Riptide. (Subs Club, Bk. 4). Jul. 2016. 259p. ISBN 9781626493506. pap. $17.99; ebk. ISBN 9781626493490. EROTICA
OrangeReviewStarThe conclusion to Rock's "Subs Club" series (The Subs Club; Pain Slut; and Manties in a Twist) centers on Gould, the onetime boyfriend of the group's late friend Hal and a curious sub who is currently navigating new waters in a Masters/slave triad with married couple Kel and Greg. Gould finds himself desperately wanting a deeper bond than "weekend play partners" with the pair while struggling with their quick forgiveness and reacceptance of Bill Henson, the Dom whose irresponsible behavior led to Hal's death. The three enter a "test run" Masters/slave agreement that teaches Gould more about himself and his unresolved issues than therapy ever has. Meanwhile, other significant life changes, including the possible loss of the Subs Club headquarters and Dave moving in with his dominant boyfriend, leave Gould feeling paralyzed by the past. This M/M/F tale, with gentle, perceptive top Kel and her snarky submissive husband, Greg, provides a change of pace from the previous characters' M/M relationships.
VERDICT Gould's keen introspection and desire for abasement means this novel has a darker tone than prior installments in the series. Scenes discussing past self-harm and graphic depictions of consensual humiliation, while expertly written, might prove intense for readers seeking lighter BDSM erotica.

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