Review: The Deep End by Kristen Ashley

March 09, 2017

The Deep End by Kristen Ashley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Standalone - Honey #1
Release - March 7, 2017
Genre - BDSM Erotica
Dual POV - 3rd person
Heat - 5 out of 5
Length - 482 pages

Enter a decadent sensual world where gorgeous alpha males are pleasure slaves committed to fulfilling a woman's every desire. At the elite Honey club, no boundary will be left untested, and one's darkest desires will become a sensual reality.

Olivier isn’t sure what he’s gotten himself into when he joins the Honey Club, only that a dark part of him craves the lifestyle offered by this secret, exclusive club.

When Amèlie invites Olivier to surrender, she pushes him to explore his deepest desires as a submissive. As they grow closer and find themselves falling harder than either of them anticipated, the truth about Olivier’s past could threaten the budding relationship they both long for.

Find it here:
Goodreads | Amazon


I think this was the hardest KA book to rate that I've ever read. It was not what I expected, but then again I didn't know what to expect so I went into this with zero expectations. When I heard that Kristen Ashley was introducing a new erotica series, I was intrigued. My curiosity has been slaked but I'm not sure exactly what to say about this read. At first I was going to DNF this story for a multitude of reasons, one of which was the oddity of what I was reading. But then I looked at it from a different angle and found that if I read this as regular old smut, it was quite entertaining. So I've labeled this smut and encourage smut lovers to take a chance on it.

Amelie is a domme at the Honey Club who has finally figured out, after seven years on the scene, that she wants more. She wants more than what the posturing subs that frequent the place have to offer. She wants more than a sub who will break under pressure. She wants a sub that she can bond with and have a future with. She meets Olivier and while he's new to the club (and to the life), it's almost immediately apparent that he is all that she's wished for and more. He offers a fulfillment and a kinship she hadn't found before.

Olivier was obviously no ordinary sub. For one, he was huge and I mean everywhere ladies *wink. He was also quite the Alpha and found it hard to relinquish the rigid control he held over himself. I think that's what I liked about him and Amelie. There was a fluidity and sensuality throughout their relationship, both in and out of the bedroom/playroom and they both seemed to have an inherent sense of each other's limits.

So, what didn't work for me was the fact that Olivier was an Alpha and I was expected to believe that he wanted to be submissive. Huh? That didn't work for me. Maybe if I didn't find plenty of KA-isms throughout this story, such as typical Alpha/caveman behavior like grunting and "babe" and the use of incomplete sentences, maybe then this would be easier to read. But the KA formula was still there and as much as I still love that formula, there was an idiosyncrasy when linked to the idea of an Alpha male as a submissive. And I didn't completely buy the idea of Amelie as a domme. The scenes where she played weren't enjoyable for me. I preferred when she and Olivier were real with each rather than playing a scene that lacked authenticity. This was a huge step out of the box for KA fans such as myself and I'm unsure if it was a hit or a miss. I'm still contemplating the effect this story had on me.

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