Erotica Book Review: The Mistresses by Melissa DuVant

Erotica Book Review

Title
The Mistresses
Author
Melissa DuVant
Publication Date: June 4, 2021
Genres: Erotica
Shelves: Female-author, Female-dominant

A collection of 20 short stories, The Mistresses offers some surprising diversity in its Mistresses and impressive variety in its encounters. I worried the stories might be too short to really get a feel for the characters, too brief to fall under the spell of the power-exchange, but Melissa DuVant works her magic with erotic efficiency.

'Harmony Miller, the Mile High Mistress' gets the collection off to an amusing start as a rude, obnoxious first-class passenger is put in his place by a flight attendant with a penchant for bondage. 'Elizabeth Queen and the Happy Ending' was one of my favorites, the story of an erotic power exchange between an author and her submissive, with a wonderful system of reward and punishment for proofing typos. 'Mistress M: A Working Mistress and Her Sunny Subbie' was another that I particularly enjoyed, a playful exploration of two women starting a new life in a new town, careful to keep their BDSM power-exchange a secret.

'Mistress Clara' was one of the more diverse stories in the collection, featuring a public exchange between a wheelchair Mistress and her non-verbal submissive, a story that makes clever use of Covid masks to hide BDSM gags, and it's just beautiful. 

'Bunny-Bitch, the Floor Manager of the Maid Cage Club' worked for me because of how deftly it walked the line between fantasy reluctance and real consent, making the maids work to earn their right to play another month. 'Marissa and Carissa, Devilish Twins' is one of the first true non-consent stories, but even it maintains a darkly playful edge as twins take advantage of a burglar who finds himself swapping prison for a very different captivity. 'Ichika Tachibana, Idol Manager' quickly switches things up again, taking the hyper-sexualization of aging Jpop/Kpop bands to a whole other level.

'Camille D’Aboville, The Connoisseur' is a unique story in the collection, one about the interplay between two Mistresses, captor and client, a story with the weight of past mistakes and the threat of looming betrayal. 'Merneith, Lady of the Red Nile' was one of the collection's most original tales, making the most of an authentic mummification fantasy, golden sarcophagus and all, to transform abomination into adoration. 'Annika Lebedev and the Hostile Takeover' takes the BDSM fantasy from the dungeon to the boardroom, with the most erotic hostile takeover you can imagine.

'The Director' (which ties into DuVant's Digital Slave and Digital Slave V2 novellas) is the most fetishistic of the stories, mixing latex, sensory deprivation, and brainwashing into an erotic delight.

As a whole, these stories fall more on the side of dubious consent and fantasy non-consent. There's a lot of kidnapping and captivity involved, with many punishments falling on the side of harsh reality rather than the erotic fantasy. There's a charm to the stories, however, a power to them that makes even the harshest treatment seem . . . well, enticing. 

Rating: ♀ ♀ ♀ 

My sincere thanks to the author for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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