In a modern paranormal society (and so modern time, cars, swimming pools, city parks and so on) the avian shapeshifter society is ruled in an almost medieval way; there are caste, and according to the caste you belong to, your role in the society is written for you. Hawks and Eagles are leaders, Ravens and Crows are middle class, Pigeons and Seagulls are servants, and Ducks? Well ducks are nothing more than playthings. Other avians can use and abuse them and no one will see anything wrong in that.
Ori, still too young to shift, but supposedly a duck, not only has his own caste works against him, he is also an orphan and so he has no family to take care of him. He is working for the Nest, the central headquarter for all the avians, and he is a scullion and a sex toy for everyone who is interested. Ori is a natural submissive, something he was taught depends from him being a duck, and so he is not so much afflicted by the treatment, aside from the fact that he is a little scared. When Raynard, a noble hawk, decide to take him into his custody, Ori is more than happy to be able to serve only one man.
What started only as a servant and master agreement, soon turns in a Dominant and submissive relationship; Ori is sweet and dependant, he feels safe and comfortable only when his Master is there for him; even when he is given the freedom to do as he likes, he is happy only if his Master is there to witness to his freedom, and so basically, he is not free at all. But Ori doesn’t see it like a punishment, on the contrary, the submission is inside him, as it’s the strong pull to love only one man, to mate for the eternity.
When circumstances force him to be parted from Raynard, it almost kills him; with submission but also with strength, Ori will try everything to be again with his Master, proving that being a submissive doesn’t mean not having a will for his own.
It’s of course a BDSM story, but as often in the works I read by Kim Dare, the most hard side of these relationships is skipped over, and basically she points more on the heavy dependance, on an emotional level, that this relationship brings, both for the Dominant than the submissive. Ori is a wonderful character, so sweet and cute, he had me shed a tear or two when he was far from his Master and so lost.
Due to the plot and the choice of having a relationship between a duck and an hawk, I was expecting for this story to be light and fun, and in a way, it’s, but it’s also more involving on an emotional level then what I was expecting.
Amazon Kindle: Duck!
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing, LLC (July 8, 2011)