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The Tipsybibliophile

I love cheap and tasty wine, reading stories about men falling in love and making good food…Here is where I mix all three.

Currently reading

Moon Called
Patricia Briggs
River Thieves: A Novel
Michael Crummey
First You Fall
Scott Sherman
The Child Thief
Beloved Son
Carole Cummings
Carole Cummings
The Broken Triangle
Jane Davitt, Alexa Snow
The Red King
Rosemary O'Malley
Pretty Shade of Grey
A.D. Truax
Sursein Judgment
Jet Mykles
By His Rules - J. A. Rock 3.5 Stars

This book was certainly interesting. Parts were a hard look at how badly BDSM can go wrong, parts were an education on other types of D/s relationships, others were sweet, some were frustrating and others were INCREDIBLY frustrating. They all seemed reasonable though, so overall it worked.

Aiden Cole is a recent college graduate, he is an actor, with lots of promise. He is also very involved in the BDSM scene. He is at Obey the local club, constantly, and is well known among the tops as a VERY good time. Aiden kind of blows off his actual desire and need for submission, and for the pain. He tells himself it's just part of who he is, he's an actor. This lifestyle allows him to act, it's not even like he has any real interest in any of the guys. Except for Scott Unge one of the Doms that frequents the club. Scott is cruel and ruthless, something about him awakens a need in Aiden that almost scares him. The desire to be hurt and humiliated by Scott is irresistable.

Aiden starts up with Scott. He agrees to be his sub, and things go VERY BADLY. Scott is sadistic, cruel, violent. He breaks Aiden until he has to walk away from the Scene completely. The first third of this book, with Scott and Aiden, is not easy, things degenerate fast, and they get ugly. I have to give props to the author here, because I had a intense feeling of helplessness reading this. The mix of outrage and sympathy I felt for Aiden reading just how far he let things go with Scott was very real.

Once Aiden is finally out from under Scott, he is taken in by his friends, he has no place to go, no job, no plans, nothing. He had completely handed himself over to Scott. He was a mess. Through his friend he meets Keaton Hughes, the man is a top, and has offered to help Aiden recover from what he's just gone through. Aiden knows very little about Keaton, does not really trust him, but he does not have any other options. So he goes to live with him.

Keaton turns out to be a very different kind of top. He doesn't get off on pain, and he wants to pursue a D/s relationship with Aiden where they are both equals. He is kind and open. This is all very confusing for Aidean, and he's not sure that this kind of arrangement is what he really needs from a Dom.

The way things evolve with these two men is interesting. Keaton is a very good and sensible man, but at times it's almost far fetched they way he is just A-Okay WITH EVERYTHING that Aiden dishes out, and he can be a real shit at times. Aiden is messed up, understandably, since he is still unsure of what he needs. But he gets SO NEEDY at times, there were ocassions where the words Too Stupid To Live came to mind.

He does figure things out EVENTUALLY, when he has his Oprah AHA Moment. Like literally, all that was missing was him actually saying 'AHA!'.

All in all the writing was good, had some hard core D/s scenes (not the hot kind), and it was emotionally charged, both men's POVs were also easy to understand, despite how irritating they were at times. Good read for BDSM fans.