Reviewed by Jim Lyon
B.A. Dalton’s Becoming Maria is a deliciously erotic story of a man with an unusual hobby: helping selective women discover their latent submissive sexuality. Although Brock is central to this tale of serial seductions and transformations, the story is told from the perspective of his latest – unnamed – conquest, recently divorced and open to adventure. Their paths first cross while she is out with friends celebrating her new freedom. Over the course of the evening they catch one another’s eye across the room several times, but no overture is made until a note is brought to her by a waitress after he leaves. It says simply, I will own you; a telephone number is written below the message.
At first she is insulted. But, to her surprise, she is aroused as well… and intrigued. A week later, her bravado fortified by a couple glasses of wine, she calls the number on the card. An answering machine message confirms that she has reached the correct number, details the circumstances of their encounter, and reiterates the mantra I will own you expanded with “You want it, you need it, and you crave it.” It also instructs her to call back within 24 hours to declare her intentions by saying either yes or no and providing a cell phone number where she can be reached.
After waiting until the eleventh hour, she makes the fateful call and, with great difficulty, manages to communicate her decision to proceed. Thus begins her journey into sexual self-discovery, though for a while she wonders if her imagination is playing tricks on her as there is a significant delay in acknowledging her response. Indeed, the progress of her adventure from then on is not hurried.
She receives cryptic instructions with no explanations. When she arrives for her first assignation at Brock’s hotel people begin referring to her as Maria, which is not her name. Gradually she is drawn into his mysterious and erotic game and finds herself relishing the increasingly submissive, humiliating, and arousing acts required of her. Ultimately, at a “coming out” party, she learns that she is merely one of many who have become Maria when she meets all the Marias that preceded her and publicly experiences a fairly elaborate introduction to some intense BDSM activities.
Despite being a relatively short book, Becoming Maria proceeds at a fairly languid pace that makes it seem much longer than it really is. This feature is a refreshing change from standard erotica fare where significant relationships and plot shifts often develop within a few paragraphs or pages. This book is recommended to readers with a taste for well-written kinky literature.