Title of Book: Imprinted
Author: Darcy Sweet
Rating: 5 stars
Primary Relationship(s): Jacob/Mrs. D/Mr. D
Other Relationship(s): Jacob/Mara, Jacob /Mary Jane.
Category or Genre: Coming of age, erotica, mfm, mmf
Does this Review contain spoilers?: Yes, description of intro.
I think this is one of my favourite menage stories ever. It’s quite short, only 83 pages long, but Darcy Sweet is a very talented writer who fills those 83 pages to the max. And she fills quite a few other things as well(!). Expect a fair bit of gushing.
For once, this is a story where the 1st person POV really, truly, serves its purpose.
Imprinted, a layered story with multiple relationships, begins with our main character, Jacob, finding his wife after mowing the lawn - she’s waiting for him in the bathroom, knowing he wants her right then, but now why. Why is the very nice segue, taking Jacob and the reader back into the past, to a summer break from college.
Jacob is stuck in Georgia, working for his stepfather Harry, mowing lawns and trimming hedges - thus, Jacob thinks, he’s missing out on parties, alcohol and possibly lots of sex. Young, not completely inexperienced, but mostly hoping for a blowjob from former high-school beauty, Mary-Jane, Jacob is completely caught up in the events that follow and forever reshape his sexuality.
What happens is this: Young Jacob, mowing and trimming in the Dean’s garden, and wanting to leave early to get his rocks off with hot Mary-Jane, stumbles upon the married, and very naked, Mrs. Dean as she’s pleasuring herself. During daylight hours! Poor Jacob, not wanting to peep, but unable to move away, stares, as Mrs. Dean - affectionately called Mrs. D - pleasures herself.
The scene is described vividly, in glorious glistening detail.
Too soon - or not soon enough, depending on your feelings! - Mr. Dean arrives, and takes command of Mrs. D, her body and her pleasure, and, as luck would have it, also Jacob’s pleasure.
Through clever plotting by Mrs. D, Jacob is invited to go for a swim, to have some lemonade (or was it iced tea, by the time I got to the description of Mrs. D’s full breasts, my brain was rather fried!) and also to be part of the Dean’s sexual activities that summer. Jacob, after brief hemming and hawwing, agrees, and learns a few new tricks, to say the least, and when summer is over, he goes out into the great big world, a new man.
It’s a fun, smutty, hot, lovely read. Did I mention the sex? It bears repeating. This book is FILTHY. It starts out with self-gratification and goes all the way to a full on threesome, m/f, m/f/m, m/m, you name it. But it’s all well written! Woohoo!
On a more serious note:
Imprinted manages to be incredibly layered, both in relationships - there are at least four relationships, Jacob and his wife, Jacob and Mary-Jane, Jacob and the Deans, and the Dean’s relationship itself through Jacob’s point of view, all intertwined and shaped by Jacob’s experience with the Deans - and in detail and echoes. Nothing is forgotten. The robe Mrs. D wears echoes back to the robe Mara wears in the very first scene. And then round again.
It’s also a sort of coming of age story, both for Jacob, and for one of the side-characters. While Jacob is learning and discovering new appetites with the Deans, he also takes his newly found knowledge and experiments with Mary-Jane, thus showing her something she had not previously been aware of, and awakening a thirst for more within her. I loved this little sub-plot. Mary-Jane is incredibly sweet. While I giggled a bit at her name, and imagined her large yearning eyes constantly following Jacob, author Sweet really made Mary-Jane a personality. I won’t say more than that, for fear of ruining things, but the way things develop between Jacob and Mary-Jane was really well done.
Speaking of nice things:
There’s a fair balance between Dominance and submission, play and vanilla, and your average cute, young adult fumblings in parked cars in Imprinted. There’s not a single stagnant character in this book! Amazing! Mr. and Mrs. D are quite experienced in Dominance and submission games, but they’re not locked within their roles. They switch, back and forth, playing, giving, taking. Mr. D starts out being the dominant partner but Mrs. D soon takes control as well, and I loved that no one was locked in a particular “role”, that this book showed a budding sexuality, as well as an old, familiar relationship where the partners really trusted and knew each other.
It doesn’t hurt that the sex is hot as hell, or that the descriptions of character’s bodies are good too!
As for the basics:
Imprinted has no huge plot, no mystery to solve and no angst to ease or relationships to parse out. It’s a story about a young man stumbling upon a couple, being invited in, and discovering sex and a lot of things about himself. That’s it. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
It’s well-written. I found no typos and the writing was clear and precise. No unnecessary dialogue or descriptions of “he said, she did, we all went to....”. Very little exposition. Jacob gives us the bare bones but also emotions without being overbearing.
The characters all develop and change. Always a good thing! They were all individuals, with different wants and needs. Not a single character remains “as is” in the end.
There’s no dodgy BDSM, or any fantastic BDSM. No St. Andrew’s Cross, no ball-gags, no mummification. Most of the D/s happens with psychology, and yeah that might not sound too hot, but in this case it is. It’s all yes or no, and anyone who consents gets hours of pleasure. Someone referred to it as BDSM-Light, but I'm hesitant to call it that. True to the writing, this is all about new experiences and for once, the more experienced partners take it slow with their new pupil - wading in rather than jumping in at the deep end perhaps? Or, positive reinforcement rather than choke-collars (maybe in the sequel??!)!
The only negative thing is that the story is short. I wanted more, but in the end we are left with Jacob, and all the things he can have, and knows he can have. Endless possibilities! So I guess that’s not really a negative at all. Hee-haww...
I wish there were more books like this one. Even short ones!
I give Imprinted 5 stars of 5 possible and will gladly read whatever else Darcy Sweet has written.
Reviewed by Madison Reese. M/M writer and reader, non-fiction nut. (Blog | Twitter | Goodreads)
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