Book review: “Savannah's Surrender” By Lillyanna Rose
“Savannah's Surrender” is an excellent book with a strong “DD” emphasis and conflict. This is the first book featuring these characters, which I always enjoy, because once I get to know characters, it's nice to read their continuing stories in subsequent novels.
In general, I think the premise is one that many can relate to – Hilton and Savannah are a married couple with a rocky marriage, and as a “last ditch effort” they've decided that they are going to attempt a DD dynamic to try to save their marriage. I was intrigued by this premise, and discovered later that their story is based on a true story. One thing I dislike about some DD books or stories I've read is when there's an unrealistic portrayal of initiating DD with a couple. I think there needs to be a very good balance between what is entertaining, and what is realistic. I think Lillyanna Rose does this wonderfully.
The book reads a bit more like a dual journal than a story, which makes it fairly unique. It's somewhat informal, there is little dialogue, and aspects that are outside of the focus of this particular conflict (such as secondary characters) take a backseat in favor of simply telling this one couple's story. I enjoyed that, as it was quite different from the typical work of fiction, and it also gave plenty of room for discussing the main characters' thoughts and feelings. This is one thing lacking in many DD books, but again, it was done well here. I also enjoyed that it's told from both the perspective of the wife and husband.
There is a decided Christian flavor, as the person who suggests the DD arrangement to them is the couple's pastor. Aspects such as a wife's duty to obey her husband and his headship in their marriage do come up, which I found interesting. That said, it is not a “CDD” book, and I wouldn't classify it as such. There are decided Christian elements, but I didn't find it preachy or "squeaky clean" (and, I must confess, I like neither preachy nor squeaky clean.).
I found the story engaging enough that I wanted to keep reading, curious as to how things would play out. Often in DD books there is a fair amount of “gratuitous spanking” and the girl is getting tossed over the guy's knee in the opening chapter. While that's all well and good if you're looking for a good spanking scene, personally I prefer a real story with established trust. I loved how Lillyanna gives us a real story. Yes, spanking is mentioned, but the book is about the couple, not gratuitous spanking. That was very well done – a good balance for those who want a good story and a good spanking.
At first I had to struggle a bit with my own personal prejudices while reading. The form of DD this couple eventually follows is a “prescribed method,” complete with a handbook from the pastor, and I have a hard time distinguishing between my own personal feelings on "textbook DD" and the fact that this is merely a plot device in a work of fiction. As an experienced “taken in hand,” I find that prescriptive DD is often a recipe for disaster, and don't recommend that approach. However, in this particular story, it works, as how the couple explores the prescribed method of beginning DD did advance the central conflict. I haven't read the sequel, but it left me, as a reader, wondering how the prescribed method would develop over time. Would the couple find their own brand of DD works better for them? Do they have challenges as a result of trying to adhere to a “one size fits all” approach?
I liked the tension that was kept at an even keel, but not over-the-top and frustrating for the readers. The couple encountered and dealt with very real challenges, and as a reader, I was eager to see them resolve their differences and be reunited.
I felt this book was very well done, especially for those who want a realistic, engaging, fast-paced DD story.
Note: I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.