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?
A BDSM book featuring two Orthodox Jewish characters – say what? The author states in the Forward:
Sponsored by the Goodreads BDSM Group, Members provided a photo or letter to inspire writers to create an original story. Writers picked the promote that spoke to them the most.
She then includes the letter that inspired this story.
Tzipporah as you can read above, is 37 and single. She grew up Jewish, but her parents were not very religious. Starting as a teenager, she became drawn to the Orthodox way of life, and after getting divorced, she takes a year off of being a religious college professor, and commits herself fully to being Orthodox Jewish. She moves to an Orthodox community, one close to her school yet one that will take her in. Not being Orthodox since birth is frowned on by some. She devotes herself to every detail, but sometimes she messes up. She calls herself an “absent minded professor.” Sometimes she doesn’t cook brisket fully kosher and it turns into “BrisketGate” still talked about in inner circles. She wears her hair under scarves, and while she doesn’t necessarily have to do this because she has already been married, she feels much more secure, saving her hair for her future husband. People whisper about her, her students don’t always understand her, her parents thinks she is nuts for doing all of this – but Tzipporah is genuinely happy. Now to find a husband.
Elan is the local butcher and a widower. The Rabbi’s wife plays matchmaker with Elan and Tzipporah. Unknown to anyone, Tzipporah wants a husband who will be able to meet her submissive needs. She likes pain in the bedroom. She likes restraint. While she can’t come out and say this, and while they can’t sleep together before they get married, she hopes the big, strong Elan – somewhat surly and very reserved – has what it takes to make her happy in the bedroom. After just a couple of dates, they decide to get married.
From here the story goes in two directions. First, it is Elan and Tzipporah discovering each other in the bedroom. Surprise, surprise, Elan likes to be dominant in the bedroom. He loves to spank her, tie her up and play with other things in a BDSM scene. I was a little taken back by just how easy Elan accepts everything Tzipporah wants. They were very compatible in the bedroom – it seemed a little too easy.
While those scenes are very sexy and well done, what kept me even more engaged was Tzipporah’s continuous drive to navigate the Orthodox community and learn and try to be the best she can. Her nervousness with pleasing everyone and just working out the kinks in her marriage is intriguing. Getting to know Elan and the kind of man he is and trying to learn how to be a wife who can make her husband proud but also please herself. I don’t know a lot about being Orthodox Jewish, and I felt the author really goes into great detail and to me felt very genuine.
This is so much more than just an erotic BDSM romance. Tzipporah’s journey is fascinating and sweet. This author really captures Tzipporah – I feel like we really get to know her. I could have read many, many pages about her and Elan.