- Book Title: Sub-Mission
- Book Series: Sub-Series #1
- Author: Sage Marlowe
- Publisher: Me and the Muse Publishing; 2 edition (May 15, 2014)
- Book Length: 226 pages
- Genre: BDSM, Series, Romance, Erotica
- Reviewed by: Diane
- Rating: 4 Star
- Posting Date: December 27, 2015
BDSM-themed romance stories tend to go one of two ways, very broadly defined: 1) having the characters engaged in a range of themed activities but only as an adjunct to lives lived within the larger social context (soft boundaries), or 2) focusing on the “lifestyle” with hard boundaries that define characters and plot within a narrow range and on a much smaller stage. (The usual caveats apply: life/activities aren’t binary, there’s a bell curve’s worth of options, etc.)
Once the character’s and their backstories are defined, Sub-Mission falls clearly into option #2. The author does quite a good job setting up the initial, highly sexually-charged encounter between the principals Pierce and Noah, leaving many questions unanswered and a way forward for them to connect outside the limits and control of carefully regulated behaviors.
Except… within the confines of safe words and the artifice of scenes and the exploration of limits, there still exist opportunities for missteps, with consequences that can be far-reaching—
both physically and psychologically. Again, the author does a bang-up job of using plot, character development and dialog to great effect in explaining how and why these characters choose or gravitate toward certain elements in the BDSM cornucopia of possibilities.
In short: along with the characters, I learned quite a bit about what drives a person to be this or that, how behaviors on stage bleed into behaviors in a broader social setting, and what happens when personality types that are incongruent clash, both in and outside of the club atmosphere.
Sub-Mission is definitely a character study of how one man, Noah, will sacrifice anything and everything to see to his daughter’s well-being, and how a conservative businessman yearning for stability and all the trappings of normalcy society provides, learn to meet in the middle. It’s not an easy journey for either man, nor is it a safe one. And at no point does the endgame seem a done deal.
Where Sub-Mission hiccoughs is on the timeline and some continuity issues that brought me up short and pulled me out of the story. Mostly the problems were in lack of time-stamping scenes—chapters began after significant periods of time had passed and it wasn’t immediately obvious. Scene changes were often abrupt and at times failed to carry forward, leaving character motivations obscured or highly questionable.
A minor character, introduced late, was used as a kingpin to solving a dilemma, with the disadvantage of it seeming too convenient. And finally, as the story progressed, it focused almost exclusively on the club and the lifestyle portrayed on a narrow stage of sexual activities that drove this story solidly into the erotica category.
Aside from the few gotchas, Sub-Mission is well-written—a solid Four Star effort.
How far would you go to save the one you love?
Pierce Hollister is a down-to-earth businessman. Most of the time. His romantic side has him secretly dreaming of Mr Right, a family and a happy ever after.
Noah Conway is a single father who doesn’t believe in happy families any more. When his daughter’s life is at stake, he would sell his soul to save her but as a sadistic Dom takes an interest in him, he sells his body instead.
A shared session at a BDSM club leaves Pierce intrigued and soon he finds himself willing to do anything in his power to heal the wounds that life has left on Noah’s soul. When he realises that the very thing Noah dreads the most might just be what he needs, Pierce sets out on a mission—but maybe it’s just not in his power to save Noah.
Will Noah be able to battle the demons that haunt him and find the happy ever after Pierce has dreamed up for them?
A willing slave to all the fascinating guys who keep queuing up and want their stories told, Sage can almost always be found cooking up the next hot story or daydreaming about new ways of rubbing sexy male bodies together to make the sparks fly.
Go to the Author Page for Sage Marlowe
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