Book Review – Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas

by Maryse on July 23, 2012 · 24 comments

in Alternative, My Book Reviews

Comfort Food
Okay, I’m taking us on a “dark reading ride” this week. With my recent Captive in the Dark “coming out” party, and my weekend “Slave/Need” reading marathon, I figured I’d go all out. ‘Cause you see, I’ve been carrying around a couple of dirty little reading secrets, and by the response I received for the “Captive” review, I see so many of you have, too. We really kind of like these reads, don’t we? ;)

Captive in the Dark was one of them, but THIS one was my first. I read this back in 2010!! I wasn’t anywhere near the BDSM reading genre, or anything of the sort. I was still in my full vampire reading frenzy when a friend recommended this one. She knew it was a risk (I was still “innocent” you see) but I think, after she saw my complete acceptance of Vishous and his own “kidnapping/BDSM propensity” with a few of those similar Stockholm syndrome themes, she recognized the possibility that I might enjoy this one. Warning me it would stay with me for days, and I’d be in perpetual confusion over my love/hate relationship with it, but because of that, she just had to tell me about it.

Why had he taken me? Did I send out a vibe or was he just obsessed? Was there something about me that screamed Victim?

I’d always tried to give the impression that I wasn’t easy prey. I’d been fooling myself. It had been ridiculously easy for him to take me.

Oh I read it. Oh boy did I ever. Curled up into a little ball in the corner of my couch, my jaw dropped for most of it, my fear of the whole situation, and then… what… was my heart feeling something for… him!??? NO. WAY! How did she (the author) DO THAT!!!!??? And when my friend asked me what I thought?

Maryse: ok. I LOVED it but I wished there was more of a human connection… something I could relate to…I know that sounds weird but they are so intense and yet so weird… That kind of mind process is not for everyone – not 100% relatable. I just wish somehow that HE I dunno…was nicer? But anyway oh and the part where she *spoiler*  made me cry a little. It was so intense and the author’s portrayal of that character’s feelings was amazing. I FELT that whole time.

I went to bed last night not knowing how I felt and this morning realized that while I LOVE the book, the story was exciting intense, made me feel… I’m not on the “master” bandwagon and THIS is why the book is not for everyone – not because of the whips… but because of the KIND of relationship that is required to exist this way – MASTER and slave….and we just dont get it. But…. still…

LOVED it!! LOL!!!

side note from Maryse “today” —> rolleyes riiiiight. Suuuurrrre. Tee hee!!! I think I was trying to convince myself I wasn’t “that” affected by him, by “it” but you know… I was. I just was.

But I must admit, the whole thing was just so mind-boggling and I was so new to the “book lifestyle”, and I just didn’t know how to take my enjoyment of this genre.  In fact, I have to admit, I still don’t.

There is a standard victim/victimizer protocol, an etiquette if you will. Why are you doing this? is the introductory question, sometimes followed by screaming or crying. I wasn’t screaming or crying. I wanted to conserve my energy for my one possible moment of escape. Eventually he’d do something stupid. He had to.

After the victim’s opening line, the victimizer usually says something so terrifying the victim wishes they’d never opened their mouth. This man, however, seemed to be capitalizing on the terror of uncertainty.

After all, if he spoke to me perhaps there was someone human in there, something I could reason with, some tiny, frail hope I could bargain somehow. A large, cool hand rested softly against my cheek.

There was no violence or threat in the way he touched me. It was my cheek, so it certainly wasn’t an overly sexual touch. Still, it was a threat to me. It said, I have no problems breaching your personal bubble or touching you at any time.

Eeeeeep! Right?

But as my reading experience grew, and my repertoire expanded, this one always held a prominent spot in my mind. I kept mostly quiet about it, but… sometimes I let the secret out. But I really had to know you liked this sort of stuff before mentioning it. *shrug* What? I didn’t know if it was appropriate to just recommend it to everyone, considering, well… you know. ‘Cause it’s not for everyone. Even some of us that love so many of the same books (alpha males, rock stars, tattooed bad boys, all of that), not all of us might be into “this” kind, you know? Well that was my thought process, anyway.

