When I began planning this book I had two things in mind – one, to do a present-day capture fantasy where a likeable guy starts out ordinary yet becomes the captor, and two, to make the reader think, by keeping the story in that gray zone where it might be non-consensual, or it might be dubious consent. I wasn't sure I could achieve this, but from what readers are saying, I mostly have.
There have been comments from readers that the mind fuck of Klaus was as bad as, or more than, what happens to Jodie. And a lot of readers have said I did it to them too. All of this makes me very happy. I love the idea of messing with readers’ minds!
I'm not totally sure, but I think this stems partly from how the story is set up. Jodie is a woman who has always loved capture fantasy and has read hundreds of them on her kindle. That common aspect of her character is one many of us who read these stories can identify with. That, plus the first person POV, tends to take you deep into her mind when Jodie experiences the story’s events.
People have also loved seeing half the story from Klaus’s POV. While writing it I found myself also entranced by what he was thinking and how he perceived things. The male POV is not always easy to do well, but the review from Michael at Behind the Chintz Curtain, shows at least one man agrees with the way Klaus has been portrayed.
And a reviewer on Goodreads put it this way:
“I've read books that have fucked with my mind a whole lot more than this (ie. Comfort Food or Seduced in the Dark) – but this one, for whatever reason, seemed to mess with both my mind and my heart, in equal measure, which made the impact of each, far greater than it “should” have been.”
And a quote from Holly of Full Moon Bites: “Dark, intriguing and erotic, with a dose of realism, Take Me, Break Me, is a tale of a man who finds out there is more to himself than the peaceful, civilized veneer he has always worn.”
Now, just for fun, here’s a little list of some curious facts from Take Me, Break Me.
This story is set on Magnetic Island, off the coast of Australia. The town on the mainland, that they travel to, is called Townsville, but it’s such a boring name (sorry Townsville!) that I deliberately did not use it. By the way, it’s named after the explorer who discovered the area – Robert Towns. I also did not bother to get too precise about the setting as I would rather it be a little off center and surreal. I don't want it to match reality.
The bamboo cane that Klaus uses is not really recommended for caning as it can split. However, some people do use it. Possibly green bamboo is safer, and that’s what Klaus uses. Dry bamboo, if it splits, can cause skin lacerations.
Though I planned this to be a story that skirts dubious consent, so far I've been surprised at how romantic readers find it. I guess I'm not that hardcore. I find it difficult to write a story where the man is truly unsympathetic to the reader and unappealing to me – even though I do read those types of stories.
The ending was actually difficult for me to get right. I thought it would be the easiest part but once I got there I couldn't see how to do it. Many of my beta readers told me it was too short, and I knew they were right, but it still took several tries to be satisfied with it. At first it was too short, then it was too ‘vanilla’. I mean, this was a story about a sadistic Dom and yet the ending I first had was merely kissing. I added several thousand words before I was happy with how Klaus and Jodie ended up.
Top drop, as detailed in the story, does seem to happen, and I'm not surprised that it does, yet experienced Doms may not have heard of it. Google it to find some references to the problem.
When I began this story, I put an excerpt on facebook and I was astounded at how much it appealed to women. When my beta readers read the book that was the part several of them picked as ‘perfect’. Somehow I managed to pick exactly the right excerpt. If you're curious, when you read the book, it’s the part where Klaus first uses the spider gag.
If you'd like to read a sample of Take me, Break me click here.
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