Molly Reviews: Silken by Isobel Starling

Matthew Fisher loved being a dancer, but his ten-year ballet career came to an abrupt end with a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. He had to find a new job, and luckily, his sister was friends with Annabelle Ramsay-Aiken, only daughter of property magnate Sir James Aiken. She arranged an interview, he was accepted, and six months on the job training saw Matthew stepping out as a real estate agent for Aiken Luxury Lettings. Now, instead of stretching at the barre, Matthew spends his days inspecting the vacant London homes of their rich and famous clients.

Loosing his dance career had left a huge hole in Matthew’s heart, and to fill it Matthew began a Tumblr blog dedicated to his fetish for wearing lingerie. He wanted to give his followers the impression he lived a charmed life, so decided to use A.L.L properties as locations for erotic photo shoots.

One of his online followers pressed all of Matthew’s buttons, and a long distance, online Dom/sub relationship develops between them. But when the relationship suddenly moves from online fantasy to real life… can Matthew really submit?

N.B – This short story contains graphic descriptions of gay sex, light BDSM, and cross-dressing

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I truly enjoyed this story. I was pulled in and couldn’t put the story down. Jack and Matthew were well suited for each other and their kinks aligned wonderfully. There was a line towards the end that kind of ruined their relationship and my enjoyment drastically. I really liked the characters and Ms. Starling’s voice.

Matthew was someone that hurt my heart a little bit in the beginning. He gave up his dream and had to find enjoyment in life some other way. The life he found wasn’t what he wanted but it suited him and he found his enjoyment in it. His kink of wearing lingerie was so damn sexy. I loved how it was written. You could feel the  sensuality of it coming out of the page. When Matthew gave himself over to his Dom, he let go beautifully.

Jack was fascinating. His later in life revelations were on point and I loved how it was portrayed. I liked how he wasn’t ashamed of what he enjoyed and found someone to enjoy those things with him. I cringed a bit when he jumped the gun and surprised Matthew. But he realized his mistake quickly. I liked that he and Matthew talked and worked things out and didn’t let it because this big huge thing.

The one thing that truly tanked my enjoyment of the story is Jack’s offer at the end. I was literally smiling as I was reading until I got to that line. Then I scowled through the last two-ish paragraphs of the book. I kind of got it was offered from a place of love, but it came at the wrong time and expressed in a way that was all wrong. Matthew clearly loved the offer so that it ok to him. But as a reader I was annoyed because it was written in a way that made it seem like there was something wrong with Matthew and his decision beforehand. First, there’s nothing wrong with Matthew. he could have lived the rest of his life as is and be perfectly happy. Secondly, his reasons for making the decision he did originally are sound and should not be discounted. Matthew is an adult and can decide on his own things like that. Had Jack taken time to have more of a conversation about this situation and allowed Matthew to explain why he chose he did and how he feels about that choice, I would have accepted the kind of offer he gave far more. It just came off condescending and patronizing instead.

Matthew and Jack were good together. They were sort of an established couple, though not really since they had never met each other in person or seen each other’s faces. Their build up to the meeting was so good. I was absorbed in the story and couldn’t put it down. It was sweet seeing how they reacted to each other before the reveal and then again afterwards. They end on a sweet happy for now where you can tell they’re going to make a real effort to make a relationship work. They still have some obstacles in their way and they need to spend more time together before you can be assured of their success as a couple. But that hope is lovely and so sweet.
Three and a half

About Isobel:
Inspiration strikes at the strangest of times.

Born in Germany, I spent most of my twenty-year professional career making art.  I relocated to the UK and, faced with the dreaded artist’s creative block, I started to write and found I loved it more than making art.

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