Review: Building Bonds (Kiss of Leather, #1) by Morticia Knight

Kyle’s a natural sub who builds dungeon furniture, yet has no interest in BDSM. It takes a hunky Dom to show him just what he’s been missing.

After Kyle’s partner of five years leaves him for another man on the night of their housewarming party, the shy, early-thirties carpenter needs to do a major reassessment of his life in addition to raising some serious cash. With no one to help him pay the lease on his Los Angeles condo, he worries how he’ll survive. His best friend sets up a meeting with one of the Doms and partners at Kiss of Leather, a gay BDSM club being built as a premier destination for those who want the best of the best.

Master Gavin not only wants the best—he demands it. When he meets Kyle, he assumes that part of the builder’s reticence to share anything personal with him must be due to his experiences with an abusive former Master. Not one to back down from a challenge, Gavin determines to break through the walls surrounding the beautiful man he can’t get out of his mind. He’s hopeful that once he convinces Kyle to sign an initial contract, Kyle might be the first sub to open up his heart.

Misunderstandings and accusations almost destroy everything between them before they have a real chance to begin. However, the true obstacle becomes not only whether Kyle will embrace BDSM as a lifestyle, but also whether he can handle a full-time D/s relationship with a big, bad, scary Dom who’s as sexy as hell.

The blurb and cover hooked me. I thought I signed up for a sexy treat because good IR MM is hard to find, and good IR BDSM is even harder. This is my second dance with this author. I'm still unfamiliar with her work, style, etc. The first story I've read impressed me.


This was a miss for me. I can say "it's me, not you" (But I don't think it is.) Building Bonds read like a beginner's manual. This was not BDSM 101. It was remedial BDSM. I'm not trying to drag it out like this book dragged out everything. It's 54K but I thought it was 545K, it felt like forever. And it ended at 92%.

Kyle is vanilla. He's a 32 year old carpenter who has no inkling of joining the lifestyle. He makes BDSM furniture and is told repeatedly he's a natural submissive. So he meets Gavin, the Dom. And through a misunderstanding that lasted a little too long (and normally misunderstandings don't bug me but it stuck in my craw), Kyle is sorta of coerced into a relationship.

Consent is a big thing, yes? And Kyle could be argued as curious...but he didn't seem that way to me. He jerked off more to Denzel Washington movies (kept repeating that ad nauseam) than BDSM porn. He thought of it as something dirty. I'm not even delving too deeply into that because I'll be here all day.

Kyle keeps being told to the reader over and over, he's a natural sub. He overacts his submissiveness to the point where I don't know how he made it to 32 years of life unscathed. Kyle was a Goober, TSTL.

An entire pack of Kyles.
Some readers might like him playing into that stereotype. It works for some readers, I'm not one of them. I thought I was going to get to read a novel about a man curious about the lifestyle who gets shown through Gavin and they scene many times. Didn't get that, instead there was an abundance of details and mechanics, so that the relationship, IMO, suffered. We get one long scene at 70% , a summary of the rest of the necessary relationship building, a quick scene where hesitant Kyle is suddenly into heavier things tacked on and then the end.

Because we get too much details about every little thing that when you take a step back adds nothing to the grand scale of the main characters' relationship. I know how a contract works, must I read about each page of a 12 pg contract? I know what safe words are, must I go through the entire system over and over again? I'm not Kyle. He wasn't interesting enough to be in his head. The story gets bogged down by too much minutiae that it made the characters read like caricatures. I cared for neither one of the men. The concept was a good one. The execution is my main concern.

There were things that are most certainly my things. And I was so bored that I could care less about my things (a pity):

CBT - the author gives overly detailed description that it dulls the scene & not even with both main characters which could have helped with the flatness of Kyle. Meh.

Piercings - a nipple and Prince showed up. Did I shout to the sky? Nope, I yawned.

Rough Sex - I couldn't tell you what happened. Bleh. I can ALWAYS tell you what happened.

Cock Cage - Meh eh...Meh. WTF? I had to question my priorities when a penis plug and chastity device mention did nothing to me. I actually wondered about everything else but the story at hand. This is was the final nail in the coffin.

Electrowand - Hot but too late to save the paltry and uneven pacing.

If I look closer at my notes, I could rate this a 1. It's one of those types of books. It said the right things, it used the right items...but I'm not new to the scene. Stereotype fiction Doms don't do it for me like Gavin. I disliked the way he talked, the way he acted. He made my skin crawl. He's not abusive Dom but...there's something about him. Too formal, I felt like he was posturing instead being a real human being. The "big bad Dom" from the blurb should have been my warning. And everyone knew Kyle was a natural submissive. *rolls eyes* Was it on his forehead? Oh, it must have been because Gavin told him. *smh* Or the shyness? Kyle's gooberness was laid on hella thick. It was annoying. And how did Gavin get all this money? The missteps will irk me, so I'm quitting now.

But there is hope. I wouldn't necessarily suggest this to seasoned BDSM reader, enter at your own risk. But if you're new to the genre or hesitant to read kink, this book might work for you.

This the first of the series, it looks like it will feature Gavin's friends. Eh, I'm on the fence with continuing. I'll read a sample, if it's anything like fill in the blank.

I'm looking to drop remedial BDSM, do you have a hall pass?
Because I'm cutting class, if not.

For more information on Goodreads or Booklikes!

No comments:

Post a Comment