Story Rating: 4 out of 5 paddles
Sting Factor (kink): 4.5 out of 5
Let’s start with a quick disclaimer on some of the content of ‘Pleasure Pains’ for the reader. There are several scenes in this book that clearly qualify as edge play, in particular needle play and primal play. That being said, these scenes are not the dominant theme of the book, and for the squeamish, or offendable reader they are easily skipped. Although, the primal scene towards the end of the book does continue to show the development of Growls in to his true self.
So, with that out of the way, let’s talk about ‘Pleasure Pains’. Master Growls writes incredibly erotic scene after scene, and still keeps the story line moving forward throughout the length of the book. It is obvious the author is well versed in the BDSM/Leather/kink community, even to the point of a description to Growls/Daniel by Kayne of the history of the Leather community starting after World War II. I would like to add, as someone who is also part of the Leather community, the author, Master Growls, explains the history accurately and presents it wonderfully and respectfully.
Point in fact, the accuracy of the scenes, reactions, results of play, conventions, etc. are what make this book a joy to read. The scenes are that much hotter because they are very accurate. The only part that may not be as accurate as one may experience is the “community” aspect expressed in ‘Pleasure Pains’. This however, may be a regional thing, or perhaps a time period aspect. The book takes place during the ‘80’s and it is entirely possible that at that time, in the New York area, there was a policing of the community by the established, well respected members of the community. Even if it is not completely accurate, I for one wish the Leather community did act that way all the time.
The actual story is follows Daniel (scene name Growls) and Nancy (scene name Heaven) and their extended family. Nancy is in her mid-thirties as the book begins, and Daniel is her 18 year old baby sitter. Quite by accident (or actually by a carefully placed magazine) Daniel discovers Nancy’s secret: she is into kinky sex and is a Mistress. At first, she sees Daniel as a potential sub, but quickly realizes that Daniel is a natural Dominant, and instead of taking him on as a sub in training, she takes him on as her protégé. This slowly, over time, leads to romance between Daniel and Nancy, and eventually to a relationship albeit a power exchange relationship. And finally, they have a collaring ceremony where they exchange vows in lieu of a marriage ceremony.
The sex scenes come fast and furious in ‘Pleasure Pains’ and the kink level is amazing. If this book doesn’t get your sex drive started, or more accurately, kicked in to overdrive, you may need to go see a doctor for treatment. The plot driving the incredible sexual action is basic, but well-paced and lends itself to further upping the sexual nature of the story. The only complaint about the story is the ending of an antagonist. It seems too convenient. The only other question about the book has to do with Daniel’s scene name, Growls, and the author’s name; which is Master Growls. It begs the question if some, or all, of the book is factual or fictional. Knowing the answer would be nice, but it isn’t necessary. Sit back, pick up ‘Pleasure Pains’ and………Wait. Scratch that. Grab your significant other, strip down, grab the lube, curl up on a blanket and start reading. Just make sure you have plenty of time and fluids available. You’ll need both.
Reviewed by: Master Peter Raven