Review: By His Rules, by J.A. Rock

The Blurb:

Aiden Cole can be anything men want—naughty schoolboy, palace slave, virgin twink, or slutty secretary. He’s a gifted actor with a gorgeous body who gives legendary head. Aiden could have his pick of any Top in the local leather bar, but is drawn to Scott Runge—a cruel, sexy Dom who pushes Aiden to his limits, allowing Aiden to experience the excitement and danger of the BDSM lifestyle to a degree he never has before. But when Scott goes too far, injuring Aiden, Aiden withdraws from the BDSM scene completely. Until he meets Keaton Hughes.

Keaton’s looking for something he can’t find in any dungeon: A domestic discipline relationship, in which he can provide his partner with guidance, support, and loving discipline. When Keaton takes Aiden in after Aiden’s traumatic encounter with Scott, he vows not to pursue any sort of relationship with the troubled sub. But as Aiden struggles to overcome the damage Scott has done and get his life back on track, Keaton’s rules might be just what he needs.

Publisher’s Note: This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: BDSM theme and content, dubious consent, male/male sexual practices, violence.

The Stats:

Published:   January 10, 2012
Publisher:    Loose Id
Genre:          Contemporary, M/M, BDSM
Length:         248 pages (e-book)
POV:              3rd Person
Type:             Stand-Alone
Dates I read this:    October 6-7, 2015
Edition I read:         Kindle
See the book on GoodReads.


2.5 Stars

Rating Info

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Well…I feel like this teetered on a fine line of being classified as a stroke story. NOT that there’s anything wrong with that.

I’ve got nothin’ against Faperature. I might even have a few in my Kindle Library. I just don’t add them to my GoodReads library because, well, I don’t really want to feel obligated to discuss them. Or defend them. Or have the stark reminders that I actually, occasionally, buy that stuff.

I feel the earth quake from my grandmother rolling in her grave for what I read as it is—putting the really naughty stuff out there would likely cause an apocalypse. Dead Grandmother Guilt…it’s a thing.


Fuck it.

I didn’t have problems with the BDSM theme.

I didn’t have problems with the Domestic Discipline theme.

I didn’t have problems with a character called “Daddy”.

I’ve got nary a problem with kink of any flavor. Bring it on. In fact, if we’re traveling down this road—and it seems we are, I’ll go ahead and admit that I really kind of dig the DD and D/b themes.

It’s just… I seek out literary smut and am over the moon when I find it. The writing was hovering around average. There seemed to be lots and lots of telling, and a few of the sex scenes felt just a tad clinical.

I’m not a big fan of working through more than one relationship in a story. While we needed to know that Aiden was damaged physically and emotionally from a bad Dom, I think this would have played out better in another format…a short memory, or in discussions with his BFF and new partner. I just think we spent too much time with the wrong guy who was nothing but a despicable sadist.

The second guy, while a more healthy choice, was a bit of a let down. His kink was so mild in comparison, I kind of wish it had been ratcheted up a few notches.

I also had some problems with Aiden going home with the first guy in the opening chapters. They’d played together before the start of the book, but regardless, this just screamed STRANGER DANGER!

And there was no negotiation or re-cap of hard-limits. Not that I wanted to read pages and pages of contract crap, but a sentence or two of “no x, y, or z” would have settled me a little.

Mutual Informed Educated Consent, y’all.

I need to believe people play that way.

But, I admit that I laughed my ass off at most of the figging scene. Figging in general is hilarious to me. Clearly, it’s never happened to me. This turned not so funny when the sadist found a new target; and I was wincing at the idea of how horrible it would feel.

Moving on or I’ll get into more graphic topics.

Overall, I can’t say I really felt any real intimate connection between Aiden and Keaton that made me want to root for them. It all felt a bit forced.

So yeah, not a hit for me this time.


Tell me what you think!