Review: Manties in a Twist, by J.A. Rock

Blurb:

cover-jarock-mantiesinatwistLook, 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.

—Kamen


Stats:

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Edition read:
April 2, 2016
Riptide Publishing
Contemporary, BDSM, M/M, LGBT+
283 e-book pages
1st person
The Subs Club, book 3
April 9-10, 2016
Kindle Edition
See the book on GoodReads.

Rating:     ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

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Review:

The series has been a lot of outrageous fun, and I was super duper looking forward to this book. But it’s not my favorite of the series.

There is tons of humor here that makes this a light and funny read, just not quite the full scope of what I was hoping for.

Of this group of friends who formed The Subs Club, Kamen is the comedian, clown, and resident goofball. Being in his head was…kind of like what I’d think of being in the head of a golden retriever puppy.

Kamen is fun, and he’s a sweetheart, and he has a crack-tastic sense of humor. There was some personal growth as he contemplated his and his friends’ ongoing grief over the loss of their friend Hal and how they’re all grieving very differently. And he’s just moved in with his boyfriend of four months so was faced with all kinds of adult challenges that come with that. But, his viewpoints were…well, not real deep and it was very hard for me to develop a strong connection beyond the surface of the humor.

I think I wanted, at the very least, a more thoughtful take on the kinks Kamen and Ryan were exploring —  the manties/lingerie and the pony-play. There was massive potential here that I felt was left untapped. The lacy, silky manties bit was quickly abandoned for bridles, reins, and tails.

I like reading BDSM stories, and I reeeeaaally like reading about all kinds of different kinks. Especially the ones less frequently written about in more mainstream BDSM Erotica. I find it all utterly fascinating from a psychological and emotional standpoint even more than the sexual aspects. I don’t expect BDSM fiction to be a how-to or in-depth psychoanalysis, but I want something that brings a sense of reality and artfully illustrates some of the how and why.

This did not come across as an exploration of pony-play and what draws people to that particular kink or what they get from it. Instead, it came across as a joke and a way to get revenge on a fellow kinkster (who did take it very seriously) by beating her at her own game. And, well, while it was a rollicking good time, for the most part, I can’t help but acknowledge that it also felt disrespectful and immature. Laughing in the faces of people who do take something seriously is not okay with me.

Kamen did get around to discovering and experiencing the headspace to some degree, and maybe he did get what it was all about, but there didn’t seem to be a whole lot of introspection about that.

So yeah, this is a light and hilarious read that brings back a lot of the comedy that was not in the last book due to the serious nature of Miles. I did enjoy it. I did laugh at plenty. But I was hoping for more.

This review also posted on GoodReads.

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