Tuesday, January 5, 2016

[Book Review] The Subs Club & Pain Slut (The Subs Club)

Disclaimer: This is a review of two erotic novellas about people who get off on what some readers may consider rather horrible things being done to them in consensual situations.

The books in this series portrays kink in a manner that you are not likely to have encountered in popular erotic romance (Fifty Shades of Grey, Bared to You, etc).  Depending on your general stance, you'll end up either shocked or thrilled at the kink play within.


The Subs Club series follows a group of four men still mourning the loss of their friend due to carelessness during an edge-play scene at a BDSM club over a year ago.  These are the stories of them reconciling their loss, developing relationships, growth, and hot and heavy sexy times.


The Subs Club (Subs Club #1) / J. A. Rock

It's hard to cope with the pain of what should have been an easily avoided death, even harder when people tend to respond with "that's the risk you run."  Seeing the dom responsible for Hal's death welcome back in the club is just a little too much for Dave and his friends.  Subs are putting themselves at the literal mercy of doms, maybe it's time for subs to build up a little protective knowledge.

And so the Subs Club is born, a private web blog where subs can rate and review doms, raising awareness of doms who don't respect limits or treat their play partners poorly.  The "Disciplinarian" comes across as exactly the sort of dom who needs his arrogance checked, and Dave decides he's exactly the one to review him.


Of course, things rarely go as planned, especially when internet communities are involved.  Dave becomes a bit more entangled than planned, and real emotions were never part of the plan.  The private blog's popularity causes an explosion in membership, and soon a the personal attacks start hitting close to home, not just online but in person.

Now they need to figure out what's important, and how to save the good in the face of misunderstanding and misuse.


Dave is definitely a bit of a sassy brat, and he loves it.  But he also tends to be brash, insensitive, and disorganized... and happens to have a preference for being put in his place by a strong man.  How much of his behavior is really him, and how much is an act to keep from dealing with problems?

The Subs Club focuses on a discipline based relationship, where scripted rules are part of the play, and breaking the rules results in punishment.  The relationship is convincing, with great push and pull between Dave and the Disciplinarian, as well as between Dave, his friends, and the community at large.  Additionally, there's a great discussion on communication and creating safe spaces for people to explore and enjoy their sexualities throughout the book.


Pain Slut (Subs Club #2) / J. A. Rock

The Subs Club was founded for a great reason, and what it's done is great, but when looking at the bigger picture, maybe it's time for Miles to step away from it and kink completely.  Family's always been an important goal, and with his own home and business now seems to be the time to go forward with adoption even if he's going in as a single parent.  He's already fighting stigma as a gay man, and how can he expect to even have time for kinky play as a parent, so why risk the adoption agency disqualifying him for it?

The plan for quitting kink isn't going quite so well, Miles keeps ending back up visiting an old play partner.  Then, Miles meets Drix, a handsome man who Miles can't keep his mind off of, and who has some non-traditional foibles of his own.  Actually, Drix catches Miles a bit off guard with his own revelations.  But the attraction won't be denied, and not only that, but Drix might actually be the sadist that Miles has been looking for all along to balance his masochism.

Miles needs to come to terms with who he is and what he wants, and how that fits in with who he wants to be.


Pain Slut continues the story started in The Subs Club, and the Subs Club itself has grown as a support network and information venue for both the curious and experienced within the local BDSM scene.  The players here know that what they're doing is dangerous, and that both sides have their limits and needs.  In particular, the central relationship of Pain Slut is between a masochist and sadist, and how they grow and learn together.  Miles likes things that hurt, not in a magical fantasy sort of way, but because of the pain and the nature of the sensations he goes through.  Pain Slut is a more raw story than The Subs Club, building on the groundwork already laid, and going further in terms of character emotion and development.

Advance Reader Copies courtesy of Riptide Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review; changes may exist between galley and the final edition.

No comments:

Post a Comment