Dom on the Side by Kate Aaron (Blowing It #3)
Released: January 25, 2016
Reviewed by Mandi
August, 2007. When a one-night stand makes Ryan Jessop a casual offer to introduce him to BDSM, he’s torn between denial of his submissive fantasies and their irresistible pull. Taking a chance, he discovers in Jim a skilled Dominant, and under his guidance, Ryan’s submission blossoms. Unfortunately, guidance is all Jim can offer. The one thing Ryan wants most—a loving Dom to whom he exclusively belongs—is off the table.
Sameer Farouk is the right guy at the wrong time, and as far as Ryan can tell, not kinky. No matter how clearly Ryan can foresee a future with Sameer, he refuses to settle for less than total compatibility, both in and out of the bedroom. Despite their obvious connection, breaking up is the right thing to do, even if it breaks Ryan’s heart.
Torn between them, Ryan must decide if he’s prepared to gamble everything on one man, or if he’d be better off with a vanilla boyfriend and a Dom on the side.
Reading the above blurb, one would assume Ryan and Sameer are the two main characters and have the HEA. Ryan is definitely the main character, but Sameer is not introduced until well into the second half of the book. Which, leaves this a somewhat passionless romance.
Ryan and his best friend/roommate Oliver, get drunk one night while on vacation in Amsterdam, and end up in a BDSM club. While Ryan is turned on by what he sees, Oliver says no thank you. Back in England, Ryan can’t get submission off his mind. He briefly dated a man who was into the BDSM scene, and still has his number, so he gives him a nervous call to see if he is willing to help him learn. This man is named Jim, and he agrees.
The story then progresses into Ryan’s foray into the BDSM world. When I first started reading it, I enjoyed this author’s voice. In a different story, with different circumstances, I could see myself reading this author again. She takes her time in letting us get to know Ryan. A little too much time, as I was reading I continually thought, let’s get a move on with Sameer. I enjoyed Ryan – he is an elementary school teacher, he is a little nervous about things and he and his roommate have a fun relationship to read about.
But the more I read, the more clinical it became. Ryan knows nothing about BDSM, so Jim becomes his mentor. Jim is in an already solid relationship with someone else, but is always willing to teach and be someone’s dominant. As the reader, you learn all about BDSM too. A lot of detail. And the ensuing sex scenes – are, as I said above, more clinical than passionate. Ryan is discovering himself (and getting off) but you know Jim isn’t the HEA because of the blurb (although I kept having doubts!).
Finally at 55%ish we learn of Sameer but we don’t actually meet him until 75% into the book. And even then, it just didn’t work as a romantic interest. This story needed more focus, and an actual romance. Maybe if you are interested in the BDSM lifestyle, but you don’t want a romantic book, this might work. But I felt cheated in the romance department.