Friday, July 23, 2010

Handcuffs and Glory Holes (Rawlings Men) by Kim Dare

Handcuffs and Glory Holes is a nice little short story involving a submissive in an abusive situation at the start of the story. I'm not really a fan of romantic short stories, a romance for me means you have to spend the time to get to know one another - you know, the details, not just the overall impression. Short stories, by definition, don't allow much time for getting to know the details.

But, as short stories go, Handcuffs and Glory Holes manages to give us a nice beginning to a relationship. Will the relationship last? Maybe. Probably. But even if it doesn't, I think both people will be better off for having been together for however short or long they are together.

What I really enjoyed about Handcuffs and Glory Holes that you don't normally get in a short romance is that both people have a chance to prove themselves to the other early on, they aren't operating on blind faith. It bugs me when people who have just met move in with each other or make a huge commitment in some other way - but I wasn't bugged about the way things progressed with our couple.

I would have loved to see this story stretched out into a longer story, I felt like we just saw the first two chapters of what could have easily been a 15 or 20 chapter book. The ending was satisfactory, but not satisfying.

Here's the blurb:

Police Sergeant Conrad Rawlings likes glory holes. As a dominant who’s never learnt how to feel casual about even the most fleeting hook up, he’s learned to cherish the complete anonymity they provide. Still, when he hears a cubicle door open as he leaves the back room of a club, he can’t quite help looking over his shoulder.

Submissive Willis Evans doesn’t know why his master ordered him to make sure the stranger from the glory hole sees his face before he leaves the club, but he knows the price for disobedience. Willis does as he’s told. The moment their eyes meet, he can’t help but hope he’ll be allowed to see the other man again.

They are going to meet again, but it won’t be under conditions either of them could predict. Willis’ master has a plan—one which could easily break them both.

As for the elements of BDSM:

  • Bondage and Discipline: None. There is abuse that is supposed to be discipline in the beginning, but I will never consider abuse as discipline. So, there is no bondage and there is no discipline.
  • Dominance and Submission: We begin with a submissive who doesn't understand he's in an abusive relationship.  There is some D/s, but not really all that much.
  • Sadism and Masochism: None.

As for the story elements: the plot is a good one - too bad it was used on a short story. The pacing actually has a few issues, which is rare for a short story. Prose and dialogue were both good. Character development is very well done, especially considering it's a short.

Heat Level: 2 of 5
Book Rating: Handcuffs and Glory Holes: 7 of 10

There are no BDSM scenes, though there is some sex. Handcuffs and Glory Holes is a touching story with the idea of kink, but without any actual kink.

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