What’s the next step in a relationship between two women founded on their shared love of BDSM and respective fetishes for domination and submission? Moving in together. At least, that’s what is on Ally’s mind in the second half of this volume. While there’s plenty of interesting sex play and a whole host of imaginative fetish gear on display here, the real drama comes from seeing how domme Ally and submissive Lisa continue to manage their unfolding relationship. It’s virgin territory for the both of them and I continue to be impressed with how creator Stjepan Sejic mines tension and drama from the believable personal hang-ups of his female protagonists. You can easily understand why Lisa would be angsting about the future of her relationship after hearing her own brother’s marriage woes, yet still find it completely believable to see them swept away when Ally greets her. Same goes for when the domme gets tongue-tied (figuratively -- the literal part belongs to her sub in this volume *rimshot*) about broaching the “moving in” business. Sure, the sexy parts are hot. Yet it’s the characters, drama and humor which keep me reading and anticipating the next volume.
Vol. 3 also introduces another major character, tattoo artist Anne. While her major contribution to the plot is to put a BDSM-themed tattoo on another character’s back, she also serves to illustrate the newcomer’s perspective to bondage. Even if it weren’t for the fact that we’ve already seen her with Ally and Lisa in the backmatter for volumes one and two, it’d be pretty clear to see what direction her arc will be taking simply from her increasing curiosity with her friends’ fetish here. Predictability aside, Sejic gives her some funny moments as she learns that there’s more to BDSM than pure pain and fleshes out her personality against her friend Cassie (the one who’s getting the tattoo). Anne used to be the wild one in the friendship, but the tables have turned as of late. Her newbie’s perspective on things is still fun to behold though the real test will be seeing if Sejic can make a credible threesome between Anne, Lisa, and Ally. A plot twist like that would normally come off as indulgent (and possibly exploitative). However, I think that the creator stands a good chance of pulling it off based on his strong character work in the series so far.