Iron Dominance by Cari Silverwood
**advance reader copy received via NetGalley**
“He wanted this woman at his feet, held by his will, wanted to wind his hand into her hair so tight she couldn’t move, to tilt her head to one side and sink his teeth into her glorious long neck.” – Iron Dominance by Cari Silverwood
This was my first Cari Silverwood read and my first foray into steampunk erotica with a BDSM flavor. Iron Dominance is part of Silverwood’s Steamwork Chronicles series. I enjoy quality steampunk, and I do not have an aversion to BDSM, but I found this to be a slower read. Theo, a wealthy politician and former military man, is a dominant male who rescues the frankenstruct and assassin Claire from an airship crash. As sub-humans with no rights, Claire is overwhelmed by Theo’s willingness to treat her as a human being, even though she may have been ordered to kill him. Initially there was a great deal of focus on the sexual tension between the lead characters, but not very much back story on the characters themselves. Who are they, and why are they like they are? This, I think, is where my problems start to crop up.
“He was the lord here. Claire would soon find out that meant more than obeying him in bed.” – Iron Dominance
I expect more from my female leads than accepting situations such as the one Theo offered without much of a fight. Theo came across as a know-it-all (and at times, a jerk) who demanded complete subservience from everyone. It’s one thing to be in a dom/sub relationship where you accept your roles in the bedroom or at playtime, but another thing entirely to be subjected to the multiple situations and forced apologies that were required of Claire.
“And that is one of my rules. I get to decide how far we try to go, because I don’t think, Claire, that you really know yourself.” – Iron Dominance
In the end it appears that she sacrificed as much as possible – all she had to offer, in fact, and Theo came out of it all smelling like roses, and willing to toss her to the curb. With all of my complaining about the characters out of the way, I want to say that the story itself was good. My problems are merely the personalities of the characters, which were not issues for other reviewers, based on the ratings. My preferences are my own, and a lot of work goes into these books. The idea of frankenstructs themselves and a world where different governments and nations work against one another using all manner of tools and skillsets (including assassins and sabotage) is very interesting. The BDSM and sexual scenes practically set my Kindle on fire, and the world that Cari Silverwood built for her characters is first rate.