painslutPain Slut (The Subs’ Club #2) by J.A. Rock

Published by: Riptide Publishing

Format: eARC

Genre: BDSM Erotic Romance

Order from: Amazon

Reviewed by: Erin

What to expect: Featuring the good kind of hurting, non-sparkly vampires, and the eternal question of what being an adult really means.Plot: Honestly, I’m ready to take a step back from the Subs Club. Making the kink world a safer place for subs is the sort of bandwagon I’d have boarded as an idealist in my early twenties, but now I’m a pragmatist in my late twenties. I prefer to focus on adopting and raising a child.

But unexpected factors inevitably derail my plans. Like Drix Seger-attractive and the first genuine sadist I’ve encountered. If I were not in the process of renouncing my masochistic ways and becoming the normal, responsible potential father the adoption agency wants to see, Drix and I might do well together.

But he has a foolish name and belongs to a cult of vampyres, and I am quitting kink. So why does Drix’s infatuation with blood and biting make me so hot I can’t think straight? And why, when he looks at me, does he seem to see something beyond a basket case with a stick up my ass?

Can I start a new phase in my life without leaving part of myself behind? Please send help.

-Miles

Review: Pain Slut is the second book in the Subs Club series, featuring Miles, the one guy in the Subs Club who can take the most intense pain, the most hardcore knife play, electroshock play, urethral torture…you name it, he’ll do it. (He’s also described as looking like a young Mos Def, and…yes, please.) But now he’s ready to give up the whole kink scene so he can achieve his dream of adopting a child. However, he wasn’t counting on meeting Drix, a gorgeous vampyre who likes to inflict pain as much as Miles likes to take it.

As I said in my review of Subs Club, I’m not familiar with the kink scene and I’m pretty vanilla in my reading tastes. This book has a lot of very intense scenes that, if I’m going to be honest, I had to skim through a bit with one eye open. It was a little too much for me. That said? I loved this book. I love this series. They are possibly the kindest books I’ve read in a long time. The juxtaposition of the hardcore pain play with the fluffy, happy joy of the characters is so addictive, like eating something a little bit sweet and a little bit salty. The kindness and caring infuses the BDSM scenes, as well as Miles’ relationship with his friends, his growing relationship with Drix, and his sometimes fraught relationship with his family.

I loved how Drix’s vampirism is treated. He’s not a vampire, but a vampYre, someone who files their teeth into sharp points and has a coven and feeds off the energy of others. There isn’t anything supernatural involved, but it’s another subculture for the author to explore. She doesn’t shy away from Miles and others being weirded out by the whole thing, and there’s a good dose of “really…he’s a grown adult doing this?” but like everything else, Drix and his coven are treated kindly and respectfully. You can see how much his coven means to him, how supportive they are, and how meaningful it can be for people — even adults with good jobs — to find a community and get their freak on sometimes.

Miles starts here:

“What?” I assumed I had misheard.

“I mean, not a real one, of course. They don’t exist. But I’m a part of the vampire subculture. So I’m a vampyre with a y.”

He kept saying the word “vampire,” and it was troubling me. “I don’t understand.”

“Well, ah . . .” He propped up on one elbow. The sheet fell away from his body, and my gaze traveled immediately to the tattoo of the bird. “There are people in the world who believe they share traits with vampires—the mythological creatures. We call ourselves vampyres. With a y,” he clarified again.

This was not happening.

Everything started falling into place. “The . . . the teeth?”

“I got them filed last year.”

Of course. He got them filed. As you do.

When you’re batshit crazy.

And then later on, after they’ve gotten to know each other better…

I shook my head slowly. “My mom . . .” I wasn’t sure this was a second-date revelation “. . . recently converted to Scientology. I do see that as a cult. I worry about people who go looking for answers as a group, because I think ‘answers’ are specific to individuals. As soon as someone says you can find your code of conduct, your reason for existing, in a book—I get suspicious. So as long as you can assure me that you don’t let the coven make decisions for you, I have no problem.”

It was more than I should have said, and part of me expected him to be offended. But part of me already knew him well enough to figure he wouldn’t be.

He smiled. Took my hand, which prompted an immediate and formidable erection. “I promise. Think of it as a very elaborate LARP.”

“I prefer never to think of anything as a LARP.” I squeezed his hand. “But okay.”

The rest of the Subs Club are not left out of this book either. The friendship between the four of them is a central part of the book, and you can see the growth in the other characters. She also brings back some of the other peripheral characters from the first book, like a Dom nicknamed Bowser, but it never feels crowded or rushed. The Club members are a great big family, a cheering section, and despite the continuing specter of Hal’s death, they are always, at the end of the day, a hundred percent behind each other.

This book is well-paced, fun, and sweetly affecting. I read it in one sitting, then immediately went to JA Rock’s author page to check the release date for the next book. If you love kink, read these books. If you don’t love kink, still give them a try, because they’re just lovely and naughty and laugh-out-loud funny. I am so glad I started reading this series, and I want lots of other people to read it too…and talk to me about it on Twitter. (And then tell the author how much you like it! That’s always nice too.)

What you may not like: Seriously hardcore pain play and kink.

What I loved: The warmth, kindness and affection; the sensitive and sexy vampire, Miles’ complicated relationship with his mother, and the laugh-out-loud dialogue.

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