Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Cover Artist: Posh Gosh
Rating: 3.0 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 07/26/2016
Length: Short Story (<15K)
Genre: BDSM, Contemporary, Gay Romance
Val and Chaz broke up after Chaz safeworded unnecessarily during a scene. Can they find a way to come back together?
A few months ago, Chaz safeworded during a scene, just because he was feeling neglected and bitchy. Val was understandably upset that his sub lied, and the two of them split up. Now it’s months later and Val is miserable to be around, so his friend sends him to his private lake house to vacation and get over himself. At least, that’s what Val thinks is happening. In reality, Chaz has also been lured to the lake house and is waiting there so they can hopefully get back together.
Despite his shock at finding Chaz at the lake house, Val decides to do a scene. Will it be the last scene they share or will they find a way to move past what happened?
Publisher’s Note: This book has previously been released as part of His Rules anthology with Pride Publishing.
Val and Chaz’s relationship deteriorated a few months ago when Chaz rebelliously used his safeword during a scene. Val hasn’t been the same since, his surliness spilling over into every facet of his life. When his friend suggests he use his lake house for a weekend, Val thinks the getaway may just be what he needs to improve his mood. Upon arrival, however, he discovers Chaz is there, also having been tricked. The two engage in a scene, but the question remains whether or not they can overcome past hurts in order to move forward.
This short story was originally published as part of His Rules anthology. For its length, it packs a walloping punch, as the encounter between Val and Chaz is certainly hot and intense. There is most definitely chemistry and physical attraction between these two, and the sadomasochistic relationship between Master and sub is erotic and, at times, had me cringing in sympathy for Chaz’s poor little body.
I did have a couple of issues with this story, however. I have enjoyed many of Sean Michael’s works, and he has always impressed me with his knowledge of BDSM relationships, their dynamics, and the rules and structures that exist therein. This is why I was surprised and disturbed by the fact that Val discovers Chaz already at the lake house, bound and gagged. For a sub to be bound and left alone is a huge no-no, and I was shocked that this was allowed to slide as part of the story. Additionally, Val initiates the scene with Chaz while angry, which is yet another rule broken. Though the scene played out well, these concerns were difficult for me to overcome as a reader. I would also have liked to see more communication as to the “why” of Chaz’s safewording to begin with, as it would have helped me to understand a bit more of the relationship that existed between these two prior to the story.
Overall, Time Out is a hot, sexy little read focusing on one gloriously torturous scene. For a quick fix, it is satisfying; however, experienced BDSM readers should be aware that there are some issues that may be difficult to overlook.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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