Title: Override (The Underground Club: Book One)
Author: SJD Peterson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 200 Pages
Category: Contemporary, BDSM
At a Glance: Unfortunately, for me, Override didn’t quite live up to the expectations I had after reading the blurb.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: Don’t judge a book by its cover….
At over six feet, with a body honed in the gym, auto worker Donavan Gregory is used to people assuming he’s a dominant top. Unfortunately, they’re wrong, and Donavan’s desire to explore his submissive side goes unfulfilled.
Smaller and older than Donavan, Dr. Seth Manning might not look like a typical Dominant, but when the two men meet at Pride, Donavan realizes Seth might be his perfect counterpart. The trouble is, Donavan doesn’t have as much experience with the BDSM world as he’d like. What could an educated, handsome, and confident man like Seth possibly see in someone like him? Seth must convince him that despite the differences on the surface, when it comes to kinky fun and discovery, they’ll fit together just fine.
Review: Donavan—factory worker with a heart of gold—and Seth—handsome OBGYN with dominant tendencies—meet at Pride, where Seth finds Donovan staring longingly at a couple of subs participating in a demonstration. Seth can immediately sense Donavan’s desires, and invites him to do a simple rope demonstration with him. I know…just roll with it. It’s fiction! There were a few moments where I had to remind myself to not take it all too seriously. I honestly don’t think this is meant to be taken as a serious BDSM book. The D/s elements just aren’t present consistently enough to really class it as such, in my opinion.
I liked Donavan. He’s sweet, hard-working, knows what he wants, and isn’t afraid to allow himself to be vulnerable. He has some of the typical hang-ups about not being good enough for Seth because of their socio-economic differences, and allows those things to make him a bit insecure at times; but, it wasn’t over the top. I liked that he was willing to throw himself into the new relationship with Seth, but pulled back when Seth wanted to move things too quickly.
I also liked Seth. It was odd that he wanted to move so fast with Donavan, but I did feel that Seth genuinely cared for him. I don’t think that either character was developed as fully as he could have been, however. Everything was just on the surface, especially with Seth. I would have rooted for them more if there had been a better developed backstory. As it was, I felt like there was so much lacking, both with them individually and as a couple.
One of the things that was so appealing to me about the story when I read the blurb was getting to see Donavan explore his submissive side. We are told that he wants to learn more about himself and his desires, and about the scene…
“This was about Donavan and allowing him to discover and learn that other men were like him and that there was pride in submission.”
…but we barely get to see any of that discovery. He was left in the dark a lot. He even observes on a couple of occasions that he has no clue what’s ahead, or what’s expected of him. The few moments we got, where Seth gives explanations prior to a scene, or shows him new things, were pretty good, and the couple of scenes where we saw Donavan’s reactions to seeing other subs were great. But, I would have loved to see more of Donavan actually learning about his submission. They did also have some sweet, fun moments where they were not acting as Dom and sub, and those were nice, but, as I said above, the story was just not consistent. It wasn’t consistently a D/s relationship or a regular vanilla relationship. However, it also didn’t feel like it was simply a good balance of both. It felt lacking on the BDSM front.
I wanted to love this book. I mean…that cover, right? Also, I do love the unexpected dynamic of the big, hunky sub, and the smaller Dom. But unfortunately, for me, Override didn’t quite live up to the expectations I had after reading the blurb. Bottom line is that I think the author waited too long to introduce any real Dom/sub dynamic, and since that wasn’t well enough established, it fell somewhat flat. I also found it odd and unfortunate that the Underground Club, for which the series is named, didn’t come into the story with any significance until three quarters of the way through the book. Maybe it will be more prominent in later books in the series. Speaking of which…I’m going to be keeping an eye on the future releases, because if Kit’s story comes up, I’ll definitely be checking that one out!
You can buy Override here:
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