The cover of The House of Blood features a misty image of a turretted and gabled mansion, a full moon silhouetting the skeletal trees, and in the foreground, a riding crop dripping blood. What you see is what you get. This novel, billed as “femdom horror”, combines a ghost story with a fetish tale about male humiliation and torture at the hands of dominant females. If that sounds appealing to you, you’re very likely to enjoy House of Blood.
Chris, a successful horror novelist a la Stephen King, and his beautiful, bitchy wife Katherine, are looking for a brand new house. Nevertheless, when they see the “For Sale” sign on the venerable old place in Palamino Lane, both feel compelled to buy it. They are not swayed by the comely real estate agent, Gerry, who warns them that the house is haunted. In fact, the scary, otherworldly aura of the mansion contributes to Chris’ attraction.
As for Katherine, the house seems to transform her into another person. Always bossy and jealous, she becomes a cruel and implacable Domme who quickly renders her husband powerless, both physically (locking him in a male chastity device) and economically (forcing him under threat of castration to sign over all his assets). She takes her construction contractor Keith as her lover, while Chris is required to “clean up” after Keith has filled her with his come. She locks Chris in the attic, making him to write so that she’ll receive the financial benefits, while she goes off to party.
Even Katherine, though, is less cruel than the house itself, which is haunted by the ghosts of vicious dominatrix Lady Anne and her many hapless victims. The house lures Chris into the midst of waking dreams in which he is brutalized and nearly killed.
Chris endures horrible trials before he finally escapes from the clutches of Katherine and Lady Anne. All the pain and degradation, though, is sexualized because it is being delivered by a powerful, desirable woman. Chris sincerely suffers, and genuinely tries extricate himself from Katherine’s web. At the same time, he takes perverse enjoyment in being the object of his wife’s torment.
The House of Blood has a brisk, modern style that draws the reader into the story. There’s little of the dark, brooding atmosphere that one tends to associate with Gothic horror. Chris’ first person narration is infused with wry humor, even when he’s describing the tortures inflicted upon him. Of course, the tale is told in retrospect, after Chris has escaped and wreaked his revenge upon the house. The effect, however, is to somewhat blunt the emotional impact of some of the more horrible interludes, for instance, when Katherine buries Chris alive in the garden. I didn’t mind; I found the somewhat distanced description awful enough.
Is House of Blood sexy? That depends a great deal on whether you are personally aroused by female domination. If it turns you on to think about your wife screwing another man while you watch, or forcing you to drink her urine, or whipping you until you can’t stand, then you will love this book. Personally, although there’s a faint nod to consensuality in Mr. Rogers’ novel, I prefer my D/s relationships to involve more willing submission, and less extreme physical cruelty.
In the end, Chris finds himself with a new mistress, one who cares about him and who is not in thrall to a blood-thirsty ghost. I liked this conclusion, as it suggested that he had come to recognize his need to be dominated and had found a way to indulge it without risking his life.
Clever and well-executed, The House of Blood delivers chills and thrills to fans of femdom. Perhaps, indeed, your mistress might require you to read it—just for your education.
The House of Blood by Wayne C. Rogers
Available at Pink Flamingo Productions
© 2008 Lisabet Sarai. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written permission from the author.