It's not often that I've ever wanted to call smut sweet, but this really was. The Unicorn, a recent new book from Delphine Dryden, fits into that spot. It's not *really* new, it is a reissue of Roses and Chains, published in 2011, but it's been very heavily revised and reissued.
Mara knows what she wants, a real relationship with a Dom. It's not that she she lacks for a current Domme play partner, but they dated and have split up. Which can make for some awkward moments in a scene.
Delia and Daniel are beginning to dip their toes into the kink scene. Both of them have been interested in it for years, but have been afraid to act on those urges until lately. Married life in the suburbs isn't really what it looks like on the outside for this couple. Especially with Daniel being a burgeoning Dom.
After being "introduced" at the new local kink club, Mara, Delia, and Daniel have an incredibly hot, touching, scene. Only to have to part at the end of the night. Life intervenes, and all three are left wondering if they'll be able to spend more time together, or if all they have are some wonderful memories. Oh, and the little twist at the end had me chuckling and smiling for hours.
The Unicorn really is a unicorn. That elusive "thing" that doesn't really exist, but is pursued by so many. Ms. Dryden is able to capture that special something, and adds the sweetness to a bit of a spicy story. It's short, more a novella than a novel, but it ends on a good point, leaving you wanting just a bit more. All the kink in the scenes is 100% enthusiastically consensual, which is always good to read. Frequently, consent is left out in favor of making a scene "hotter". There is negotiation at the beginning of the first scene, which is also often left out, but a vital part of the "reality" of kink.
I give it a nice solid 4 star rating, it's very refreshing to see both kink and polyamory presented in an honest way, even though it's very much a fairy tale of how things work out. But it will be going on my list of little things to read when I need some "sweet smut" to make me smile.