Book review: Cari Silverwood Yield

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Yield is dark, bloody and erotic romance at its best. It is a deeply emotional journey that is both poetic and brutal. Consent is dubious at times – but climax is guaranteed.

Wren is our protagonist. While on her mission to find her father’s killer she crosses the path of two dominant, sadistic men: Glass and Moghul. Each man has his own flavor of domination. Glass approaches her with love. Moghul approaches her with powerful obsession. Both are determined to have her, even if it kills them.

Although Wren is at a vulnerable time in her life, she doesn’t give up and her spirit never breaks. Wren has spunk, class and a great ass. Cari’s characters are finely written with a balance of strength and openness that immediately and easily invite you in for the ride thus making the scenes of dubious consent easier to access emotionally. So, even though Moghul is clearly bad we are given such depth of character that we can relax into and understand his cold, sadistic domination of Wren.

Cari’s masterful characterization makes it easier to journey deep into the heart of BDSM relationships. She realistically captures the bliss that pain can bring thus portraying the essence of Dom and Sub space with long overdue honesty and flare.

The book starts out on the lighter side as we witness the blossoming of Glass and Wren’s relationship and their journey into BDSM. However, Moghul is a consistent haunting and dark menace, watching and stalking from a distance. As a reader you are never sure if you want Wren to be rescued from the darkness or for her to surrender to it.

Moghul eventually kidnaps Wren and is determined to bend her to his will, even if it breaks her. Glass might be a bad boy but Moghul is a deliciously evil man.

The beginning of the book was a little hard to get into but I guarantee if you stick with it you wont be disappointed. Plus, I am a sick little bunny – I like the darkness so I may have just been impatient to get to the darker aspects of the novel. Upon reflection, the contrast between the sunny beginning and the darker ending may help illustrate the different shades of being and loving for the characters as their relationships evolved through the book.

During her time in captivity we learn that Wren is not the kind of girl who breaks – quite the opposite. Wren blossoms under Moguls regime of heavy handed of pain, mind-blowing sex and general psychological fuckery. In the darkness Wren finds herself and her bliss.

Whilst the plot is fast and gritty Yield is dripping with sensuality. The first sex scene with Glass caused me to put the book down and draw (panting) breath. I know that scene will stick with me for a long, long time, the imagery was so hot and vivid it is burned into my mind.

Cari talks about her books being a mind-fuck. She neglects to mention that reading her books can leave you feeling quite literally fucked and in need of a cold shower, cigarette, a drink and a good lie down to recover. And this is no mean feat considering she has included a detailed hook suspension scene.

The hook suspension scene was masterfully written. Cari’s portrayal is so realistic, delicate and hot I had to read the scene three times over. The first time I just bathed in its beauty, the second time I focused on the technical side of the scene and the writing, and the third time was pure indulgence. This is important because the technical aspects of BDSM novels can pull you out of erotic novels. At no point did Cari’s descriptions pull me out of the story (no pun intended – okay, a little bit intended). That is why I had to go back over and read the hook suspension scene to see just how she had managed that in her writing.

I have recommended this book to all of my friends in the BDSM scene who are looking for romance novels that speak to their lifestyle choices and desires.

What was so wonderful about the hook suspension scene was that it fitted in seamlessly with the plot and assisted in character and relationship developments. In short, the hook suspension scene wasn’t just included for shock value, which was a huge relief. Quite often when I read these elements of the BDSM world they feel like they are just there for shock value – they serve no purpose in the plot other than to be edgy. While Cari certainly shocks at times, in this instance Cari hasn’t disrespected her readers by including hook suspension for simple shock value. When Wren was suspended – I was right there with her. When Wren came off the hooks, I felt the change in her and the shift in the relationship.

The novelty of this book was the fact you could choose your own ending. I don’t normally like this option in a book but in Yield it worked beautifully. You could read the Blade Path or the Thorn Path. I read both in the order they are presented in the book. I would strongly recommend this approach because wow did that pack an emotional and visceral punch. Let’s just say, I will never look at a rose bush the same way. There is a definite rawness and poetry in the darkness Cari captures. Each Path provides a Happy Ever After – but with a dark twist, that is why I still class Cari’s books as romance.

Cari clearly enjoys pushing her characters and readers to their absolute limits. This book will enthrall you, seduce you and challenge you. It will test your moral compass and leave you questioning what you thought you knew about love and romance. But do yourself a favour, let it bewitch you and take a walk on the dark side. You might like it, Wren certainly did.

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