But then recently, my other friend’s mom brought this book up somewhat fondly (trying to remember the title and saying it had something to do with chicken soup) and I giggled and knew we were a bunch of reading adrenaline junkies for sure (and many of us weren’t talking about it). I mean, yeah. I’m guilty of that, for sure. *grin*

Who am I kidding? Why was I trying to keep this intriguing, captivating, disturbing read from people, who just might ummm… “enjoy” it as much as I did. ‘Cause you guys are out there and have been coming out of the woodwork, one by one, over it.

So what’s this one about? I have compiled a few of “private chat” descriptions that I had with a few readers, and this is pretty much how I kept describing it:

Maryse: have you ever read ummm… uhhhh Comfort Food? OMG BEST!! And lemme tell you – that one is on the extreme side. It was my FIRST!!! Can you imagine?

She’s a cop!!! Knows all about Stockholm syndrome and she gets kidnapped and her guy is a full on Master. The whole BDSM thing/training/punishment and she recognizes the Stockholm syndrome symptoms as they are happening. It is FREAKED out and there are 2 (or 3?) amazing twists that I didn’t see coming.

It really messes with your mind, and you’ll find yourself appalled and yet thinking about it for days. I just was wrapped up in that one. I dont know how it compares to others, and the actual lifestyle cause that was my intro to it. I got sucked right in back in the days before I did reviews for anything other than Paranormal… maybe I should review it now.

Yep, she ends up learning a lot (albeit forcefully) in the process, and questioning a whole lot more. And what’s up with the comfort food/chicken soup? All part of the “training” my friends. If you’re up to it, I’ll let you get all of the details on your own. If you let yourself go, you will find yourself surprised, examining so many things, and thinking about it for days, like I did.

and when Michele told us, awhile back, that she had just read it:

Michele: Rachel & all of you girls who like erotica reads, I just read “Guilty Pleasures” by Kitty Thomas. I really enjoyed it! She also wrote “Comfort Food” that Maryse recommended to me a few weeks ago & enjoyed! :) Let us know if you read it & what you think.

Maryse’s Book Blog: Oh I had no idea you ended up reading Comfort Food!! Hehehe… how about that ending? *blew my mind* I read that book (Comfort Food) over a year ago (maybe 2 years ago) and didn’t even write the review… cause *ahem* I didn’t know where to go with it, and still… I remember EVERY SINGLE thing about it. Burned into my brain. Definitely NOT for everyone. Can you imagine? THAT was my first foray into the genre…

Michele: Yes, I did & really liked it Maryse. It was very different & YES that ending THREW ME!! I wouldn’t know how to write about it either! LOL. I think I liked “Guilty Pleasures” more though. It was different. Do you know the 1st one for me with BDSM was Grey, then your recommendation “The Reluctant Dom”. Our Christian has turned me into a Monster with those books now.. They are my favorite. Tee Hee!

Maryse: But the author is so good, that I bet you felt her ache, didn’t you? You know when… ;) That was amazing how the author made me FEEL like the heroine. In all that “crazy”, logically my head was in one place… and yet… OMG I felt like crying with her. *shakes head*

So you see? Devastatingly eerie and equally addictive, enthralling, and emotionally connecting. I mean, come on. It’s been two years since I’ve read this, and I’m still not over it? Yep. This is one to let out of the “creepy closet”.

In another situation I would have found him attractive. He was muscular, had a firm jaw, great hair, not an ounce of body fat. I imagined this was what Ted Bundy’s victims felt like at some point, that it was utterly impossible he could want to hurt them and be so beautiful at the same time. The unbelievable shock someone so attractive could be a predator.

Right? I mean… imagine? Eeeep!! I don’t wanna!

I remember every little moment. And OMG the twist (actually a few of ‘em) in this left me breathless. Shocked. Appalled…. and so SO intrigued. Oh and yes… desperate for more. This story could, and totally SHOULD be continued. Plus. Isn’t that mysterious, subtly ominous cover just gorgeous?

