the good and the bad.

Kelly is a beautifully sketched character who surprises at every turn as layer after layer is unveiled of her personality. Though she can strike as quickly as her counterpart, it isnít in her true nature. Deep inside, sheís like every other woman in the world, searching for a man who loves her for herself. That aspect about her is what makes her so likable.

Albeit Calder is an interesting male lead, he doesnít come across completely as the right man for Kelly. As such, the chemistry between the two is somewhat lacking, and the readers may find it a little difficult to visualize the couple in a long-term relationship based on something besides sex.

Nevertheless, this story is still a good reason to tie yourself down for a little while.

Reviewed in November 2004 by Natasha.

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