I loved this book so much I feel a serious author glom comming on *g*. I have been reading romances for twelve years now and the number of A+ rated books in my excel sheet is rather small, but after having read this one I have officially become a Josephine Myles fan girl. There are so many things I loved in this story, first and foremost the writing style, an Myles' incredible talent to create three-dimensional, realstic and human characters.
The BDSM relationship between Alisdair and Cosmo is one of the most realistic I have ever come upon in romance novels, without the addition of a dungeon and sex club (yippieh!). I never was into reading brat stories, but I have to say, Cosmo, the sub, convinced me otherwise, and what I treasured most about him was his ability to completely submit to his desires without second-guessing himself or starting to apologise for his desires. Au contraire, he took to the whole BDSM stuff like a duck takes to water and didn't feel guilty for it but proud and self-confident.
I think us womanfolks could really take a leaf out of his book. After Screwing The System I read a short BDSM novella featuring a heroine who constantly run away from her desires and the hero, felt guilty for her kinky cravings, couldn't stop moaning about her body and behaved like a wuss and doormat where her oh so loving family was concerned. This short story made it all the more clear to me why Screwing the System was such a perfect, wonderful read, because Myles created two incredibly strong, loveable but nevertheless flawed heroes. If I were more at home in the gender debate those two books and their characters would make for a wonderful paper at university *g*. And to finish my fangirl rant, let's not forget about Alisdair, the pushy top from this story.
I am SO glad I couldn't be detered from buying the book after having read in reviews about his control fetish. And let's be clear, he IS a control freak! Usually I make a wide berth about tops who want to organise their subs' lives, but again, it starts and finishes with the author's writing talent, and what ultimately made me fall in love with Alisdair was when he finally showed Cosmo his marshmllow heart and revealed his not so proper past. Oh my, writing this review just makes me want to reread the whole book again. Yep. So off to Samhain to buy the backlist!
Edited to add: I was in the mood of a reread, especially since I adored this book the first time around so much. I am still pissed at the bad reads that hampered my reading mood.