Butterball (Portland’s Men #1) by Michelle Robbins ~ Book Review by Emerson

michelleking_butterballTitle: Butterball (Portland’s Men #1)

Author: Michelle Robbins

Publisher: Loose Id

Cover Artist: GD Leigh

Rating: 2.75 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 04/18/2016

Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)

Genre: Gay Fiction


For Travis, it was business as usual at the office of Wentwood Investments, other than the annoying task of finding a new account manager for his expanding department. Everything changed the moment Jeremy Roberson walked into the room for a job interview. The cuddly butterball was everything Travis liked in a partner…other than the closet locked around him.

The closet’s walls may have been cold, but the heat between Jeremy and Travis scorched. Nothing could stop the firestorm, not even the threat of a lawsuit or the disapproval of the dreaded HR department. They needed each other, emotionally and professionally. Unfortunately, fear held Jeremy. It was a fear Travis knew well.

If he was going to find paradise alongside Jeremy, it appeared he’d have to help his secret partner claim his homosexuality. It wouldn’t be much fun, no, but it wouldn’t be the first closet he’d stormed. And Jeremy was worth it.

My View:

Okay, so, I have just three words for this book: Not Buying It.


Let’s start with what I did like – I liked Jeremy. I liked the character and his vulnerability.


Now, on to the rest. We’ll start with Jeremy being described as someone’s “BDSM Master” and then was explained, clearly as a sub. Then, we meet Jeremy and there’s not a dominant bone in his body. Next, this book wasn’t BDSM as advertised. I’ve been a lifestyle practitioner for twenty years and making Travis a domineering dick doesn’t make him a BDSM Master/Sir/Dom –whatever the cool kids are calling it these days. He doesn’t respect Jeremy, at all and a Master/Sir/Dom respects his boy. Throughout the book Travis calls Jeremy “butterball” in his head which given Jeremy’s self-consciousness about his weight is just cruel, and not in an SSC or Risk Aware kind of way. He also bullies Jeremy with an attitude of “I’m cooler than you and you’re lucky to be with me”. That bugged me. He didn’t respect him enough to have the most basic of conversations with him, just pulled him around by the dick. A power transfer is a partnership, and there wasn’t one here. Travis retained all of the power.

Then, we get to the scenario with the job. Nowhere in corporate America is this going to happen, especially in a financial institution that needs to be above reproach. Okay, fine, he made him a contractor, for those who aren’t up on sexual harassment laws, external parties are also subject to those same laws. He’s still fucking a subordinate. Add to the fact that now, having a relationship with a contractor is a conflict of interest, and you have a mess. If I were Jeremy, I’d have taken full advantage and cleaned his financial clock to save my own situation.

The final thing that bugged me about this book was all the head hopping. Within chapters, within scenes the author would switch POVs with no warning so I had to read back a paragraph because it didn’t make any sense. Then one single time, the POV switched to Travis’s girl BFF which completely threw off the flow. Just to get someone’s phone number – that could have been done better.

All in all, I can’t really recommend this book, certainly not as a BDSM story, but also not as a good read. The sex was okay, but nothing more tabs and slots than any real emotional connection.


Butterball (Portland’s Men #1) on Goodreads
Loose Id
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Comment Contest
One random commenter with thoughtful, relevant comments will win a $25 gift certificate each month in 2016.
This post may contain affiliate links.
Prism Book Alliance® assumes no liability for the ownership of photos or content used in guest posts and interviews.  The post author assumes all responsibility and liability for this content.

Leave a Reply