Title: My Subby Valentine
Author: Amber Kell
Length: 19,301 words (85 pdf pages)
Genre: m/m BDSM contemporary
When Kit loses a contest and approaches a dangerous Dom for submission, he learns that the man he lusted after from afar is a lot more complicated than everyone thinks. Mason Briggs doesn’t quite know what to do with the persistent submissive. Kit looks at Mase like he’s everything good and right in the world. After a murder accusation and trial, Mase just wants to protect his heart. What is he going to do about the sweet submissive who keeps walking through all of Mase’s boundaries as if they aren’t even there? When someone tries to tear the couple apart and threatens Kit’s safety, Mase has to decide if he wants to go back to a life alone or fight for the man he’s falling in love with.
Once again, while this story has the word Valentine in it, there is no mention of the holiday in the text, so I hope the name doesn’t scare anyone off. Mase is a big bad Dom at a local club, but he only plays at the club and has a reputation for being remote. One evening, it appears Kit loses a bet with some other subs and approaches Mase. Despite being attracted, Mase knows to do anything with a drunken sub is irresponsible, so puts him off with promises of a date, but no intention of following through. Only things are not quite what they seem in this story.
Kit didn’t lose, in fact he had to drink enough to “win”, in his opinion, the chance to approach Mase. And Mase has his reasons for not having a permanent boy, or even taking one home. It seems his last sub couldn’t handle the lifestyle on top of being manic-depressive and killed himself. The young man’s family tried to have Mase tried for murder, however he was found innocent and is starting over in a new city, but a reputation follows you.
Kit doesn’t care about his reputation, and is determined to worm his way into Mase’s life. When it looks like vengeful family members from the past start threatening not only Mase’s peaceful existence, but Kit, he soon moves the young man lock, stock and cute dog into his home, giving Kit the opportunity to prove himself indispensable and Mase the opportunity to prove himself unsuitable. Of course, the cute twinky sub always wins.
I have to confess that the identity of the stalker kind of caught me off guard and a brief sentence or two was thrown out as to his motives, but it seemed a bit convoluted and coincidental to me, and thus seemed more of a device to get Kit moved into Mase’s house within days, rather than a real subplot to the story.
Still, despite a bit of insta-lust that might be teetering on the border of insta-love, it was a pleasant enough read. It’s really more of a BDSM-lite story. They discuss more extreme activities but as it only takes place over a few days they don’t get that far. As well, I liked Mase’s reticence to push a sub too far, and also his fear of taking on a newbie who may not react well to the lifestyle and thus have him in the same position again. However despite Kit’s seeming airhead twinky demeanour, he had a good head on his shoulders and got Mase to look at things in a less paranoid manner.
This story fits a certain trope which is hard for me to describe. There are certain hallmarks to this type of story that I do enjoy on occasion with spunky subs and more stoic, yet deeply caring, Doms. It’s well done on that front, and Kit’s dog is cute, but the stalker sub-plot kind of took away from seeing Mase work through his fears about having a sub again. I think that could have been a story unto itself which ended up feeling a bit rushed as the stalker plot took up space.Despite this, I still enjoyed it and it was a fun quick read, that despite the stalker, didn’t come across as overly angsty.