Sunday, May 24, 2015

Novel Review: By His Rules by J.A. Rock

Rating (Out of 5): ~3-3.5
Genre: Erotica; Adult Contemporary Romance; MM
Publisher: Loose Id
Release Date: 2012
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Aiden Cole can be anything men want—naughty schoolboy, palace slave, virgin twink, or slutty secretary. He’s a gifted actor with a gorgeous body who gives legendary head. Aiden could have his pick of any Top in the local leather bar, but is drawn to Scott Runge—a cruel, sexy Dom who pushes Aiden to his limits, allowing Aiden to experience the excitement and danger of the BDSM lifestyle to a degree he never has before. But when Scott goes too far, injuring Aiden, Aiden withdraws from the BDSM scene completely. Until he meets Keaton Hughes.

Keaton’s looking for something he can’t find in any dungeon: A domestic discipline relationship, in which he can provide his partner with guidance, support, and loving discipline. When Keaton takes Aiden in after Aiden’s traumatic encounter with Scott, he vows not to pursue any sort of relationship with the troubled sub. But as Aiden struggles to overcome the damage Scott has done and get his life back on track, Keaton’s rules might be just what he needs.

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: BDSM theme and content, dubious consent, male/male sexual practices, violence.

The Cover:

I like the cover. I think it fits really well for the book, with the BDSM themes as well as the bad feelings that Aiden feels throughout the book.


“This was submission, thought Aiden. Not Scott forcing him to bear more and more pain without crying. Not men at Obey ordering him to his knees to suck them. This willing, necessary surrender to someone who would never hurt him. To someone he loved.” (Kindle, pg. 231)

I was expecting to like this a lot more.
Aiden ends up in a relationship that he wants at first, with a guy who’s rough and demanding, only ends up changing Aiden in bad and unhealthy ways, and then starts really abusing him. Aiden starts eating less and working out more, going to work less. Finally there’s a breaking point, and Aiden ends it. And finds Keaton, who’s sweet and caring and only wants the best for Aiden.
Aiden frustrated me, a lot. I could see why he got in the relationship in the first place, and while it frustrated me when his eating problems got bad, I understood why he stayed, and I liked when he finally left. But then he kept fighting Keaton, not doing what he wanted, being a general pain. And while I liked Keaton and their relationship, I didn’t love it. I didn’t feel for either of them like I thought I would. And while I liked the ending, I didn’t love it.
I generally just didn’t quite connect as much as I thought I would. I didn’t care for the characters as much as I should have. This just didn’t work as well as it could have, in the end, though I’m not fully sure why.

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