In The Garden of Lust by Lizbeth Dusseau
For Marlena, being a submissive to a dominant man is an obsession she cannot ignore. Driven by her haunting need, she seeks out the services of her friend Miriam, a professional Domme who runs a matchmaking service for dominants and submissives. Though Miriam worries that the beautiful 40 year old widow is too inexperienced for the three month arrangement she wants, Lena’s determination wins her over. From Miriam’s files of clients, Marlena chooses a wealthy English actor and lifestyle master, Benjamin Lyons.
Following the master’s instructions, Marlena arrives in London wearing nothing but a dress and high heels. She goes directly to a leather shop, where she’s fitted into a locking leather harness that will be her only attire during weeks of training at the master’s country cottage. She shovels shit, tends his animals, and pulls a plow through his huge garden in bridle, bit and harness. Sex is brusque, and brilliant, but all too brief to satisfy an urgent and growing need.
The master’s authority is absolute; his lust is savage; and the compassion she sees behind his cold visage gives her hope that there’s a softer man behind the cool façade. He’s all that she desires. But while everything about her new life could be taken straight from her kinky fantasies, fantasy is not reality. And the reality of her slave life is as rough as Miriam warned. Has she made a mistake going these extremes? A battle of wills between master and slave soon escalates into a heated crisis that threatens to end Marlena’s journey into the dark heart of her desire.
Romance, passion, steamy sex and graphic BDSM content combine in this tale of sexual awakening.
“So, you need a man,” she starts in, not missing a beat. “I assume a dominant one, since with that ridiculously perfect figure of yours and that gorgeous face, you could probably bag a vanilla man in any bar on any given night.” She gives me the once over, her eyes narrowing with concern. “What is this? You running marathons again?”
I pull back. “No. Not really, there was a half-marathon last fall…” my voice peters out as I blush again. “I suppose I’ve been a little compulsive lately about exercise… takes the edge off.”
“Well, if it takes the ‘edge off’ why are you here?” Typically blunt, of course. I need that now and it’s one trait of Miriam’s personality that I particularly like.
“There’s more of an edge these days than usual,” I say.
“Any particular reason?”
“No. But I’ve finally accepted the fact that my fantasies are never going to go away, and it’s about time I addressed them head on.”
Her dry smile is expected, although I sense some affection behind it. Once, when we were much younger, she made a pass at me, which so totally freaked me out that I didn’t see her for months. We laughed about it when I finally broke the ice again, but I knew she wouldn’t make another such attempt at intimacy. She was too proud to be rejected again. But I also believe that she still harbors some feelings for me, and that there’s more behind the affectionate glance than simple friendship. The way I’m feeling now, I could probably submit to her sexually if I allowed myself, but that would still be avoiding what’s most important. It’s a man I need, not a female.
“Address the issue head on. What a novel idea,” she muses.
I take her sardonic comment as typical Miriam. She would have had me divorce Tony a long time before he died. In her world, relationships come and go with ease, but that’s not so easy for me.
“However, you’re in luck today,” she moves on. “I have a special on one-night stands and weekend rendezvous. I’ll pluck a few from my files and let you look.”
I shake my head. “No, no, not a one night stand, not a weekend or even a week. The entire summer. I want to be a slave for the entire summer—” I see her wary look and stop. “What? Am I asking the impossible?”
“You might be,” she says cautiously.
“But you’re still in the match-making business, aren’t you?”
“Heavens yes. But for you—” She stops abruptly.
“What do you mean, for me?” My gut begins to grind, as if I’ve just consumed a liter of Vodka and a dozen stuffed jalapenos. Yet, there’s something else, too: an unmistakable tickle in my crotch that rises far above the noxious churning in my belly. The reality of my mission hits home with the thought that Miriam might not be able to provide me what I’m looking for. Still, I need this badly, and I need Miriam to come through as she has before.
“What I mean, Marlena, is that matching submissive females with dominant males for long term contracts is not easy. Especially when it’s a friend I’m placing. Not all arrangements are successful—everyone understands that from the start. Frankly, I’m surprised that after all this time, you’re ready to go to such extremes. To put yourself into an arrangement for three months?” She sighs and shakes her head. “An entire summer is a long time—especially if you were to end up stuck in a bad situation. You can’t just walk away if things get too rough, or you lose interest, or the guy smells like garlic every time he demands a kiss.”
“You’re trying to talk me out of this?” I expected her to be a bit surprised, maybe, but not this.
“I’m giving you a reality check.”
“I’ve already done that sufficiently.” I’m pretty irritated. “I’ve run this by every ‘reality check’ I can think of and nothing so far is bad enough to stop me. Besides, I thought you were the matchmaker with the sixth sense about what your clients need—doms and subs.” I even heard her say that once. “Don’t you weed out the unsavory sort? I thought that was your job.”
© Claudia Dewald, iStock.com