Sunday, September 5, 2010

Deviations: Discipline by Chris Owen and Jodi Payne


I'm re-reading the Deviations series in preparation for the release of the fifth book, Deviations: Safe Words.

Deviations: Discipline is the third book in the Deviations series, and this series must be read in order. You'll see the reading order for the series at the bottom of this post.

Deviations: Discipline picks up shortly after the events of Deviations: Domination. Tobias and Noah are still seeing each other on weekends and occasionally during the week. We see some more of them interacting outside of a scene - the Dom/sub rules of no eye contact are still there, and Noah still uses the Sir honorific as he should, but they are relaxed with each other, teasing and cutting up and just being with each other some more. There are still scenes with formal speech, don't worry that they are going soft on each other, but watching them in the down time is nice, too.

There are also some things with Phan that I hated the first time I read the series. Now that I know what happens in the fourth book I thought I could enjoy the drama of some of it. But I still hated it. Not that it's not well written, just that it's a twist that made me very uncomfortable. Totally out of my comfort zone. Not the BDSM, but the emotional pain and the depth of despair felt by...  well, without giving spoilers, just know it's not something I felt comfortable with the first time and I didn't care much for that twist the second time, either. 

Here's the blurb:

Tobias and Noah explore their relationships more deeply than they ever have, not just with their own dominance and submission, but with their friends. As Noah helps Tobias through the loss of someone dear, he finds Tobias helping him, too, leading him through some intense sexual games, breaking down the last of Noah’s fears, and helping him face his biggest one. The cage.

Meanwhile, Tobias’ ex-lover, Phantom, becomes close friends with Noah as they discover and try to resist the simmering sexual tension between them. Their teasing turns to real support when Phantom reaches the breaking point thanks to the lack of a master in his life, something he desperately needs.

While Bradford works to become that master, Tobias and Noah go to Paris, where they see the sights, go to sex clubs, and re-negotiate their contract. Returning from Paris to their own lives brings then all sorts of new difficulties, from deciding whether they should live together to trying to figure out just where Phantom belongs in their ever-changing relationship. 

Since the blurb mentions the cage, I'll say that I felt it was almost anti-climactic. Tobias took him far enough to say he'd done it, but not (in my opinion) as far with it as he should have. I would like to see it revisited in a later book, once the other limits have been pushed beyond, to go back and take this on again, at a different level. 

The blurb tells us that Tobias has to deal with the loss of someone dear. It is a big loss, one that made me cry. A lot. Further proof of the depth of character development in this series.

The trip to Paris is incredible.  The guys had an extended period of time together in book two, during the Christmas holidays, but Paris is so much better. And the club they go to was... wow. Not something they would want to do on a regular basis, I don't think. But for the one time they went, as a way to stretch themselves and test their power exchange further, it worked.

Tobias and Noah also explore the whole fantasy thing a great deal more in book three, and some of it is spontaneous now. That happens once you get to know each other, and if you're both really in sync with each other. I like the way it worked out, the way it was woven into their sex and scenes.

The negotiations for the new contract are a nice set up to lead us into book four, Deviations: Bondage.

BDSM elements:
  • Bondage and Discipline: You know, I don't think there was much bondage in this one. There is some, but very little. There is still plenty of discipline. It's very close to being a 2 of 3 for this category, but I think it just barely makes it to being a 3 of 3. If I round up. Which I'm doing.
  • Dominance and Submission: With these two there can be nothing else. 3 of 3.
  • Sadism and Masochism:  Again, with these characters in this series, it's a given. 3 of 3.
  • Extra Point: Yes.
As for the writing elements, the plot continues to move us forward. The characters are growing and changing and dealing with the things life throws at them.  Pacing has no issues whatsoever. Prose and dialogue are skillfully done, and character development is stellar.
  • Book Rating:: 10 of 10
  • BDSM Intensity Level: 10 of 10
  • Heat Level: 5 of 5
Luckily, I have Deviations: Bondage waiting for me to pick up as soon as I finish typing up the review for Deviations: Discipline. Then I have to wait a few weeks (I think) for Deviations: Safe Words

1. Deviations: Submission
2. Deviations: Domination
3. Deviations: Discipline
4. Deviations: Bondage


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