flat ebookThey say ‘sex sells’ and that has never been truer since the world wide phenomena that was ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’. Amazon’s bestseller listing for kindle and the shelves of high street bookstores now offer a variety of erotic fiction aimed at both women and men and this novel falls well ‘inside the lines’ of that category (excuse the Pun) and so this month sees the release of  “Inside The Lines” by Ally Bishop.  The Library Door was delighted to be invited to review the book in advance of its launch on the 9th of March.

This book is a thoroughly modern romance with a sassy, smart and beautiful heroine in the shape of Lux Trace AKA Mistress Hathaway, who inducts us into the world of BDSM and the Dominatrix as she introduces  Fin McKenzie to all aspects of her life. For the uninitiated, BDSM is a catch all phrase used to cover Bondage Discipline, Domination, Submission, Sadism and Masochism. After meeting Fin , when he stands in for an escort friend on a ‘job’ Lux breaks her own rules and starts to date him. The story follows their romance  with the expected and unexpected trials and tribulations along the way.’ True love never runs smooth’ its said and that’s especially true when The horse whisperer meets Dominatrix.

This is New York based author Ally Bishop’s ( first book. She been writing since she was eight on an electric typewriter and  in spiral note books, before graduating on to a MAC. In the past she’s run writing groups, judged writing competitions and gained two writing degrees on the road to her first book.

Hot on the heels of Fifty Shades of Grey, Inside The Lines is a

Ally Bishop

Ally Bishop

book for the woman who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to ask for it. It paints a vivid picture of the fetish world whilst giving the characters depth and feelings . Whilst its packed full of every kind of sex scene you can think of , you can enjoy being a voyeur without feeling seedy . The sex scenes are well written, realistic and without those awful banal phrases you find in some’ chick lit’ efforts . The storyline carries you through and you are keen to find out if it all works out in the end as a good romance should.

There is a supporting cast of characters used to move along or explain aspects of the plot. Lux’s enthusiasm for all things BDSM shines through. I initially thought I might be disappointed by a clichéd reason for Lux’s interest in BDSM but Ms. Bishop manages to not to alienate all those non traumatized ‘toppers’ and ‘bottomers’ out there by presenting Lux as a fully rounded personality. All the characters are likable and I was pleased to hear there might be a further instalment in their story.

Riders_-_Jilly_CooperBack in my 20’s I read Jilly Cooper novels when they were considered the steamiest thing you could read in public. Now with the advent of E Readers we can indulge whatever fantasies we wish on the bus to work. The content here is 20 years beyond what was considered daring then but I was reminded a little of Cooper’s best efforts in the equestrian related aspects of the story.

I’d recommend this as a read for broadminded women of any age but I think it would most likely appeal to those in their twenties . Yes the characters are all gorgeous, rich and extremely energetic, which generally would irritate me but who wants its too real in a fantasy? The reality may be that your ‘sub’ isn’t an underwear model but one can hope!

Our American readers can avail of a chance to to win a $25 Etsy gift card along with a signed copy of the book and 3 eBooks. To be in with a chance click on the link below.

Reviewed by Georgina Self



Completely bsde coverThey fuck you up, your mum and dad. They may not mean to, but they do. They fill you with the faults they had and add some extra, just for you…”  

Philip Larkin’s pithy observation on parenthood is now so accepted as a truism that a story of a young adult coming to terms with childhood trauma runs the risk of falling into the “also ran” category – at best adding a slightly different perspective to a well-trodden (over exposed?) literary path. Not so last months book group read “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves” by Karen Joy Fowler.

When we meet the narrator, Rosemary, she’s in her early twenties in her 5th year in college. She’s changed majors several times, is unlikely to graduate in the foreseeable future, has been arrested (for a minor misdemeanor) and resents having to spend Thanksgiving with her parents – who are still paying all her expenses. So what’s new? Sounds like the typical, annoying, “because I’m worth it” university student that can be found in thousands on any campus in the Western world.

As Rosemary’s tale unfolds we gradually realize that her childhood challenges really are out of the ordinary. But then her father was an ambitious academic psychologist. In this, her grandmother’s low opinion of psychologists as people who “conducted studies around the breakfast table, made freak shows of their own families, and all to answer questions nice people wouldn’t even think to ask” gives us an early forewarning of what’s to come.

For the first five years of her life Rosemary was a central subject in one of her father’s research projects. Living in a large farm with her parents, older brother and twin sister, graduate students observed and recorded all aspects of her development – and compared it to that of her sister, Fern. Was it any wonder that sibling rivalry was heightened to the extent that she strived to do better than Fern at everything? Her language skills were significantly better than Fern’s, so Rosemary talked incessantly. She copied and tried to outdo Fern at the activities Fern was better at – dancing on tables, climbing trees, sliding down banisters. And when Fern did something truly shocking, Rosemary told.

She told knowing that Fern would get into trouble – but she couldn’t have foreseen the consequences. Rosemary was sent to her grandparents for a visit and when she returned the family had moved house and Fern was gone. Her brother, Lowell, made it very clear who he thought was responsible – “If only you had just, for once, kept your goddamn mouth shut”.  The research project was abandoned, but the fall-out was to define the future of the whole family.

Karen Joy Fowler

Karen Joy Fowler

This is American writer Karen Joy Fowler’s ( 5th novel, published in 2013 it was shortlisted for the 2014 Man Booker Prize. But she is best known for her 2004 book “The Jane Austen Book Club”, which was subsequently made into a movie starring Emily Blunt, Maggie Grace, Amy Brenneman and Hugh Dancy. Her other books are “Wits End”(2008), “Sister Noon”(2001), “Sweetheart Season”(1996). She’s also published four collections of short stories and started her career writing Science Fiction short stories.

There is a twist to the book that I won’t reveal here. Partly because of the “spoiler alert” convention but also because what makes the book truly compelling is that the story is presented as unexceptional, normal – Rosemary and Lowell’s normality. For all children their family environment is what normality is. It is onlyJane Austen Bk grp as we grow up that we realize that it just might not be universal. By unfolding the story from Rosemary’s perspective as she navigates early adulthood, Joy-Fowler draws the reader into Rosemary and Lowell’s normality. So we understand Lowell’s ill-fated quest to find and avenge the injustice done to Fern. We empathize with Rosemary’s inability to trust her own judgment and her disinterest in the ‘normality’ of student life. Joy-Fowler’s genius is in enabling us to really ‘walk in their shoes’ – and in doing so question some deep-seated perceptions, assumptions and prejudices of our own.

This book is a truly compelling and thought-provoking read. Even if at times some of  the subject matter maybe a bit upsetting for a few and will have a huge bearing on who you recommend it to, as we found out at the meeting.