[Book Review] 24/7 (The Sub's Club)

24/7 (The Subs Club #4) / J. A. Rock

Disclaimer: This is a review of an erotic novella 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.

Out of the four friends who founded the Sub's Club, Gould feels the loss of Hal the most deeply and personally, and the one who does the most to hide it.  It's not just the loss of a close friend, but the survivors guilt that plagues him.  After all, he wasn't there for Hal anymore.  If he hadn't ended their relationship, would Hal have been playing with Bill?

And sometimes it seems like he's the only one really still bothered by it all, even if the Sub's Club new focus on community education is fantastic.

For the past year Gould's been playing with GK and Kel, the owners of Riddle, the club where Hal died.  And they seem to get him, his quiet withdrawals, and make him feel safe while pushing his boundaries.  Gould's starting to feel like he wants to try something more with them, a 24/7 M/s relationship, but can he forgive, move on, and trust again?  Can he forgive and trust himself?

Out of the whole series, 24/7 is the most emotionally raw and vulnerable.  The other men are upset by Hal's death, but Gould is deeply unbalanced and fighting with a deep level of self-loathing and depression as part of his survivor's guilt.  He specifically asks for scenes with design to inflict mental injury, seeking debasement and feelings of worthlessness to escape out of his own head, and as a reader that can be disturbing.

I'm really glad this book gives us a personal look at GK and Kel, fleshing them out as loving and caring individuals rather than just the sometimes upsetting owners of the local kink club.  There is real affection and friendship here, between all three of them, and it's something that both Gould and GK are learning to deal with as the relationship and their desires push them to re-evaluate what they know about themselves.

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


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