June 20, 2011

Submission by Chris Owen and Jodi Payne

Author: Chris Owen, Jodi Payne
Publisher: Torquere Press
Series: Deviations, Book 1
ISBN: 1933389508
Purchase Information:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

For more information please visit Chris Owen's website and Jodi Payne's website.

Tobias is a skilled Dom, able to bring even the most hesitant submissive around. Noah is a man in need of just that. He wants to sub badly, but has yet to find someone he believes can take him where he needs to go. Through a series of encounters in the world of bondage and discipline, Noah reveals why he has trouble trusting, why he needs such a firm, steady hand. Tobias may allow himself to dominate, but he has trouble letting himself love. Still, Tobias can't resist Noah's charms, and the two of them set about making a scene for themselves, one that works for them and their unique set of problems. They learn to love, but can they stay together while they explore each others' secrets, in a world where all is laid bare and emotions run high? From authors Chris Owen, writer of the popular Bareback, and Jodi Payne, writer of String of Pearls comes a romance on the deviant side, where love is all tied up with the need to submit, the need to dominate, and the need to share a life of exploration and care. These two skilled authors create a world that's hard to resist, and a book that's even harder to put down.

Submission is the first in the collaborated series Deviations by authors Chris Owen and Judi Payne following the budding relationship between Dom Tobias and Sub Noah. Filled with great characterization and a growing sense of trust and loyalty, these two men easily capture the heart creating a story in which you constantly want to know more. Sexy, hot and utterly delicious, these two authors manage to create a steamy novel that test the boundaries of pain and pleasure.

The characters are without a doubt in the forefront of this novel which follows their journey as they try to find a sense of peace within the world of D/s. Tobias and Noah come out to be quite sympathetic characters with difficult pasts and lots of hidden depths and secrets. And while Tobias is the Dom, there is a wonderful sense of equality between him and Noah as he tries to help draw the younger man out of himself and aid him in putting himself back together by learning what it truly means to submit. What I loved most about these two was the fact that they really were trying to understand themselves and why it was that they needed this form of lifestyle, ultimately coming down to what it was about it that brought them a sense of peace and relief. I know it sounds odd given the need Noah has for pain, but in the end, you come to see how this need effects not only Noah who is forced to learn his boundaries in spite of his ego, but for Tobias as well, someone who dislikes bringing someone else pain.

Together these two make a wonderful pair. Their connection is somewhat easy as they feel each other out, but there is a great repore between them, a charisma, that I really enjoyed watching. In fact, these two personas couldn't have been more different with Tobias being a fairly serious, organized individual and Noah being more loose, choosing to go with the flow. As the story progresses, these two really click in both their needs and desires, as well as a couple. But, I felt like the dynamic was often rather simplistic with little in the way of tension and progression. While their roles may shift as the story goes on, the growth of the characters is minimal. It's like it plateaus rather quickly, however, with the delicious deviant behavior, who really cares?

The world building is nicely done creating a nice, safe environment where these two men can explore that doesn't impede on their every day lives. This helps in keeping their personalities nicely intact, and yet I really felt a bit disappointed that we didn't get to see those personalities really show through. However, the atmosphere was nicely captured and the heat level is without a question, intense. I really loved this aspect of a safe, quiet environment versus the typical noisy club scenes as it helps to emphasize the characters and their inner journey show casing why they need this lifestyle as well as how they are coming to find themselves through it.

The writing style was wonderfully creating a nicely written novel that really brought a lot to the minimal plot line. While there isn't a great deal of action or tension, there is a lot of character development and inner exploration that was great to read. Truly, Owen and Payne created a group of characters that are interesting and utterly enjoyable while keeping an extremely sexually charged atmosphere that will make your blood boil. The pace is likewise nice making this a rather quick read that will have you wanting the next installment to see what will happen next in these two mens' relationship.

In the end, I enjoyed this read. There was a lot of great characterization and some really intense elements that were explored through their inner development. But, be warned, this is not for everyone. It's extremely explicit encompassing a lot of BDSM elements that explored in great detail. People who like only a light exploration within this erotica sub-genre might not find this all that palatable, but if you like the characters as I did, it really doesn't matter all the much.

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Scars

Advisory: Explicit sexual content, BDSM themes, m/m

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