Story Rating: 3.5 out of 5 paddles
Sting Factor (kink): 3.5 out of 5
Luke Isaak, the drummer for Blood Rights, is on a mission. Machala Winters got away once and Luke is determined it will never happen again. She’s perfect for his sadistic proclivities though the first time she held herself back and drove him crazy.
Machala knows what she wants and if Luke would accept her submission and stop prying into her past, he would be at the top of the list. Some things are meant to stay buried and a certain Dom needs to respect her privacy.
Sometimes love hurts in more ways than one. And sometimes a Temporary Dom holds a girl’s heart forever.
Note: This is Book III of the Bad Boys of Rock and a spin off from the Club El Diablo series. It can be read as a standalone novel.
Holly Roberts took a risk with Isaak and Machala. While most romances open with the couple in question meeting for the first time, she chose to feature main characters who have not only met but are already in love with one another. On one hand, the pre-existing chemistry between them helped heavy sex scenes make sense early in the story. However, it also made their happily ever after seem inevitable fairly early on in the story despite the hurdle of Machala’s past that they had to overcome. They were so wrapped up in each other from the very beginning that no other outcome seemed possible. The only mystery that remained was how Isaak would encourage Machala to open up to him.
Some readers may not agree that ‘encourage’ is the right word to chose in this case, considering Isaak’s style of dominance. Although he comforted and held Machala each time one of their scenes led to a tearful breakthrough, he also used pee and enema-play to humiliate and break her will. He employed breath-play without consulting her in advance and then went on to repeatedly ignore her safeword. Regardless of whether part of him was truly doing this for Machala’s good, he was also hoping she would break through that trauma for his own benefit so they could be together forever. In the process, he continued scenes without her consent and risked making the situation even worse. This is not what a good Dom would do, or a good partner, and readers with abuse histories may find themselves triggered by this plotline. It’s with these consent issues that Roberts took her second risk with the novel, as she potentially alienated some of her reader base.
Reviewed by Ethan X. Thomas