Reviewed by Jim Lyon
Story rank: 3.5
The premise of Cassandra Carr’s Unexpected Top is a unique variation of a couple’s entrée into a female-led relationship. Cissy and Len Holden are dinks (double income no kids) whose marriage is devolving into a boring and sexually unfulfilled glorified friendship. Afraid that their marriage will end in divorce if nothing is done to change the current situation, Cissy takes the advice of a friend and attempts to spice up their sex life with a little kink by purchasing a variety of x-rated toys. Although Len’s negative reaction to this overture is frustrating, it only serves to encourage her to devise a plan B that will work.
Cissy revisits the websites that she used to research the toys she purchased and finds some useful suggestions on how to “sell” her husband on the concept of FLR, which by now she is convinced is necessary for her to receive the respect and sexual fulfillment she requires from their relationship. Her vision of FLR is not one in which she transforms into a bossy bitch that bullies and berates her husband into submission, rather it is one in which she encourages him to treat her respectfully, share the onerous tasks of maintaining a household, and attend to the sexual needs of his partner – not exactly revolutionary concepts!
The plan she comes up with is simple but effective. She proposes a system of rewards that involves sexual perks for Len in exchange for performing household chores without resistance or complaint. The only negative to this arrangement is that he can lose his rewards by using profanity in her presence or being disrespectful to her. The allure of earning as much sex as he can handle gets Len onboard with Cissy’s proposed deal.
An unexpected consequence from Len’s point of view is that he begins to feel guilty for having been such a boor that his wife had to bribe him with sex in order for him to be more considerate of her and to share household chores more equitably. When he allows Cissy to cajole him into having sex with her in the saddle while he is in spread-eagled bondage, he also realizes that having her in control is a big turn on for him. Ultimately, his growing guilt and acceptance of his heretofore unacknowledged submissive streak motivate Len to ask his wife to spank him soundly for his past bad behavior, and request that she punish him in the future if necessary to keep him from backsliding.
This story is more than just an object lesson designed to demonstrate the virtues of femdom relationships. It also addresses in a very general way the issues that undermine relationships over time. While the FLR solution offered is plausible, it is simply illustrative of the give and take and creative thinking that is necessary for relationships to succeed.
Readers who are curious about or involved in the BDSM lifestyle likely will find the realistically portrayed scenarios in Unexpected Top interesting and erotic. But since the characters are newbies, the intensity of the D/s play may be a bit tame for those whose interest is more focused on the kink than the storyline.