Comfort Food By Kitty Thomas
Emily Vargas has been taken captive. As part of his conditioning methods, her captor refuses to speak to her, knowing how much she craves human contact. He’s far too beautiful to be a monster. Combined with his lack of violence toward her, this has her walking a fine line at the edge of sanity. Told in the first person from Emily’s perspective, Comfort Food is a tale of erotic surrender that explores what happens when all expectations of pleasure and pain are turned upside down, as whips become comfort and chicken soup becomes punishment.
This is not a story about consensual BDSM. This is a story about “actual” slavery. If reading erotica without safewords makes you uncomfortable, this is not the book for you. This is a work of fiction, and the author does not endorse or condone any behavior done to another human being without their consent.
Warning: This book contains BDSM elements, master/slave dynamics, nonconsensual sexual situations, psychological conditioning, and oral and anal play.
I give Comfort Food 4 ½ Strong shots.
From the moment I powered off my ereader at this stories end, the strangest thing stuck in my mind. In reading this book, I had been conditioned, probably not permanently, but it’s there. Just the idea of chicken soup turned my stomach—I actually took it out of a scene I was working on because I couldn’t stand to recall the smell.
Any book that affects me this way occupies a space in my mind for awhile. Disturbing, a little twisted, but the artist in me craves extreme reactions from words woven together, and appreciates the skill that goes into the weaving. My own little trigger, one of many Ms. Thomas exploits.
And all this by the end of chapter one.
To be perfectly honest, saying ‘This book is not for everyone’ is a gross understatement. This book is for those people who love a story for all its intricate details, for the power it has to move you. It’s for those people who hear lyrics like ‘I hurt myself today, to see if I still feel’, and understand, whether they’ve experienced that level of numbness or not. Because experiencing it isn’t necessary to understand the pure horror of feeling nothing.
Locked in a room, denied everything but bland sustenance—chicken soup and crackers, uck—the psychological manipulation of Emily is done slowly and carefully. I actually got to the point where I wanted her to give in because I couldn’t take the deprivation anymore. Some may say she didn’t ‘hold out long enough’. Bull. One of the most severe punishments you can give a child is to ignore them, to cut them off from your affection, to refuse to respond to them. They can feel when they’re not reaching you anymore and a normal reaction is for them to scream and cry and tell you anything you want to hear. ‘I’m sorry, mommy. I’ll be good, daddy. Please look at me!’That people actually believe that we become immune to such punishments as adults amazes me. I think we’re probably more susceptible; we’ve had the illusion of control for years.
This is a book I will definitely reread, probably for the same reason I treat myself to tequila every once in awhile. I’ve made myself real sick with the drink, but my inhibitions were gone, and in that moment, I felt free. I could never surrender my life like the heroine in Comfort Food, not in real life. But the author gives me a safe place where I can live out the warped fantasy.
I’ve given Comfort Food 4 ½ stiff shots because I would have like the sex to be a little less detached. In part, I understand why it was, but I found myself wanting a bit more of a connection.
I was tempted to take off another half a shot for the ending, but it didn’t feel right. Part of me hated the ending because I’m supposed to, because that’s the strong, modern day woman way to feel.
In the world of Ms. Thomas, in the sanctuary her hero created, there could be no better Happily Ever After.
Author's Website: http://kittythomas.com/kittys-books-2/