4.5 stars. Why not 5 stars? Oh… I dunno. It totally is. Okay. 5 stars. ;)

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Michele July 23, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Hi Maryse, I’m sort of internally squeeing right now because after reading your review for Captive in the Dark (which I had read in January and LOVED) I was debating whether I should mention Comfort Food (not knowing how “dark” you like to go in your reading, lol). Them bam, there’s your review! I’m so glad to see that you liked it as much as I did, it really does take the right frame of mind to read it and it’s not for everyone. I really love Kitty Thomas’s books, but she really does push the envelope in the BDSM genre.

Michele

Maryse July 23, 2012 at 4:05 PM

*hug* Michele!!!

Next I’m reading “Tender Mercies“. Another gorgeous cover, (I bought it ’cause I couldn’t resist it’s beauty, and I know I love Kitty’s writing style) and Christina “taste-tested” it for me and told me it was great!!

Michele July 23, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Tender Mercies is awesome! I think it’s a much “sweeter” story. However……if you want to continue your trip down the dark side…..I would absolutely recommend Accidental Slave by Clare Thompson. The male main character is very sexy and likable. In fact, the book is a really good intro to the whole BDSM dominance/submission dynamic if some people are confused by that whole thing. It’s a really good read! : )

Michele

Kathy July 23, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Yikes! The Comfort Food cover alone scares me! So, I guess I MUST add it to my library.

Maryse July 23, 2012 at 5:17 PM

haha!!! Oh and laugh it up now (or, I will)… ’cause you won’t be laughing, while reading this. ;) hehehe

Kristina T July 24, 2012 at 1:56 AM

Ahhhhh I love your blogs :) Yes, us closet readers are slowly coming out. Especially the kindle generation where we don’t have to explain *ehem* certain book covers lol. This book is now bumped up in my TBR next after reading something Christina C. just recommended that I believe is similar? Anyhow, you never stray us wrong Maryse. Can’t wait to check it out.

CaroleDee July 24, 2012 at 5:14 AM

Deadly Captive by Bianca Sommerland is another one of those that totally blew my mind. It’s in the realm of “Do I want to recommend this to people? It was AWESOME, but they might think I’m a wierdo.” LOL.

Kimberly B July 24, 2012 at 6:56 AM

I have never read this book, so looking forward to it. I dont think I have read anything from Kitty Thomas so definitely looking forward to checking out her books.I read Slave, finding anna, in January and I loved it! I have been eagerly awaiting Need since then. Slave had the same affect as 50 shades to me. I can not get it out of my head. I am so emotionally invested. The author did so a great job. There is no sex, no heavy petting, only sweet kisses and comfort. Completely building up Need to be another fantastic book.

Rosalind S. July 24, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Wow,just got finished reading this. I have been following your blog for a while and love your recommendations, but have not yet ( until now) felt the need to comment. This book is emotional to say the least, but I loved it. I feel like the author really did a number on ME, as I felt ALL of the same emotions as they were happening. All I can say is just WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! I think I am going to go read the rest of the ETS, because I need something a bit lighter and fun, with just the right kind of scary. Thanks for all your great recommendations, and I will come out of the closet and say I too enjoy these kinds of reads. *blush*

Maryse July 24, 2012 at 7:08 PM

So glad you guys are joining me on this read-fest!! i’m loving this.

Corie July 26, 2012 at 9:48 AM

omg. Just finished this. Really haunting – can’t stop thinking about it. Totally agree that I wanted more and ould love to see a sequel. Thanks for the recommend. I’m so glad I discovered you!!!

Kelli July 26, 2012 at 9:49 AM

Holy Crow! Was that a happy ending? I feel like there is more to the story. I guess I am a sucker for happily inLOve forever after. I read the entire book last night, so I was Obsessed, obviously. Still felt a little out of sorts. Love the epilogue letter, would like more on their after the revelation story.

Maryse July 26, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Kelli and Corie… and the second book could easily be as awesome as the first!!!

