The Hall of Flame by Candy Bagham
... Where no secret is safe!
The Master of Brindley holds keys to the sexual awakening his guests have secretly craved, but never been brave enough to face! Fiendishly clever – and surrounded by a team of exquisitely skilled assistants – he leads nervous victims through a tangled forest of deviant sex, delighting in his ability to ignite a taste for deeply suppressed taboos. For Jennifer, more than anyone else, life can never be the same again...
The happiness and security that came with winning the Euromillions shatters into tiny pieces when Jennifer is witness to her husband Peter’s infidelity. Knowing she loves her husband more than anything in the world, she embarks on an adventure that she hopes will be the change the two require. Through the intervention of Lady Sarah Van Brieden, an attractive, beguiling older woman with many hidden talents, the couple attends a weekend gathering at Brindley Hall, submitting to the tutelage of its esteemed Master and his staff. Under his guidance, they will journey into the realms of extreme pleasure, discovering some shocking surprises on the way.
Peter happily surrenders himself to every fleshly delight; while for the titillated Jennifer the experience is more cerebral enlightenment. She’s aware of her driving desire to explore and submit herself to intense sensuality; but discovers that, as her mind opens to pleasures such as Sapphic sex and pain as sexual pleasure, she is on a one way trip – there’s no going back to the relatively innocent suburban marriage of her previous life. However, as they open themselves in highly charged sexual encounters with The Master’s other weekend guests, they are aware of the risk to their shaky marriage. This throw of the dice could lose them everything they treasure.
When Jennifer is finally given the task of overseeing another woman’s pleasure, she finds that being in command of someone else proves to be the biggest buzz of all. A fact that will demand she make some life-changing decisions.
Posted by Lindie Beeston, CA on 23rd Sep 2010
I chose “Hall of Flame” as ‘Book of the Month’ for our book club – we love Pink Flamingo. Here are clips from the reviews.
‘Bagham breathes life into her characters in a way that makes you almost able to taste them. The myth-busting scene where Erin learns how to gush whilst being simultaneously seduced with her partner, has to be the most erotic description of lesbian sex I’ve ever enjoyed.'
‘The build up to Jen and Peter’s gifts to each other had me hanging by the finger-tips alongside them.’
‘I’m still not sure if The Master is a cruel or a merciful man? Whatever else, his ingenuity is ceaselessly fascinating, and his skill at producing mental and physical pain and pleasure is exquisite.’
‘Although the story is billed as being a journey for Jennifer and Peter, the trip is principally hers - and boy what a ride she gets! The excitement produced by every new sensual scene she experiences, is a revelation to her about the nature of her own self; yet by the end she’s still only on the threshold of the new world she’s discovered.’
‘For me, the guests may be on stage but the real stars are behind the scenes - The Master’s team. Lady Sarah, the catalyst to bring everyone together; Maitresse Genevieve, the scary Dominatrix; Dr Burroughs, the physician advisor, and Rahskit, the sexual Guru. With guys like that on his side he can’t go wrong.’
We have a fair sized group of like-minded people who correspond and meet each month for role-play fun. It’s my turn to set the scene in December and it’s going to be a “Hall of Flame’ night for sure. I shall be Marie, so The Master is already chosen (and he’ll be really good at it!), but I shall have wonderful fun over the next couple of months as I allocate the parts. It’s going to be a night to remember!
Posted by Harry Cracker on 13th Sep 2010
This is a truly enticing love story, set in the South of England, about a husband and wife who are crazy for each other, but whose underlying passions and curiosity take them into a world where things happen which others only fantasize about. In terms of content genre, a good smattering of deliciously described BDSM is on offer, liberally mixed with a multitude of other tantalizingly imaginative sensuous delights.
Unusually, the story follows a kind of ‘Arabian Nights’ concept, in that there are many tales of adventure held together by a central mainstay; but it’s the couple’s sexual odyssey, their increasingly nervous anticipation, and their growing realisation that they are going to burst spectacularly through the boundaries of their limits, which generates the narrative drive and embraces the reader.
Tension rises page by page as they witness the ingenious Master of Brindley applying his skills whilst awaiting their own fate. I really felt I was inside their heads as I too watched the unusual and extraordinarily erotic scenes unfold. It was totally mesmerising to enjoy the subtle way The Master slowly brought Jennifer to the realisation of her own dominant character and, by the end, I was desperate to enjoy the next chapter in her life and see her put what she’d learned into practice. I think I’d even let her practice on me!
As well as being drawn deeply into the story, I know I’ve found a book which I will continue to take off the shelf from time, to time to dip into favourite passages. By the way, if there’s a real life Lady Sarah out there, I’d love to meet you.