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Anneke Jacob

Reviews for
As She's Told

Molly Weatherfield, author of Carrie's Story and Safe Word

The toughest love and the deepest intimacy, rendered in language that's consistently surehanded and deeply alive. I read it in a fever of engagement, arousal, and continuing fertile dialogue. When it comes to BDSM for smart girls, put this fantasia of unrelenting surrender at the top of your list.


Reviewed by Zsander, Staff Book Critic

Erotica, sex, BDSM, and relationships are all about compatibility, in one way or another – emotionally, sexually, or otherwise. Without compatibility, there’s no spark, no passion, no reason for a connection of any sort. Anneke Jacob’s novel, As She’s Told, highlights that concept, showing us just how intense a relationship can be, when its constituents have just the right kind of compatibility and balance with each other.

Anders has been in and out of a few kinky relationships, but is dissatisfied with what he sees as vanilla with games thrown in. He has never found someone who can give him what he wants: total submission, all the time. Maia has dabbled here and there in kink but never been in the kind of relationship she wants: to be owned by someone, body and soul. When their paths cross, online and soon after in person, they both find almost exactly what they want in each other: a master and a slave. From there, the relationship progresses with surprising swiftness, as the story takes us through the entirety of a developing, twenty-four-hour-a-day D/s relationship, not just touching on the scenes themselves.

The characters are developed with plenty of background, not just directly relevant traits. Anders himself is not the one-hundred-percent confident Dom stereotype. In spite of his appearance as a “twenty-first century left-wing Viking slave raider,” he is certainly not one-dimensional. He’s not a high-powered executive or incredibly wealthy, just a confident carpenter and homebuilder with a family and hobbies, like his talent for playing the fiddle, or his enjoyment of folk music. When it comes to training Maia, he has his impatience, and his doubts:

“Was he controlling his woman because he felt ineffectual elsewhere? Taking his frustration out on her hide, as Val had snidely suggested? One of those assholes?”

Anders has selfish, realistic desires; he doesn’t want someone too old or unattractive, or to be deceived. He also uses his voice and tone to good effect: “Bake voice until low and firm,” as he explains how to speak (and listen) early on. All in all, he is certainly dominant but definitely not drifting into “LordSirDomlyDom” territory, and in spite of his adherence to his D/s relationship, he doesn’t obsess with excessive ceremony or protocol–he collars Maia simply and effectively after she moves in, with a minimum of fuss. As an aside, he even has a statement that combines humor and familiarity with something a lot of the kink community already knows: “Home Depot’s a killer, all that stuff usable in ways it wasn’t intended for.”

Maia herself, quiet, dark-haired and multiethnic, may be submissive, but is certainly not mindlessly so. Anneke Jacob’s writing portrays her as a fully rounded character just as much as Anders, with friends, a job, and more. An interesting, realistic touch to her is that she has had fantasies of slavery even as a child, as well as part of the development of her sexuality:

“A very small Maia lurked in a dark basement with two curved wooden blocks held around her wrist, secretly playing at being chained in a dungeon. I’d been four or five. By nine I’d spent each night in elaborate fantasies of slave civilizations. The stories by the age of twelve were darker and saturated in humiliating sex and fear. It was the one hidden, overpowering constant of my life.”

She wants to be devoted, owned, but she is tempted and hindered by her own doubts and occasional slips:

“Do you ever wonder...” said Maia.
“Wonder what?”
“Why we’re like this.”
He looked down at her, amused. “Are you looking for secret trauma after all?”

The relationship isn’t solely for Anders’ pleasure; under his control Maia becomes more efficient, capable, and confident, even when she is left to await his arrival at home, naked but for cuffs and collar. His treatment of her is firm, sometimes even harsh (she is his slave, not just a submissive for playing with now and then), but never abusive, and definitely loving:

“Gradually every thought became coloured by the hope of pleasing him, and the growing fear of what he might do if I didn’t. ... I began to curl up within his boundaries, like a child in loving arms.”

