Hi! I’m J.A. Rock, and right now I’m touring the internet talking about my latest release, 24/7—Book 4 in The Subs Club series. Thanks so much to the blogs that are hosting me on this tour, and be sure to leave comments on the tour posts for a chance to win a $15 Riptide Publishing gift card!
About the Subs Club series
After the death of their friend Hal at the hands of an irresponsible dom, submissive friends Dave, Kamen, Miles, and Gould band together to form the Subs Club—an organization seeking to expose dangerous local doms. The club slowly evolves as romances blossom, loyalties are tested, and tensions mount in a community already struggling for unity in the wake of Hal’s death.
From domestic discipline to knife play to fashion paraphilia, and from family drama to new jobs to first loves, the members of the Subs Club explore life’s kinks inside and outside of the bedroom as they attempt to let go of the past and move forward.
24/7, by J.A. Rock
Series: The Subs Club, Book 4
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: June 4, 2016
Kristie & El’s Buddy Review: There is so much depth to the story, so many feelings that I just needed to hang on for the ride.
We started the Subs Club to make the kink community safer for subs. Except now the others are so busy chasing their happy endings, it’s like they’ve forgotten what Bill did to Hal and the fact that he got away with it. They used to think I was betraying Hal’s memory by hooking up with the owners of the club where he died. Now they don’t seem to care about any of it anymore.
Maybe I am sometimes angry with GK and Kel for giving Bill a second chance, but they’ve been mentoring me for a year now, and whatever else they’ve done, they make me feel incredibly safe. So I want to try something: I want to offer them my complete submission, 24/7. To serve the people who forgave Bill. That’s the way I want to hurt.
Except I’m starting to care about them in a way I never meant to—and I think they feel the same way. But after Hal, I don’t know if I want to be in love again. Because what I really need, more than anything, is to see Bill brought to justice. Even if I have to do it myself. Even if it means losing GK and Kel.
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I placed my arms behind my back, clasped my left wrist in my right hand, and bowed my head. My hair brushed the knees of her pants. I could smell the environmentally friendly fabric softener she used. She leaned down and held her cupped hand where I could see it, and I unclasped briefly to drop the marble into her palm. Reclasped.
She gave a low whistle. Her legs shifted slightly. “Greg. Look here.”
“Uh-oh.” He sounded like he was trying not to laugh. He’d been doing better lately at not making fun of me when I was in trouble, and I’d been doing better at not taking it so hard when he did. He touched the back of my neck, and my skin prickled there. “That had to be the only black one in there, right? And, like, a thousand white ones.” I stayed quiet but answered in my head: There were two black marbles. One for forgetting to bring the strap. Saturday the twentieth. One for missing the signal to get the gear bag. Friday the twelfth.
Kel stroked my hair gently. “What’s the tally, Gould?”
“Two black, eight white, Ma’am.”
“So you’ve been good this month?”
I made a face at the carpet. I hated questions like this. It was like being asked to “give your paper the grade you think it deserves” in freshmen comp class. “I’ve tried to be. But I could still improve, Ma’am.”
I waited for a snort from Greg, but there was nothing. When I’d started playing with them a year ago, Greg had teased me about being a brownnoser. He hadn’t meant it, really, but it had annoyed me. Submitting came a lot more naturally to me than it did to him, and I couldn’t help my desperate—and okay, probably obnoxious—need to obey.
I’d never told him how much it bothered me. Rationally I knew it was no big deal. The teasing, the way he tried sometimes to get me in trouble. It just fucked with my headspace to want so bad to please Kel, and yet always be anticipating Greg’s derision if I was too eager.
Maybe, deep down, he was afraid Kel wished he were more like me when he subbed. Which wasn’t true at all. She loved her husband in a way I could only dream about being loved. Loved the way he challenged her, loved watching him learn to please her. And she loved using me to humiliate him. When I stayed balanced on one foot during a rope scene while he struggled and hopped around: “Gould’s doing what I told him to. Why can’t you?” Or, if she pegged him, and he grunted and ow-ed through it: “Gould can take my cock up his ass without whining. What’s your problem?”
It had made me uncomfortable at first, because I assumed it hurt Greg’s feelings, made him resent me. But then I saw how much he loved being taunted that way. He got off on the humiliation of not being able to obey the way I did, of being told he wasn’t performing adequately. It creeped me out how well I understood that need. That desire to be found wanting, no matter how hard I tried to please. To be humiliated in spite of my goodness. Or maybe because of it.
Kel took her hand off my head and reached for one of the two cookie tins on the table beside her. Each was filled with slips of paper. The slips in the red tin all had rewards written on them. The slips in the purple tin were all punishments. We kept a jar of black and white marbles in the kitchen, and when I fucked up, I had to put a black marble in the bag. When I went above and beyond, I put a white marble in. At the start of each of our weekends together, Kel made me draw a marble to determine whether I’d be punished or rewarded. At the end of the month, she emptied the bag and we started again.
“You’ve been very good,” she said quietly. “But I have to say, I’m excited for the chance to punish you. I almost never get to.”
J.A. Rock is the author of queer romance and suspense novels, including By His Rules, Take the Long Way Home, and, with Lisa Henry, The Good Boy and When All The World Sleeps. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Alabama and a BA in theater from Case Western Reserve University. J.A. also writes queer fiction and essays under the name Jill Smith. Raised in Ohio and West Virginia, she now lives in Chicago with her dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.
J.A. Rock is giving away $15 in Riptide Publishing credit. Leave a comment to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on June 11, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!