Review: Ravenous by Alexandra Blunt

Just when Julian Schwarzenberg accepted that discarding his kinkster skin might be for the best, a call from the owner of one of London's BDSM clubs rekindles his need to have someone to call his own; to dominate and nurture to his heart’s content. Julian was hurt in the past, and he’s reluctant to accept a mystery invitation that could very well lead to a massive case of heartache. And to welcome Christopher into his life might just be Julian’s undoing.

Christopher’s life is like a permanent construction site: unstable and filled to the brim with flakes of emotional plaster. His eating disorder is consuming him from within, and his quest for Dominant Mr. Right--the one thing keeping him going--is a mirage akin to finding water on Mars. But fate finally delivers one effective punch--a smokingly hot Dom who is on the hunt for Submissive Mr. Right. Love may be waiting for Julian and Chris, but it will require them to take a leap of faith. They might just be willing, because they're both Ravenous.

2.75 Hearts

This is me... On the fence.

Because this book was a mixed bag for me.

Julian is a successful lawyer who left the BDSM scene 6 months prior, wanting more from the lifestyle than what he could find at his local BDSM club. When he gets a call from his best friend and club owner, he knows she wants something from him, he just couldn't have guessed it was to take on a new sub. Chris is damaged. He's emotionally vulnerable, recently kicked out of his brother's home, and suffering from anorexia. But there's something about the blue eyes and quiet strength of the young man that has Julian agreeing to take the boy in.

Let's just be honest: BDSM isn't even remotely a cure all. It might help a sub become more disciplined and focused, but it's not going to cure a physical or mental issue. It's not meant to. Julian and Chris both know this, and for the most part Julian doesn't try to fix Chris's eating disorder by being all Dommy. He orders Chris to eat regular meals, and while it may force Chris into eating some, generally, he balks and skips the meals when Julian isn't there to supervise. Instead, Chris sees a therapist and doctor to get treatment for his disorder, so YAY! for that.

But remember, I said this was a mixed bag.

The good:

The plot. Both the treating of the eating disorder, and the evolving relationship between Julian and Chris were fantastic. The growth of the relationship between the two was really enjoyable, and frankly, I would have been happy to have that be the sole focus of the book.

The demand from Julian for open and clear communication was absolutely refreshing.

Waiting for Chris to grow into his own person within the boundaries of their relationship before bringing sex into the mix, was a wise decision by Julian, despite what Chris thought.

And the adorable affection between Julian and Chris was as easy as it was smile inducing. I loved seeing these two men grow and open themselves up to each other.

The bad:

The knowing looks from the doctor when Chris was brought in for treatment, like KINK was tattooed across their foreheads, was irritating, at best. But when it comes to the knowing look department, Julian and Chris have it down to a science. These two men can read an entire kaleidoscope of emotions just by looking into each other's eyes. The most I get when I look into someone's eyes? Eye color. Maybe some indications that they need more sleep. But lust, excitement, a tinge of anxiety, and a boatload of need, in one look?

It's not as sexy as you'd imagine.

Chris often relies on being bratty to get his Dom's attention. What was cute at first, soon wears out its welcome, and it was a trope I wish the book hadn't resort to.

There was unnecessary conflict with Chris's brother near the end, where the real focus should have been Chris's eating disorder. I wanted to see growth and healing from Chris with his doctors and his Dom. Instead, we're told about any progress that happens in passing, like an afterthought. It's my biggest sad when it comes to this story, because it looked like it was heading for a serious Miracle Grow kind of moment, but then we get a maniacal villain who steals the spotlight, instead of the healing of a character.

And last, but not least, a very uncomfortable scene that takes place at Mistress Jessamy's house. Listen, I know BDSM tends to be portrayed as a public thing, but having an intimate scene in front of another couple, outside of a club, while they have a scene... It all just seems so skeevy.
But that's on me.

The ugly:

I have a whole new repertoire of dirty talk at my disposal. Are you ready to be seduced?


...Julian alternating between the two rosy love buttons. (hahaha, he means nipples)

...Julian deprived him of his touch, snapping a leather cock ring on his tumescent - and precum-leaking- organ.

Julian kept on with his task, coating Chris's body with the oil until his skin was thoroughly impregnated. (

...stimulating that hard bundle that was Chris's prostate. And for every jolt of pleasure coming from his overexcited love gland... (stop laughing! I'm trying to seduce you here!)

His prostate singing joyous hymns when those deft fingertips made contact with his gland.

Another digit penetrated Chris's steaming hole... (WTF?! Chris, you need to see a doctor about that.)

...the love tool retreating until it almost slipped out... (no lie, I LOL'd hard at that one)

Before he could step away from their love nest... (I'm so using that as the word for "bed" from now on.)

It keeps going, but I think you get the idea. It's flowery with a side of cheese.

And I know it's protocol to call the sub "boy", but after a whopping 824 times of reading that word, IDGAF, I never want to read that word again. (If you were wondering, "Master" makes an appearance 442 times.)

Dirty talk aside, I found that there was quite a bit of repetitive internal monologuing that could have been edited out. It came across more telling than showing, and it made the story drag in places.

I don't think this was the "right book at the right time" for me. Or maybe, it never was going to be the book for me. While the plot is a fantastic one, the style just hit me all wrong. But that's me, and everyone reads books differently. I can see other people loving this, especially people new to the BDSM genre, who need the extra bit of explanation and conflict in their story.

Recommended for those who like kink, some hurt comfort, and a little sexual healing.

Now take all that newfound dirtytalk I just taught you, and have some fun!

A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Find out more on Goodreads.

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