In Marina Anderson’s Haven of Obedience, high-powered London businesswoman Natalie Bowen visits a secret weekend retreat for successful professionals who want to explore their sexuality and experiment under the tutelage of skilled mentors who can rid them of habits that keep them locked in destructive relationship and bedroom behaviors and teach them how to free their minds and find pleasures they’ve never dreamed of. At this point in her life, The Haven seems like the perfect solution for Natalie, who has had no luck with men because of her tendency to take control of everything, both in her life and in her bedroom.
When Natalie arrives at The Haven, she finds out that the tutor she has been assigned to is Simon Ellis, the second-in-command to the founder of The Haven. Simon is tall, dark, and devastatingly handsome, and he takes his job seriously. Quite seriously. In fact, during their pre-orientation before the weekend’s opening dinner, Simon orders Natalie to strip and do various tasks for him. (The tasks are part of the “intake”) Natalie is hesitant, but she quickly learns that while she’s at The Haven, Simon’s word is final. This is a hard lesson for the strong-willed executive to swallow, but soon she starts to suspect that Simon has more than a professional interest in her, even though it is forbidden for tutors to engage in relationships with clients.
Anderson does a great job creating a large and intriguing cast of characters. While the focus of the book is Natalie and Simon, readers get to know a lot about other Haven guests. The female characters learn how to be more submissive, while the men learn not only how to please women but also how to submit to them as well. Natalie struggles so much with submission and following orders that Simon has to resort to bondage as a way to open her mind. However, there is not a ton of BDSM in the book. Yes, the women and men are taught to be submissive, but it’s not submissive in the D/s sense. There is quite a bit of sex (actually, a lot of sex) but not a lot of BDSM.
Throughout the book I had to remind myself that the Haven clients signed agreements upon registering at The Haven. Being a guest at The Haven means complete and total surrender to their methods. There were several instances of clients refusing to perform certain acts, and the choice was to obey or to leave. On the other hand, the book was rife with ideas for scenes and games to play.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Haven of Obedience has quite a few grammatical issues, and it lacks strong character and plot development; I think these were sacrificed in order to get to the “juicy bits” faster. It is billed as a book for people who “devoured” Fifty Shades of Grey, and regardless of your opinion of that book, there really are no comparisons. The book is almost purely fluff; if you keep that in mind, it’s a fun diversion. If you’re looking for a strong plot and well-developed characters, this book is not for you.
Haven of Obedience
is a great escape for an afternoon and it will certainly keep you entertained. It might even provide some inspiration for you and your partner….
- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Reprint edition (November 6, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1455545082