I have such ambivalent feelings for this book I have had a very hard time to come to a proper conclusion. My overall sentiment is that this story is not my cuppa. Not at all. This is my first J.A. Rock.
The first 10% of the book was the most frivolous and carefree tale I have ever read in my whole life. At least it makes it into the top10. I was honestly considering quitting because even though I love laughing and sometimes I feel like reading PWP novels here I feared I wouldn't be able to swallow the these pages and keep reading because I was rolling my eyes a little too often, if I wasn't wasting my energy in concealing an expression of disbelief. I felt the author was making such a HUGE effort to make fun of the situation and the characters that I could almost see her sweating rivers and wracking her brains just to write one simple sentence that could bring us a smile. This story is too exaggerated for my taste, it would never happen in real life, at least not in my real life. It seemed a flippant book and the sense of humor didn't help because the jokes were very puerile and obvious. I still decided to go on.
It improved a little, I think it was due to myself adapting to it than the other way around, but I could never get into it fully. The BDSM world here is shown as something trivial and unimportant, with superficial relationships and opportunistic chances to get off. It's the total opposite ofPower Exchange, where I could feel WHY people get into this enigmatic universe. There I could see their needs and how those needs are fulfilled and how those same needs can't be fulfilled elsewhere. I felt at ease with the characters, with their longings and desires. I could feel their connection, their support for each other, their two-way communication and I could feel the transcendence of their bond and I could breathe in it. But I couldn't feel it here, I had the impression David is just fooling around and although I have nothing against it I couldn't help thinking he was such a brat that takes nothing seriously. And when I mean nothing I mean exactly that. Playing it all down, he showed me a version of the BDSM world I didn't like because it was too shallow and some of the magic was lost. Everything was a joke here and I need to find some kind of... soul to be moved. It was as if BDSM was a hobby like collecting Pokemon rather than a way of life. So banal it became irritating.
This all crashes with the fact that Dave is obsessed with his friend's death, Hal. He is so obsessed he has controlled his instincts and is more careful about choosing partners. Supposedly. But I didn't feel it that way because he meets someone he thinks is ridiculous and still agrees to play. Just shrugs it off and goes for it. He was so easy in my eyes, but not in a Don Juan cool way, but in a seedy and embarrassing way.
David decides to start a blog with his friends. The blog, The Subs Club is formed by bottoms and subs to discuss doms' abuses and prevent future dangers. It's a good idea at first but of course it gets out of hand eventually. There had to be a moral in this story and there is one. Meanwhile, he meets the Disciplinarian, or Pornstache, or D, or David (how come I have never read M/M book before where both MC had the same name? I'm impressed the author came up with this and decided to go on with the idea), and this is when the fun begins. D is not one for small talk, and Dave of course never shuts up. D is socially awkward whereas Dave is mischievous and amusing. D likes to teach naughty boys how to behave and Dave is dying for being chastised in creative ways.
And then we reach another issue I had with this book. I think none of the hot scenes could be called hot. I didn't find them sexy and they didn't inspire me. In some I was disgusted and curious in equal parts. Morbid always works with me. And there is a certain moment that was very inventive. But overall, I found no satisfaction in them apart from a smile or two. I never felt this was a real BDSM relationship, the atmosphere was more comical than sexual and that was distracting. I never felt that Dave really wants to submit to D, he just wants to annoy him. Which was funny. But not hot.
So I decided that was it. I don't do frivolous but I do enjoy the Bridget Jones's Diary movie. The Subs Club was a chick-lit kind of book, from my view. And that made it easier, if I wasn't going to be touched, let's have some fun, right? Once I accepted this I could enjoy this a little more. For instance, I liked Dave's friends. Gould is cute, Miles is disturbing and Kamen is goofy. Not sure who I liked the most. I even liked Ricky. Yes, they were not very deep, maybe because they fit a certain model and don't move from there. But their banter and interactions were funny and ridiculously beautiful. I can almost say I enjoyed these scenes more than the love ones, which were very lacking for me.
Once the characters come up with it, I wanted to know what Domestic Discipline implies because this issue is new for me, but I don't have a clearer idea in my head after I finished this book. I'd like to look somewhere else.
So, all in all, it was a total miss for me. The problem is that everything was off for me: the love, the sex and the sense of humor. I recommend to read other reviews before deciding to choose this one or not.
After reading my own review once again I've decided this is more a 1-star book than a 2-star one.
***Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.***