Review: Richochet by Xanthe Walter

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Title: Richochet
Author: Xanthe Walter
Year: 2012

Review by Victoria Pond

Ricochet reads like a contemporary category romance, but in an alternate universe where BDSM is the norm.

The author has created an alternate Earth where people identify as dom or sub, and that orientation is more important than any other trait (e.g., race, gender). As far as Walter’s society is concerned, all acts and intermixes are exquisitely acceptable so long as each involved party is in consensual agreement. For this reason, Ricochet is likely to be the most escapistly sex-positive thing you’ve read in ages.

Note that to get the most sex-positive reading, you have to fully buy into Walter’s vision, and not let our modern mores taint your perceptions (else you may find yourself frustrated at poor second-leading-man Matthew’s feminization, which is not feminization at all but submissive-ization).

Delicate subs may be swept off their feet by rakish doms, but this alternate world assigns those labels without any notion of gender roles.

Rickochet opens on a charming man as he enjoys one final spanking with last night’s conquest. Rick is a cinema staple: the honest man and brilliant lover who never beds the same person twice. He’s also a famous actor on the popular TV show Collar Crime, so there’s no shortage of fans for him to sexually dominate. His no reruns policy causes him problems, though, when he realizes he’s in love with hunky costar Matthew. And when Matt is courted by the “perfect dom”–rich, charming; even his mother approves—what will happen to Rick’s friendship… and his spanking-buddy situation?

I’m sure you can guess exactly what happens. The plot holds no surprises for readers of contemporary category romances, honoring all the reasons a person loves them. Yes, it’s long for a contemporary romance at approximately 700 pages (and takes a while to get going, front-loaded with exposition), but all the little plot details come around and wrap up so nicely that the reader can’t mind the length.

If you enjoy contemporary romances, wonder what a highly-sexed and prejudice-free world might be like, or are a fan of Xanthe Walter’s famous fanfiction, this book will entertain you for days.

Reviewer Victoria Pond reads and writes erotica from her Seattle home, where she lives with a husband and a cat. In November 2012, she published an erotic Steampunk romance collection, My Lady Gambler for Amazon Kindle and B&N Nook.

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