The Dollhouse – Stacia Stone
Series: standalone (full-length novel version of a previously released serial)
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The Dollhouse is a place where dreams can become reality – for a price.
There are Dolls for every taste and desire. Fantasy Dolls. Baby Dolls. Dolls as soft as silk or hard as plastic.
Dolls that just want to be broken.
Twenty-one year old college dropout, Dalea Moreno, has spent her entire life trying to ignore the things that she can’t have. When she is offered a place in the Dollhouse and enough money to change her life forever, it is impossible for Dalea to refuse. But when the mysterious patron with the beautiful face and terrifying desires selects her for his own, Dalea quickly realizes he wants more than her body. He wants control over her. He wants her submission. He wants more than she has ever given up before. And he won’t stop until every part of her is his for the taking.
For mature audiences (18+), contains explicit sexual content and BDSM elements. Reader discretion is advised.
This had a lot of strong elements and potential. It just, for me, didn’t quitelive up to them. An excellent premise, I was immediately struck by the basis for this story, particularly due to my love of dark erotica. I felt that it should, if anything, just be ‘erotica’ (maybe worthy of a “dark-ish” label), just with a BDSM and consensual slavery theme.
My main issue was the format. I don’t like serials as I prefer my reads to have a lot of depth and character development, which just tend to get lost when there are small instalments. This was slightly different – a full-length novel version of a previously released serial, but still suffered from trying to fit too many themes and plot developments into one novel. I’d have very much liked to have seen it as maybe a trilogy, a more epic erotic romance which was able to develop the characters fully and completely draw me in. As it was, the plot was highly predictable and there was very little characterisation at all. To be honest, I just didn’t care about them and didn’t really grasp and believe in their relationship.
“Love is neurotransmitters firing and hormones soaking the emotion centers of your brain. It’s a trick that your body plays on your minds. It isn’t real.”
Having said that, I very much enjoyed reading this. Despite its predictability, it was an easy read and extremely steamy, with some wonderful humiliation elements (something I am very fond of reading). I just wanted a little more length, more time with the characters, more time to care, and, of course, more of those extraordinarily written sex scenes to delve further into the world of slave-master BDSM relationships.
Stacia Stone is definitely an author to watch, and despite its flaws, there was a lot of potential here for more.