Review: Don't...

Don't... by Jack L. Pyke

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Looking for BDSM, dangerous men and suspense? [b:Don't...|16406114|Don't...|Jack L. Pyke||22593472] is the book to read. This new author mixes some hard edgeplay with romance and then adds a dash of suspense. This book almost goes in two different directions yet Ms. Pyle still keeps it together – speeding down a risky path.

This sexy suspense story generates mixed feelings for me. I’m both confused and aroused. The subject material is definitely something I adore – BDSM. This is harder BDSM scenes loosely using old guard leather protocols as well as a bit of edgeplay. The concept is a wet dream fantasy for kinky people who want to live it 24/7.

Jack Harrison is the submissive who runs an auto body shop. Jan Richards is an upper middle class accountant whose Jag breaks down so he brings it into Jack’s shop. Gray Raoul is somehow connected to Jack as an ex-lover. It’s a relationship we don’t fully understand at first. This is basically how the first quarter of the book flows. The reader is completely confused between Jack’s stalker and how Gray relates to Jack. In addition, the story is in first person told from two different character’s point of view.

One of my top ten things to avoid when writing an erotic novel, especially a BDSM one, is to not write in first person. To have a book written with two different characters’ point of view and both be written in first person just about pushed me over the edge. First person is very tricky because it immediately places the reader in the shoes of the character. If the character is not admirable, this can cause the reader to not enjoy the book because they cannot relate to the character. My recommendation is to use third person to avoid confusion and possible reader alienation.

When a book is a long as this one, it’s best to hook the reader in immediately. If the book is hard to follow due to missing information to be revealed later, there is a high chance for readers to not finish the book. I have to be honest. It wasn’t until about 35% of the book I wanted to finish the book instead of forcing myself to get through it. I realize this is a thriller and many of the items to be revealed needed to wait. In this case, my recommendation is to avoid mentioning people who are not fully explained until it’s time for them to appear. Or provide enough information about the character so that readers aren’t constantly wondering how Gray relates to Jack. This wondering is not captivating. It’s frustrating and distracts from the story.

Another pet peeve of mine is using BDSM as some kind of therapy for a mental illness. I find the percentage of mental cases in the BDSM lifestyle is the same as those not in the BDSM lifestyle. However a book which essentially presents a diagnosed psychological disorder being controlled through the BDSM lifestyle is not something I appreciate. Yes, it is mentioned quite clearly in the book that there are licensed therapists who help Jack but it’s still not a trope I enjoy. It worked more or less in this book because I don’t know enough about ODD or OCD to poke holes in Jack’s behaviour.

Deus ex machina is another plot device which generally doesn’t work well for me. The ending to this story resolved in a slightly believable manner, except the perpetrator came out of left field. Yes, it can be pointed out the character was mentioned once before. In 120K word book with thirty-nine chapters, this is what I considered left field.
At this point, one may be wondering how I could still rate this at a four star book. It’s because I really enjoyed the characters. Gray Raoul is a dream Dom. He’s powerful, mysterious, sexy and wealthy. Is this a realistic portrayal? No, but it definitely makes for a hawt character to lust after. Ms. Pyle does a great job of creating her characters. None of them are perfect yet when combined, the chemistry is just right. The dynamics between Jan, Jack and Gray kept me in constant arousal.

In addition to the characters, the mind-fucking is excellent. This entire book is a big mind-fuck and I loved it. I will remember it because there were twists and turns that pulled me in deeper. I will also admit this book is going to be categorized as GlitterKink due to the secret elite BDSM society. This is not a bad thing. I loved this part of it and it plays into my fantasies. If this society really existed, I’d be in a long line waiting to be Master’s sub.

The BDSM in this story is different. It’s focusing heavily on the D/s side of it yet it keeps intermixing SM. The most appealing part is the capture theme along with how well a submissive in this book is protected. A defined hierarchy with enforced rules and powerful Dom/mes is an ultimate fantasy of mine. Ms. Pyle seduces me so well with how she sets up this society as well as how the contracts work. Mixing in exhibitionism as well as a healthy dose of humiliation at times only amps up the sexual heat. The ending punishment is probably one of the better endings I’ve read in a long time. I loved it. This book is recommended for BDSM lovers who want a hard mind fuck.

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