Author: Xanthe Walter
Published by: Amazon Digital
Genre: M/M Romance (BDSM)
I had to consider whether to list the genre for this as erotica. In some circles, I think it would qualify. But for me, other than the graphic BDSM scenes, this was a romance novel, through and through. This adherence to typical romance plot devices sometimes irked me, but overall I think this was a good book.
The sex was very well done including the BDSM elements. I believe I’ve read Xanthe’s work before she began releasing original material, and she’s always been good at writing BDSM. This being said, I think she was a little over the top in hammering into the reader what they were supposed to be learning about submission and domination. I swore that if she wrote “he found new depths to his submission” or “I’ll catch you if you fall” one more time, I was going to hurt someone, and not in a good way. I think if the book had been edited to remove a lot of this repetition, it would have been stronger overall.
I did like the characters, and I liked their little quirks. I liked Karl enough to feel some urgings to get the next book to find out his story, but I don’t think I can slog through another D/s 101 lesson in the next book. I guess that’s one of the things that makes finding good D/s stuff hard to find, particularly when you’re active in the lifestyle. I don’t need the explanations. I just want the story. I think actually that most people could get the whole D/s and protocols and RACK and everything else with far less explanation. Trust the reader to read between the lines a little.
So yes, my review is ambivalent. I applaud the serious use of BDSM and D/s in an m/m novel. I liked the world. I liked the characters. I just felt the book was heavy-handed at times, to the point that it lessened my enjoyment.
I give it three and a half stars.