Author: J.A. Rock
Cover Artist: Kanaxa
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 04/04/2016
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: BDSM, Contemporary, Fiction, Gay, Gay Fiction, Humor/Comedy
Look, I’ll never stop missing Hal, but this Subs Club my friends started to review suck-ass doms isn’t gonna bring him back or give him justice. For me, it’s just another chance to hang out with my friends, even if they think I’m too dumb to understand the important work we’re supposedly doing.
But maybe I’m not as dumb as they think—at least I know when I’ve got a good thing going. Which is why I just moved in with my dom. Ryan’s awesome possum. He’s really short, never makes me feel stupid, and is up for anything. One word: costumes. Two more words: women’s underwear. We’re all about the lace, no leather.
Except when we do pony play. We first tried it as a joke, but turns out I’m ballin’ at it. Now PetPlayFest is coming up, and I wanna take down the Subs Club’s archrival, Cinnamon the ponygirl, in the horse show.
My friends think I’m spending too much time with Ryan and ignoring my obligations to the group. But since when is friendship an obligation? Ryan’s my first serious relationship, and I want to take it . . . seriously. At some point I need to think about my future, not my past.
”It’s huhhhh-mazing.” I admired the detail work on the well-dressed hare’s puffy sleeves “The guys are gonna shit when they see it.” Okay, Dave would think it was cool. Miles would think it was dumb. And Gould probably wouldn’t say anything, but he’d give me that look, the one that was like a thumbs-up with his eyes.
They’re baaaaaaaack! The gang is back and Kamen is our wonderful host this time.
Yes! ~pumps fist~
I had such a blast reading this, being with these characters, experiencing all of the changes they’re going through. This might be the most introspective, or narratively accessible certainly, of this series. Kamen has an unmistakable voice and let me all the way in, man, all the way in.
It will quickly become obvious that I had to resissssssssst filling this review with quotes. Fill, I say, fill! To the brim. JA Rock is awn her game in this book.
But now I was living with a guy I loved, and I know how to do stuff like wash windows with vinegar and newspapers and clean the baseboards. I was a fucking adult.
I grabbed some animal crackers and a jar of peanut butter from the cabinet and went to the table.
~nods~ that’s the way to do it, Kamen.
Wait, one more. I swear, just one more… for now.
My phone made a lightsaber sound.
Yeah it did! You go, boy. ~hi5’s Kamen~
Now then. Ryan. Are you ‘the one’? You seem like a good match for our Kamen. Intelligent, silly, and just as willing as Kamen to try new things. No wonder you two made for such a fantastic story here.
Now, Kamen’s friends? They aren’t so convinced of this relationship. I know, I know, it seems odd given what we’ve experienced through the first two books, right? Yeah. Lots going on here, lots that these guys are going to have to deal with if they want their friendships to maintain, and grow, and do the same as individuals as their lives as things begin to change in many ways.
Speaking of, we get much quality time with Dave, Gould and Miles. Each time one of them is on page, important things are happening and emotion is sometimes the co-star. I don’t want to say much more than that but, believe me, you’ll get your fix for all of them.
Rock continues to demonstrate her ability to craft her characters through intimate gestures, small moments, and how important they are in our lives, how they’re often the things that create the anchors to which we’re tethered, especially with our friends.
When I started this book, I wasn’t sure how much I’d get from it, from Kamen specifically, given what we experienced in the first two books. But listen, he’s deep. He’s much more than most people bargain for, and even his friends are having difficulty in recognizing that. Well, except Gould, he seems to know, and appreciate, and take proper advantage, in good ways. There is so much meat on the characterization bones that are Kamen. He’s smart, insightful, and he tells it like it is but isn’t hurtful in doing so, he cares about how other people feel and is good at reading that.
It had been sort of the same with Ryan, but now that I was older, it was a little harder to get other people caught up on my story. And harder for me to catch up on theirs. But maybe that was the point of this relationship. It was a new phase in my life, so I had to kind of step away from the old stories and get ready to make new ones.
This and other realizations of Kamen’s, my gosh, could I relate having experienced them in my own life.
Along those lines, I have to say, I had that feeling. You know the one. The entire time I was reading this, it felt like it had been written for me. That somehow Rock had gotten into my brain and extracted my experiences, the experiences of my friends, and put them into this story. Universality, my friends. Or, as Kamen might say, awe-freakin-some-mazing.
Well before the end, Kamen and Ryan had earned fave couple status. They’re discovering and learning together, whether about how things change, how friendships evolve, what sorts of kink work and which don’t, and much more. I am even forced to say ~takes a deep breath~ that they are could not be any cuter together. GAH.
Don’t worry, as usual, Rock finds ways to knock you for an emotional loop. I was looped, man, I was looped. And it was allllll worth it.
You could probably technically read this as a standalone since Kamen and Ryan are the main focus but, boy howdy, would you miss some of the more emotional moments with the other characters who were the main characters in the previous two books.
I’m working hard not to flail here, folks. What a fantastically wonderful story filled with fantastically wonderful characters. This book has earned a place on my comfort read shelf. Yup.
** I also own a copy of this book.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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