So after reading Carrie’s Story I was dying to know just what happened afterwards! Thankfully, Cleis Press came to my rescue and sent me a copy of Safe Word, the second book in the two book series written by Molly Weatherfield Once again, I had to have devoured the book in a few nights time, just myself and a couple of very long bubble baths where I didn’t even notice how long I had been in there until the water went cold.
I will warn you now, if you have NOT read Carrie’s Story. Some of this review has some mild spoilers! So if you don’t want to be spoiled for things like the ending of the first book turn back now! Not enough to give away the whole book but enough that it kind of spoils the lingering mystery at the end of Carrie’s Story. If you are totally okay with that feel free to continue reading!
The book itself picks up not where we left off, with Carrie leaving to join the Master who has bought her at the slave auction but with her meeting up with Johnathan in France. From there the two of them do not totally reunite as Master/slave but spend their time together rather normally telling one another tales of what happened during the year they where apart. So the whole thing is very intertwined with one another. Jumping back and forth between a story told from Carrie’s point of view during her time and then from Jonathan’s.
While Carrie’s half of things was well written and at times rather hot. It does revolve a lot around pony play, which while I can admire as something that takes a lot of willpower and dedication, is not my personal kink. So while I did in many ways learn a lot from the book and that kept it interesting, a lot of her parts of the story just didn’t seem as alluring to me. It was more the detail to things that kept me wanting to read more, rather than just throwing off my reading groove because I wasn’t ‘turned on’ by what I was reading. The stories that Carrie tells are mingled in with her own wit and charm that I came to love from the first book so this also helped when I was reading them.
With Jonathan’s he becomes less of an aloof character in my eyes and we really get learn more about him, and his relationship with Kate. As well as more of the inner workings of the society that they all mingle about in. For me this was the most interesting part of it all, learning some of the ins and outs of what in the first book we only got tiny glimpses of. Jonathan, while very witty, didn’t to me have the same spark that Carrie’s inner thoughts and monologues about things did. For me he seemed slightly flat at times and while this didn’t make him an unlikable character, there where just times where he didn’t pop out at me like Carrie does.
All of it wraps up very nicely, though…the ending has a twist that I didn’t see coming. Even though I didn’t see it coming, it felt like the right ending for the book. Looking back on the choice that Carrie makes it not only makes sense for the character in my eyes but also shows how much she has grown in the span of both books. Even as I read it, I had tears growing in my eyes. Not sad ones but ones that led to a very good and cathartic cry.
Overall, while I loved Carrie’s Story, Safe Word was for me a good conclusion. Not perfect, but I think that more has to do with my own personal kink tastes rather than the story itself. I am glad that I got the chance to read it and wrap up the story, but even if I didn’t ever pick it up Carrie’s Story would still be a great standalone book to read.