“He who wishes to be obeyed must know how to command.” – Niccolo Machiavelli
Author: SJD Peterson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 200
Rating: 3 Stars
Blurb: Grant Maxwell, aka Max, wakes to find his coffeepot has died in the night. Not one who can start his day without his favorite brew, he heads to the local coffee shop. Max finds something even more appealing than caffeine in the form of a twenty-six-year-old hottie Aiden James. For the first time in his life, well-established, confident and respected Dom Max finds himself sputtering and unsure in the face of Aiden’s charms.
Aiden lives with three roommates, works a dead-end job, and isn’t sure where his life is heading, that is, until he meets Max. Max introduces him to a foreign yet intriguing lifestyle, and they soon discover they have something more than mutual attraction in common.
A shared kink is one thing, but Aiden’s past vanilla sexual experiences as well as his fear of losing himself in Max may keep Aiden from experiencing his fantasy. Max has an obstacle of his own to overcome. He must somehow figure out how to help Aiden explore his submissive side when, for the first time in his life, he’s head over heels in love.
Review: Pony is the third installment in SJD Peterson’s popular Guards of Folsom BDSM series. Contrary to my initial thought when I read the title, it has absolutely nothing to do with prison guards at Folsom Penitentiary! Folsom is a BDSM club that the characters in one of the earlier books in the series opened. I haven’t read the first two, but Pony worked fine as a standalone book.
I don’t read much BDSM. Not because I don’t like it or have anything judgmental going on. Usually, I am put off (but definitely not turned off) by the impossibility of two men with opposing needs always just meeting up at the right time and place to be perfect for what each one is longing for. And each of these characters is looking for something very specific.
When Grant Maxwell (Max)’s coffee maker dies, he has to go to a local coffee shop for his morning fix, a situation many of us can understand. Max has been a Dom for years and is looking for a permanent submissive. For some reason, really nonsensically, he is tongue tied and unsure of himself while around the barista at the coffee shop.
He eventually learns the barista is Aiden . Even though he is feeling and acting totally out of character, he somehow knows that Aiden is a natural submissive, and he wants to find out if they share similar kinks. The two men get to know each other a little bit over dinner at the restaurant of Aiden’s choice. It just happens to be a diner where two of his roommates work, so they get the opportunity to check Max out.
Max and Aiden are undeniably hot together, and SJD Peterson writes great sex scenes that make you want more. In this case, I felt she leaned a little too heavily on the sex and kink scenes and not enough on plot. I would have liked to see them date more, instead of Max falling in love with Aiden so quickly. Aiden, a neophyte in the world of BDSM, wasn’t at all shocked at anything Max suggested or any of the things he saw at Folsom.
Instead of being exciting and titillating, many of the scenes felt too contrived to me, which left me feeling anything more than disbelief at the improbability of it all, though I have to say the changing room scene was definitely the one sexual highlight of the book. What would have made this book better for me would have been a more developed plot, some mystery, suspense or angst, maybe. The only conflict we see is Aiden worrying about how his friends will react to his newly discovered kink.
Their relationship eventually turns into a very sweet love story, with a little kink thrown in for fun, but the way these characters got there just didn’t work for me. I mean, Aiden hardly blinked when Max presented him with a sixty-day D/s contract, even though he already knew he wanted more with Max. He just accepted it with no question. I’m not sure how rare their particular shared kink is, but it seemed impossible to me that they would just stumble onto the one other person who shared it.
Recommended to lovers of BDSM fiction.