Title: Deviations: Submission
Series: Deviations: Book One
Authors: Chris Owen and Jodi Payne
Narrator: Maxx Power
Publisher: Tygerseye Publishing
Run Time: 8 hours and 56 minutes
At a Glance: When I read the book, my imagination did a better job of breaking Tobias down and making him more human. Overall, I enjoyed this story and would recommend it first in book form, then in audio.
Reviewed By: Carrie
Blurb: 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 other’s 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 pause.
Review: Deviations: Submission is book one in a six book series, if you count the small novella thrown in after book two. This is the beginning: the authors are setting the scene, introducing the characters and giving us a taste of where the story will lead. It is a standalone, so if you wanted to just read this first book, you could without reading anymore, but why, when there is so much more to the story?! This book ends in a HFN scenario, but it can be seen as being somewhat abrupt.
Noah is a sub who has been looking for the right Dom for quite some time. A sub who doesn’t initially believe in safe words, he’s a man adrift in the world of BDSM, not knowing his limits or what he needs. The victim of abuse from a former Dom, Noah does have hard lines that cannot be crossed or pushed; he just doesn’t understand where the edges of his submission fall in relation to those hard limits. Noah’s needs stay rather vague in this book; he just knows that apart from his job as a policeman, he longs for someone to take control and shoulder the responsibility. His contract with Tobias starts as a nights and weekends arrangement, and they have some intense scenes—especially in the barn—but honestly, I never felt any real depth to Noah’s submission. He did all the right things and said all the right words, but I missed a sense of REALNESS to him. It never really felt like he dropped emotionally from skimming through their scenes.
Tobias is a large animal veterinarian. Frankly, this gives him access to all kinds of kinky implements with which to play Dom, a veritable stable full. It’s been awhile since he’s had a full-time sub, and his last one is still very much in the picture. This relationship aspect is explored to a much deeper extent in future books. Phan is simply introduced in this book, and a connection is made by the three men. Tobias, as a man, is rather stilted; he can be very formal, and protocols are important to him. Letting someone in after Phan is hard for him, but he longs for someone to take care of. At heart, Tobias is a healer and a caretaker. Tobias has been a Dom since his early twenties, going through extensive training, and now he’s a legend among the subs at the local club. It takes a while for Tobias and Noah to move their relationship beyond Dom and sub status, and the book ends just as they start this new journey together. Eventually, Tobias moves beyond being “just a Dom”, in every sense of the word, with Noah and starts to do things totally out of character and loosen up some. That was a relief to see and really welcome, and it bodes well for the next book in the series.
I’ma be honest here; I didn’t enjoy this one so much in audio. Tobias can be such a formal person—he’s supposed to be; he’s written that way—but it doesn’t come across well in the narration. The cool detachment which Maxx Powers held on to, even during the sex scenes, kept me just that—detached. When I read the book, my imagination did a better job of breaking Tobias down and making him more human. There were also some audio glitches which I found disconcerting, and a few times when I lost who was speaking. Don’t get me wrong, I think Powers did a great job with the material he was given; I just think this book didn’t translate well to audio. Powers does pace this story well, and you could tell he really settled into the characters as the book progressed. His characterizations of the ancillary characters were pretty spot on, and I had no problems recognizing their inflections.
Overall, I enjoyed this story and would recommend it first in book form, then in audio. There is a long journey ahead with these characters, and this first book was more of a first chapter in Noah and Tobias’ relationship. Give the series a try; the entire series is in book form as well as audio, so whichever you prefer, go with it. I enjoyed the story and would recommend it.
You can buy Deviations: Submission here:
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