Published by Riptide Publishing The Subs Club (The Subs Club, #1) on December 5th 2015
Genres: BDSM, Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, M/M
A year ago, my best friend Hal died at the hands of an incompetent “dom.” So I started the Subs Club, a private blog where submissives can review doms and call out the douche bags.
A perfect example of the kind of arrogant asshole I mean? The Disciplinarian. He has a pornstache. He loves meat, stoicism, America, and real discipline. And he thinks subs exist to serve him.
But . . . not everything about him is awful. His Davy Crockett act just seems like a cover for his fear of intimacy, and part of me wants to show him it’s okay to get close to people. And, I mean, sue me, but I have fantasized about real discipline. Not role-play, but like, Dave, you’re gonna be thirty in four years and you still work in a mall; get your ass in gear or I’ll spank it.
Not that I’d ever trust anyone with that kind of control.
I’m gonna redefine “battle of wills” for the Disciplinarian. Or I’m gonna bone him. It’s hard to say.
Reviewed by Lou and Heller
Lou: The Subs Club was an enjoyable read, though some of the BDSM content was a little too hardcore for my own personal tastes, but the hero, David, had a wonderful and engaging voice that made this read feel light despite some of the serious issues. If it wasn’t for David’s fun and upbeat nature then I don’t think I could have read some of the BDSM elements without wanting to stop reading–and by ‘stop reading’ I want to make it super clear it wasn’t terrible. Every reader has their own milage, and enema and soap-mouth-washing was mine :).
Heller: I liked this one a lot. I wanted to read this story for the domestic discipline angle and I wasn’t disappointed. I have to say that JA can really bring it with regards to a read with informed BDSM content. Some of it was new to me but it all really worked for the story and for the characters.
Lou: It’s fair to say that while David was loveable and loyal down to his bones for his family and friends, he wasn’t a very nice person at times. His teasing went too far and at first I didn’t like him but when I understood him more, and understood why David was acting that way, I found my dislike ebbing away. Losing their friend Hal after a BDSM session gone wrong, it left a gaping hole. David and his friends, who created a review site and forum to talk, review, and rate Doms, were still coming to terms of what happened. David’s interaction and behaviour towards The Disciplinarian stemmed from his grief and his legitimate worry about the safety of those in the community.
Heller: Lou, I could totally see why it took you a bit to warm to david (little David). I adored him from the start though. He’s just the type of brat that I adore reading about, snarky and fun but also very deeply, deeply caring.
Lou: The Disciplinarian real name was David and he had a moustache! And sideburns! If only Has saw my face whilst reading this book heh. Anyway, it’s only now become confusing having the two heroes as David while writing this review. Both Davids had an awful first meeting. Hero David really was a brat and did his best to wind up Other Hero David because he really disliked Other Hero David’s submission form. It all stemmed from Hero David’s grief and he was kinda mean, making fun of Other David Hero’s hair and weight. It was at that moment where I wanted to stop reading but I’m glad I didn’t. Hero David went back and apologised and from there a really sweet and intense romance started. I could have done with more romantic smexing but it was clear to see that the BDSM elements is what Hero David needed and craved for his own release. I did want a little more romance but I really enjoyed the banter and witter between the two. I also really enjoyed the friendship between The Subs Club members. It was a close-knit family of friends with awesome personalities that made each of them unique and individual.
Heller: I’m calling them Big D and little d here and I got a laugh at the reveal of the double Davids. My issue wasn’t with the similar names but with D himself. As soon as I read his description: the pornstache, the paunch, the love of bacon, whiskey and woodworking add to that his desire to be a forest ranger? To me this is Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation. I could totally see Ron being a Dom and the homage was sweet but it threw me out of the story a few times but I went with it.
I really really loved the depth of the story here as the boys try to deal with the death of their friend. I enjoyed reading how D was able to help d process and come to terms with his need for discipline and his need to come to terms with Hal’s accident.
The friendships between the boys was so wonderful. They are so sweet and struggling so hard to get back to normal but their loss is making that impossible. They can’t ever go back and it was seeing them try to push forward through their pain but still maintain their strong ties that really drew me in here.
Lou: I’ve never watched Parks and Recreation but I know of Ron Swanson and I’m dying here lmao. I pictured Big D in a Tom Selleck kind of way *grins*. I sensed that The Sub Club website and forum was going to be the catalyst between Hero David and Other Hero David. I wished Hero David had spoken sooner to Other Hero David because he was so hurt, especially after they had grown so close and their relationship had become a lot more than a six-week session. I thought the author had a great balance in creating arguments for and against The Subs Club site between the characters. And David definitely went on a journey in this book and he became aware of issues that had been bubbling underneath for sometime.
All in all I did enjoy The Sub Clubs but I don’t think I would read more in the series because the elements were just too hard for me and I’m guessing the next in the series is going to be sadism with maybe similar or harder elements of pain? Who knows, maybe I will read the book because I loved the characters and this author’s engaging voice.
I give The Subs Club a B
Heller: I can’t let this review pass without mentioning the screenplay. Everything to do with it was golden. Like Lou I could see the build up to the The Sub Club and the issues it would create for D and d. That being said I really enjoyed how it was eventually resolved. I loved the characters and I want to know what happens to them. The upcoming books aren’t my usual type of read but I can see myself grabbing them because I know the stories will be stellar.
I’m giving The Subs Club an A-