The story is not a dramatic one with twists and turns, but a thoughtful, erotic exploration of a total power exchange relationship – and a mostly realistic examination, at that. It is interesting to note that throughout the story, the point of view switches between Anders in third person, and Maia in first; in spite of her subjugation to him, she is the one who tells the story through “I” statements. As She’s Told takes a look at the differences in responsibilities between lighter playing relationships, and the all-the-time relationships that most people are usually comfortable just fantasizing about. There’s discussion about the apparent dichotomy between political correctness and the conditions that arise in BDSM relationships, and, before anything else, Anders and Maia talk about what they want, and what will be done, ensuring that their relationship goals are similar:

“Look, what if what I am is too extreme and you think I’m – I’m sick?”
“I doubt it.”
I shook my head and looked down at the hands in my lap, plucking and folding my dress.
“Do you want to be damaged? Scarred? Dismembered?”
“Be used as a toilet? Have sex with animals?”
“Do you want to be sold off to white slavers?”
I gasped out of tension, blurted a laugh and shook my head. “No.”
“Then I doubt there’s anything you want that I don’t want more.”

As for the kink itself, As She’s Told has it in spades, and then some: sex in all its variations, serious D/s, spanking, whipping, cropping, bondage, kinky clothing and accessories (waist cinchers, kimono sash tying, corset training, gags and more), food play, nipple play, punishment scenes, animal play, posture training, orgasm control and denial, control of communication, control of finances–no shortage of control on Anders’ part, but never in an abusive way, and only with the best and most arousing of intentions, as this selection can only hint at:

“I know what I’ll call you,” confided a deep voice in my ear. “‘Hunhund.’” The two syllables both sounded the same, like ‘who’ with an ‘n’ at the end. “That’s a nice Danish word for a she-dog,” he said. Not exactly a bitch, as I found out later, with all that the English word implied. Just a female dog. But at that moment I was already so deep in humiliation and arousal that I hardly took it in. He went off and I heard water running, and then he was back.

“Up on the bed, hands and knees. We’re going to find out just what makes you come, my little hunhund. And what doesn’t.” The deep voice had downshifted, was warm, hypnotic, in rhythm with the stroking of his fingers. Sensation was fed by the heat of spanked flesh: fed, amplified. His hand tickling, sliding through hot wet folds. He was touching, moving away, touching again ... tension building, building.... Then the fingers were gone. Sensation now at my nipples, circling and squeezing, on and on.... And a hand rubbing round circles on my ass, pressing the arousal deeper, deeper.... I crouched there for what seemed like ages, clutched the bedspread, moaning low in my throat.

As She’s Told is very well-written, combining development and exploration of characters and relationships, with an amazingly well-balanced, erotic tone that stays intense and arousing throughout. It is one of the best pieces of kinky erotica I have had the chance to read, and I very highly recommend it, whether the reader is vanilla-with-a-twist, or an all-the-time kinkster.

Erotica Readers and Writers Association

Reviewed by Ashley Lister

Appropriately enough, for the Valentine's month of February, As She's Told is a love story. Set in contemporary Toronto, Canada, Anders and Maia meet briefly through an internet chatroom and then make their first face-to-face contact during a convenient munch. They both feel a strong connection when they meet. That connection grows more powerful very swiftly. It isn't long before the casual reader discovers that this is a couple who deserve to be together.

However the course of true love never does run smooth and every love story needs a complicating action. In Gone With the Wind, Rhett and Scarlet are kept apart by the American Civil War. In Romeo and Juliet the title characters are separated by the senseless feuding of their embittered families. In King Kong, the eponymous hero never gets to be with his girl because his penis is the same size as the bus she rides to work. In As She's Told, Anders and Maia struggle to develop their relationship because they're both into BDSM.

Anneke Jacob's story is rich and powerful. Anders and Maia are a couple who are described with loving and delicious detail. Their relationship is hardcore but never unbelievable and it is always grounded in a well-crafted reality. The Toronto they inhabit is a three-dimensional world that is deftly envisioned and perfectly realised. I've never been to Toronto however, after reading As She's Told, I believe I could find my way around the city blindfolded.

Maia has a natural tendency to submission. Perhaps this is understating the situation - or perhaps Maia is just too honest about her own needs for me to make that distinction. You'll have to read the book and work that one out for yourself.

