The Subs Club, by J.A. Rock
Release Date: December 7, 2015, Riptide Publishing
Series: The Subs Club, Book 1
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 out of 5)
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.
I don’t even know where to start with this book! The Subs Club is a book of my own heart. It’s riveting, it’s well researched and well written, it’s insightful. It’s also emotional and hilarious and just so perfectly spot-on. I love reading romance because it provides an escape from real life; I loved reading The Subs Club even more because it provided a perfect reflection of my own experiences, while still managing to be everything I wanted in a romance novel.
I’d never met a mustache that made me feel this way.
The narrator is David. He’s “the boy next door– silken of hair and blue of eye and straight of teeth”, slightly ridiculous, completely human. And he’s also a submissive, struggling with fear and distrust after one of his best friends dies during a scene gone wrong.
While he uses his humor as a shield for his grief, David also tries to find a way for his friends and himself to trust in the BDSM community again. The answer he comes up? An online Subs Club, where submissives can rate their Doms and tops, and discuss the partners who make them feel unsafe.
The other half of the romantic equation is another David (or D, or Sir, or the Disciplinarian, or “fucking psycho”, depending on sub!David’s mood). I love characters that are real, and D is about as real as they come, quirky and far from super hot Romantic Hero.
I laughed. “I don’t think you’re for real.”
“I am at least sixty percent for real.”
The story itself is brilliant, about a character finding himself and re-discovering his ability to trust after his world has been shattered. But what I loved the most were the genuine reactions, the way the characters were 100% relatable. David and his friends (Miles, Gould, and Kamen, who will each get their own books in the series) are real people in real circumstances.
It makes me believe that I can find a romantic True Love, just like David. ♥
On a personal note, as someone who has been in and out of the BDSM community for more than seven years, I was also floored by J.A.’s realism on that front. I think a lot of authors write BDSM because it’s hot, but without really knowing what it’s like to be a sub or a Dom (or a bottom-or-top), so they miss out on the emotions and psychology behind it. J.A. knows her stuff, and I would give her a dozen stars if I could for that alone.
Eagerly awaiting the next book in the series, out in early 2016. If you like BDSM romance, or even just realistic characters, you should absolutely check this book out!
Trigger Warnings: potential trigger for scene involving death by asphyxiation [spoiler, highlight to read]
I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange
for a fair and honest review.
Like this post? Follow Just Love Romance for more reviews: