Author: J.A. Rock
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Rating: 4.5 stars
Buy Links: Riptide
Received from Publisher
Blurb: A year ago, my best friend Hal died at the hands of an incompetent “dom.” So I started the Subs Club, a private blog where submissives can review doms and call out the douche bags.
A perfect example of the kind of arrogant asshole I mean? The Disciplinarian. He has a pornstache. He loves meat, stoicism, America, and real discipline. And he thinks subs exist to serve him.
But . . . not everything about him is awful. His Davy Crockett act just seems like a cover for his fear of intimacy, and part of me wants to show him it’s okay to get close to people. And, I mean, sue me, but I have fantasized about real discipline. Not role-play, but like, Dave, you’re gonna be thirty in four years and you still work in a mall; get your ass in gear or I’ll spank it.
Not that I’d ever trust anyone with that kind of control.
I’m gonna redefine “battle of wills” for the Disciplinarian. Or I’m gonna bone him. It’s hard to say.
Review: Subs Dave, Miles, Kamen and Gould are best friends who are still recovering from the loss of the fifth member of their close-knit group one year prior from a BDSM scene gone wrong. The death of Hal has caused Dave to lose some of the joy he had found in the BDSM scene, finding it hard to trust Doms after what happened to his friend. When Bill Henson, the Dom who was playing with Hal at the time of his death, shows up at their favourite BDSM club, David is ropeable. The guy was responsible for a sub’s death through his negligence during a breath play scene, how dare he be allowed to play again? Determined that no more subs be victims of unsafe Doms, Dave proposes to set up a site exclusively for subs to call out those Doms. The Subs Club gives the opportunity for subs to discuss Doms they’ve played with, what makes them good or bad as Doms.
While browsing Fetmatch, Dave comes across the profile of The Disciplinarian. Unimpressed with the cliched Dom phrases and arrogant tone, although secretly a little turned on by the manly man’s pornstache in his profile pic, David decides to fill out the lame questionnaire (a questionnaire for crying out loud!) with the intention to call out and rate the so-called Disciplinarian. He’s even less impressed with the Dom’s reply (lowercasing David’s name. Really??) However, what he gets when he meets The Disciplinarian doesn’t end up being quite what he expected. David wants more than a job working at the mall, he has a dream to become a hair stylist, but just can’t seem to motivate himself enough to do something about it. He fantasises about being disciplined for real when he fails to do what he should. Despite a rocky start, maybe he’s found the person who can provide what he needs.
While this story is mostly fun and light-hearted (despite the premise for the Subs Club), there is also a good dollop of the feels. I really loved the dynamics between Dave and D (as Dave calls The Disciplinarian when he finds out they share the same first name) as their relationship developed. Their messages to each other are laugh out loud funny. I definitely felt their chemistry as they explored David’s need for real discipline.
All the characters felt completely real. From the delightfully mouthy David as narrator to the surprisingly sweet D, along with walking BDSM dictionary Miles, Kamen with his hilarious made up song lyrics, and quiet Gould who is David’s non romantic soulmate. The supporting characters have well-developed, individual personalities and aren’t merely there to push along the story.
I also found the information on BDSM really fascinating. The author has woven it into the narrative seamlessly, making it interesting and relevant to what’s happening in the story in a very organic way.
The Subs Club has great characters and is an engaging story with a good balance between the humour and emotional impact. I’m looking forward to the next in the series, which I’m guessing will be Miles’ story.