Anders is a very capable dom. He has an instinctive ability to know what Maia needs, but enough humanity to doubt himself. Those inner doubts make him appear vulnerable, humane and loveable.

The fact that both these characters are not native Canadians - Anders is descended from Danish stock and Maia's heritage has taken a circuitous route around the world - provides another clue to the complicating action of this story. Even though this couple have managed to find each other in Toronto, and even though they are accepted by a wide social circle of family and friends: they remain outsiders throughout the story.

It would be difficult for any BDSM enthusiast not to enjoy this story. The characters leap off the first page and develop into rounded individuals for whom the reader knows, loves and cares. Their situation is in turns frustrating, amusing, passionate and complex - the same as every conventional well-told love story.

If your appetites stretch to well-written BDSM, and you love to immerse yourself in tales of believable people, then As She's Told is this spring's must-have read.

Tobias Tanner

If you were mine, Maia... I'd take care of you, but... there would be beatings, constant control, humiliation... I'd treat you like an animal and worse. If that's beyond what you can take, we might as well know it now."

"It's not beyond what I can take."

"Then we may have something here...if we're lucky."

Have you ever had a conversation like that? Anders and Maia do, and it sets the stage for changes they can neither predict nor prepare for. Anneke Jacob has done a masterful job of blending life and lifestyle, and you know which lifestyle I mean. In the wordsmith trade, there is character and characterization; the former describes, the latter defines. Ms. Jacob has done both. These people are multi-dimensional, thoughtful and interesting. You can't help but care about them.

It is a big story, told in detail, but well worth the time. This novel follows the path of a man and a woman along the rocky road to... well, you know where. Not perdition, certainly, although some might see it that way; unless you can take first class seats on the A-train to hell, that is, AND hell is where you wanted to go in the first place, AND you are ready, willing and able to take a hell of a ride to hell in the process.

This is not about kidnapped slaves tortured into submission and eventual compliance. It isn't about Stockholm Syndrome, or wifely compliance. It's about a learning curve. Take a willing submissive with a yen to be a total slave, mix well with an intelligent sadist with the will and mental acuity to take over someone's life, mix well with real lives, with real questions and puzzles to solve, bake in the crucible of a masochist's pain, and voilá, you have a plausible and well crafted novel.

Ms. Jacob treats us to minor doses of philosophy, music, conservation, green living and left-handed politics; all stewed in with straps and whips and gags and chastity belts and electrical training devices (think dog collar and dildo in the same sentence). Her characters are full-bodied. Their lifestyle is extreme but, in context, believable. And I was left with the distinct impression that I would like these people. You could sit down and have coffee with them, talk about things, have a few laughs.

See if you don't agree.


I've seldom had the pleasure of reading such a wonderfully intense book as the one Anneke Jacob has just released. Her story, AS SHE'S TOLD, in my view easily surpasses the work of Pauline Reage (Story of O) and it is my belief and hope that this story will become an erotic classic in every sense of the word.

AS SHE'S TOLD is the best kind of love story ... a tale of two people from widely disparate backgrounds, who find in each other, the perfect match to their deepest fantasies and needs, then move slowly and carefully to make their mutual dreams come true. That these are so widely at variance with what society normally considers 'love' matters not to them, for they are deeply-committed to bringing their fantasies to life and it IS a love story in the truest sense, despite some of the darker passions that are slowly unleashed.

Maia and Anders initially meet in an internet chat room and at a safe electronic distance describe what they seek, but each with an eye to the fact that the other may not be what they profess. Soon though, they come to meet in person and that is when the story begins in earnest. Over the course of the following weeks and months Maia slowly and willingly becomes immersed in the life she has always wanted ... that of being a fully-controlled slave, possession, and eventually, an animal, doing only as she has been commanded. Maia moves into Anders house and not only does she become his possession physically, but mentally as well, while his control of her physical person and her mind and awareness is constantly increased. This situation though, is not a 'Stockholm Syndrome' occurrence, but one of deep commitment to each other.

The story is told from two points of view: Maia's and Anders', and as such is a fascinating look into both personalities, clearly showing why they are who and what they are, and react as they do to the life they are creating for themselves. Ms Jacob's other characters and the locales they function in are as finely and exactingly drawn, and so the story is fleshed out in the most believable way.