Alisha S. July 27, 2012 at 11:40 AM

OMG that was AWESOME!! Love when you get into genre mode Maryse. Definitely been a bit of a closet reader with this particular genre which is all the more reason its great when you post several similar books one after the other because they pretty much all go straight to my to-be-read list. So thank you for this one- i will be obsessing for a while-until the next one :)

Maryse July 27, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Oh I’m so glad you guys are having fun with this!!

The one I’m reading right now is sure to please, also. Almost done and am seriously enjoying it. That review will be up this weekend. :)

Nicki August 4, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Ugh….these “dark” books take me emotionally to places that scare me..lol. BUT I LOVE IT!!! More please :)

Sharon August 5, 2012 at 12:23 AM

Have never read anything like this, but stumbled upon your review and now I MUST. Sounds VERY interesting from a psychological perspective. Only 5 bucks for the Kindle, too. Thanks for the review!

Brenna August 15, 2012 at 7:45 PM

Just finished Comfort Food and I’m realing!!!! I agree, I should be appalled, but I’m so NOT! This one will definitely stick with me. Thanks for the suggestion, loved it!!!!

Claudia August 27, 2012 at 7:56 PM

So happy to find women that will admit that they read this books! Please post more recommendation in this “genre”!

Nikki Eddy November 24, 2012 at 4:26 PM

Loved this book. Read it straight through. Jaw dropping. I just noticed on the cover she has blonde hair. I am a brunette and they never describe her character, not once. We only got her name 56% the way through. It was like WE were her and feeling every emotion. Kitty is a fantastic writer! Very smart. I can’t wait to read all her books.

Dana July 9, 2013 at 9:41 PM

I started reading this at 11:pm last night, needing more ‘DARK’ after finishing Escape from Paradise (which I loved). I stayed awake until I was finished and cursed when my alarm went off this morning.

I don’t know how I feel about it yet. I’m still reeling. I don’t know if I’m ready to dive into another dark read (I’m on a kick, taking a break from the novel I’m working on writing myself) or stop and try to process this one. LOL.
I’m glad I read it (even if I don’t know yet how I feel about it.). ‘Master’s’ written admissions could’ve almost had me on his team but it didn’t quite happen.
The way the author delves into the psychology was very impressive.

I guess book-induced sleep deprivation makes me babble. LOL.

Sheera August 6, 2013 at 10:27 PM

I read it and IDK how to feel about it. IDK if I like it, love it, hate it—I just don’t know. In a weird way I totally GET this book. I liked how the author described the psychological stuff without it boring the life out of people (or sounding repetitive for me since I knew much of it already). I don’t think I ever got a real feel for HIM —like seriously, I want to know his name and more about him and everything.
Also, this is my first “dark” read like this so maybe it’s my virgin mind trying to assimilate this with all of the other “other” stuff that I read.

Emily U August 8, 2013 at 3:26 PM

I just finished this… W O W Z A !

A few spoilers, you’ve been warned…

I thought I would be appalled at the ending, but I found myself sighing… WITH RELIEF?!?! What the hell? I think I got Stockholm-y along with Emily Vargas. I don’t think I would be able to forgive the cruelty of him letting her go, and the fact that she dug up items from her own empty coffin? F**k! How callous are her parents? I hated them more than I could ever hate HIM.

I read Mafia Captive before this one, it gave me nightmares! Somehow, I found Emily’s experience to be more… comforting. Was it because she accepted her situation? I think it might have been the honesty of the situation, she didn’t have to pretend to be anything but a captive with HIM. I found myself thinking about how I would spend my time in the empty room. Here’s what I came up with: become an expert whistler, sing myself hoarse, braid every strand of hair on my head (dreads, yo), practice karate… and that was about four hours max. SHIT!

The dedication intrigued me when I read it at the beginning, then I went back to it and I got CHILLS: To Silence. Not always the enemy of communication.

nicole C February 9, 2014 at 1:53 PM

I just finished this book. While reading I started talking to a few of my friends, but really it’s like, what do you say? Nothing, lol. Glad to express myself here. I LOVED IT even tho I shouldn’t, just did. Is there a sequel to it or will there be? Would love to hear how their story goes on. Thanks for your site as well, picked a few (lots) of books from it;-)

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