Craving Flight by Tamsen Parker
Series: Bound By Ink
Published by Self-Published on September 21, 2015
Genres: BDSM, Contemporary, Erotic, Romance
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Tzipporah Berger is thirty-seven and single, which is practically unheard of in the Orthodox Jewish community she now calls home. Her increasing religiosity and need for kink may have broken up her first marriage, but she’s decided it’s time to try again. And the rabbi’s wife has just the man in mind.
Elan Klein is the neighborhood butcher whose intimidating size and gruff manner hint at a deliciously forceful personality. But BDSM isn’t exactly something you discuss during an Orthodox courtship. Will a marriage to Elan solidify her place in the community that she loves and provide the domination and pain Tzipporah craves or will she forever have to rely on flights of fancy to satisfy her needs?
Craving Flight is a novella written for the Goodreads BDSM Group's Bring Out Your Kink writing event. Members provided a photo and letter to inspire writers to create an original story and writers picked the prompt that spoke to them most. It will be available exclusively to BDSM Group Members on September 7th and to the general public on September 21st. And best of all? It will be free!
This book. This one is something special.
I learned about Craving Flight via the BDSM group on Goodreads – and I ignored it. Books with any kind of focus on religion (or politics) are not my thing. I dislike being preached to – even if I agree with the writer’s POV – and most books that focus on religion have a rather preachy aspect.
Then I read a very positive review and decided to take the plunge (it is free, after all).
I wasn’t expecting this book at all but I loved basically everything about it.
My biggest fear was unrealized: there is no preaching in Craving Flight. The religious aspect of Craving Flight was handled in a way that I hope other authors take note of. The religious aspects were discussed and described in ways that were focused on the characters and how their faith informed their lives. *Deep Breath of Fresh Air*
The MCs are both Jewish Orthodox – but the heroine, Tzipporah, is Ba’alat Teeshuva – a person who was born Jewish but was not raised as observant who later becomes observant. This is a pretty big issue in the Orthodox Jewish community that Tzipporah lives in. The other people who live around Tzipporah have lived their entire lives as Orthodox and thus look down on Tzipporah’s bumbling as she tries to make the day to day activity of living Orthodox a second nature.
I honestly think the fact that Tzipporah’s Ba’alat Teeshuva status is what made Craving Flight work so well for me. I had the chance to see not only how Tzipporah practiced her faith but I was able to see how Tzipporah’s faith affected her daily behaviors and how she saw the world. Tzipporah has to struggle with her faith and her life within that faith – and that struggle made her very real to me.
Tzipporah is a pretty classic “isolated heroine” – her parents are distant due to her becoming Orthodox, she has a single friend and she has no real outside activities besides her work. 95% of the entirety of the book is spent within the walls of Elan and Tzipporah’s martial apartment. Tzipporah is also an outsider (which makes her even more relatable). She is separated from her family by her observances to her faith. She is separated from her community because she is a newcomer, newly observant and unmarried.
Tzipporah is very religious but she’s also very kinky. I love that! She’s very private but she knows herself and knows she wants to be dominated and so she seeks that. I love that so much. She made no apologies for who she was and what she liked. As another reader mentioned, Tzipporah is far from an exhibitionist. She is so private that being in her head felt like I was eavesdropping somewhat.
Elan, on the other hand, is a bit of a mystery. He is Orthodox and was raised that way as well as widowed. Elan’s mystery stays intact throughout Craving Flight – he isn’t a big talker and he doesn’t seem too inclined to discuss his past (at least on page).
Elan is a (almost too perfect) match for Tzipporah sexually. He is a dominate and he’s very proficient in Shibari. From the first sexual encounter the two had (after marriage, of course), Elan is aware of Tzipporah’s submissive nature. He instructs her to call him Master (while engaging in sex) and he immediately ties her up. The sex scene between the two was both super sweet and hot BUT I have to wonder how Elan learned so much about Shibari. Tzipporah never asks him about it but I sure wanted to, lol. Not only is Elan extremely proficient in Shibari, he also has a pretty wide variety of ropes as well as other hidden implements in their bedroom. I have to believe that Elan shared this sexual activity with his deceased wife, Rivka, but this is never discussed.
Honestly, the only issues I had with Craving Flight was Elan. Specifically the lack of conversation and detail the reader gets from/about Elan. I wanted to know more about how Elan felt and what he thought (and how learned Shibari). I think that getting a little more about Elan would have softened some of the blow of the BigMis at the end. I wanted to smack Elan for (a lot) more than a few seconds – I felt he expected a lot from Tzipporah while giving very little (except sexually). I would say more but I don’t want to spoiler any of the book or the ending.
All in all, I greatly enjoyed Craving Flight! I heartily recommend it (and I’ve already done so). I do plan to try more of this author’s works in the future.