Ms Jacob has obviously spent a great deal of time and effort to polish her descriptions of her characters: their dress, appearance, emotions, sensations and how they react to each other and the world around them. All of her characters are beautifully and crisply drawn and Maia and Anders are most certainly not cardboard cut-outs, but living, breathing people that you and I could meet on the street or at work and really like. The locales and equipment are beautifully described and a reader can quite literally see the places and feel all of her equipment being fitted. Her plot line is of intricate interest and flows smoothly to a logical and lovely conclusion and I sincerely hope there is a sequel to this wonderful story.

As She's Told is such a good story that other readers have thought that it is actually a memoir, rather than fiction.

I cannot but envy this tour de force display of Ms. Jacob's skill with words, for she has crafted her story to the precision of a Swiss time piece. All in all, this story is a classic piece of erotic fiction and not just jerk off porn.

I recommend it MOST highly to anyone who wishes to read a story of love, lust and kink. You'll not be disappointed with this gem of a book.

Triskelion Society

Calling “As She’s Told” erotica is almost an insult to Anders and Maia, the two main subjects of this novel, as we look in as their dynamic is established and evolves. More a BDSM “coming of age” story than erotica, Anneke Jacob seems to be documenting the slave fantasy through the eyes of a realist while keeping things dramatic enough to keep the reader involved.

With an easy to read writing style, the book moves along at a fast pace (I read 134 pages in one sitting without realizing it) without sacrificing anything of substance. At over 400 pages, “As She’s Told” ensures the reader has a full plate but after the first chapter you find yourself relating to the references and experiences; so much so that no matter your proclivities you see parts of yourself in the characters.

As for the story itself; you will be hard pressed to find a form of play or derivative of roles not addressed. We see Maia go from living a fantasy entirely in her head to experiencing the reality of those thoughts. Her journey becomes your journey, as does Anders’.

Anneke Jacob puts you in the minds of her main characters throughout the novel. Back and forth in nearly every predicament, the reader gets insight into the how’s and why’s of the details. Doubts and triumphs; anxiety and achievement; apprehension and milestones, the full gambit of possibilities seem to unfold as we see Anders and his slave work to a place they are meant to be.

Is it a reality? Is it simply fantasy? It seems to me that this novel comes across as fiction simply because it is contained to 400+ pages between covers, without those bonds holding the story back we might encounter Anders driving his truck in Toronto or encounter Maia in a flowing dress.

Oysters and Chocolate

Review by Lux Zakari

Anneke Jacob’s As She’s Told is no gentle, schmaltzy love story where the heroine and her beloved fall in love at a dubious, expedited speed and live happily ever. Instead, it’s an intelligent, well written story of a couple who immerse themselves in the extreme side of BDSM and struggle with their questionable control over their fantasies.

Anders Thygesen lurks in chat rooms, hoping to find a kindred spirit who wants to completely surrender herself to him just as much he wants to possess her. He finds his match in Maia, a dark-haired beauty who longs for safety and protection and has a deep need to yield to another. There is no room for any experimental bondage; and there is no stopping when the going gets rough. Maia is ready to sacrifice her freedom to be Anders’ slave in the truest sense of the word, and there’s no going back.

As She’s Told, at a lofty 600-plus pages, is sensual and smart, and although the point-of-view changes are strange, I like the realism of the couple. They don’t rush into anything, they start slow, and they take the time to get to know each other. Fortunately, the description and evolution of their relationship isn’t bogged down by technicalities. Readers who are looking for a simple erotic story may be disappointed, as As She’s Told is intensely sexual but the primary focus is on Anders and Maia’s relationship and just how far they will go to not only please one another, but to fulfill their own desires as well.

Reviewed by Dee Luvbight

As She's Told is a wonderful story of Maia and Anders who meet online, but soon find a strong connection when they meet in person. Throughout the story Maia and Anders grow together in their relationship; the reader can relate to the fears and hopes of these two characters. Anneke Jacob expertly blends a Master/slave relationship with love, trust and commitment. It was a fantastic story, that often made me smile, bringing back memories of my feelings from the beginning of my relationship with Mick.