Guest Review: Accept My Surrender by Jane Davitt & Alexa Snow

Moving on after his wife leaves him, middle-aged John explores a side of himself he'd pushed aside since college, and dates men. It's not working out too well when Logan, a local professor looking to rent the apartment over John's garage, enters his life. John doesn't expect Logan--younger, pierced, tattooed--to be anything more than a monthly rent check, but he accidentally overhears Logan's steamy BDSM session with a casual partner and he's turned on like never before. He can't stop thinking about what it would be like to be the one on his knees.

It doesn't take much to persuade Logan to teach John how to be a sub, but the experiment in submission quickly turns into much more than John ever dreamed of. The sex is sizzling but it's the sense of fulfillment John feels when he yields control to Logan that he craves. Despite Logan's struggle to adjust to being in a relationship and John's inexperience, they're moving toward something good when John's faced with a choice. Two paths lie before him, both offering happiness, but only one calls for his surrender, body and heart, to the one he loves.

Reviewer: Annery

So conflicted about this rating. I really, really liked it, but I felt like I should’ve loved it. It’s made up of many of the things that warm my heart: someone discovering their true nature/desires later in life, a Dom/sub-older/younger relationship with the Dom being younger, BDSM without the dungeons, specialized gear, or overly talked about rules, scenes, safe words etc. and yet … sigh.

We meet Logan (I’m seriously on a mission to meet a Logan in real life but they all seem to live in fiction) while he’s playing with one of his subs, Seth, who’s a real pain slut. The kicker is that he’s doing it in a shabby room he rents from a sweet older lady. The room is mostly decorated in pink, as the previous tenant was his landlady’s granddaughter, and he’s improvising with a hairbrush, because sometimes that’s how you have to roll. Logan is a professor/lecturer at a local college and when his landlady decides to relocate to Florida he needs to find new lodgings pronto. Solution: college bulletin board.

John is a thirty-nine year old man who’s been living in a kind of limbo for a year after his wife left him. He’s a waste-averse, pre-planner, list-maker, and heretofore untapped submissive. John has an apartment above his garage and when he sees Logan’s request on the bulletin board he takes it as a sign and decides to rent to Logan.

I loved the details about the characters, like the fact that Logan doesn’t do bottled water because it’s bad for the environment, he’s an unabashed sadist, and a messy housekeeper. John is a good cook who allows his friends to ply him with casseroles so they can assuage their guilt over his wife leaving him. He’s all about research and can kindly be called frugal.

I loved that Logan isn’t an infallible Dom. Most of the things he gets to try or experience with John are first for him too and the ideas come from his reading and imagination. He’s 27 y.o. and his practical experience is limited to his former boyfriend and the subs he plays with, but none of these have gone beyond a few hours in a club or at his home. Here’s an exchange between the MCs:

“You don’t have to wait on me.”
John gave him a direct look. … “Don’t I? Isn’t that part of it too? Not the sex and the pain, but the service?”
“I never had that,” Logan answered honestly. “Quick sessions where nothing mattered but both of us getting off was about it. This is as new to me as it is to you in some ways.”
“New good or new bad?”
“Good,” Logan assured him.

I loved that once John decides to “kneel” for Logan he does so wholeheartedly and without hesitation. There isn’t a lot of hand-wringing over “am I gay now” or “I’m submissive to this guy” or even the age difference. It turns out John had already experimented with a guy in college and also later, after his wife left him, but it’s not really a case of having hidden his gayness but rather that John hadn’t discovered his kink and when he does so with Logan it’s like a homecoming.

Logan smiled. “How’d the gardening go?”
“Unfinished, but there’s still time. I’ll go back to it. Uh, if that’s okay with you.” John wasn’t sure how this worked. Was he a sub 24-7 now? “Is it? May I finish it, Sir?”
“You’re asking for permission outside a scene?” Logan sucked in a breath. “Okay, one, that’s new for me. Two, I’m so fucking turned on right now, I want to say no and tell you to get naked instead, but that’s an abuse of power, and-”
“Tell me.” Blood pounding in his ears, John raised his hands to the top button on the faded plaid shirt he wore but held back on sliding it free. “No, order me. No more scenes. No more hitting pause. You never stop wanting to dominate me, do you? This is new, and I’m clueless about ninety percent of it, but I think of you and I want to go to my knees every single fucking time, so order me. Please Sir. You want me? I’m yours. Take me here. Use me. Tear the clothes off my back if you want me naked. Use them to tie my hands, or gag me, or whip me. Let me be your sub every second of my day because these last few weeks have been the happiest of my life, and if I know that’s what I am, even when you’re not here, I’ll feel owned. Wanted.”

I love that though John is the sub in the relationship his total commitment to their dynamic, in every situation, brings Logan to his knees (if only figuratively). I loved that John’s *issues* weren’t solved by magic cock. I loved that when we finally meet John’s wife, she’s not an awful harpie. I saw where she was coming from and actually liked her.

I love that both Logan and John are works in progress in their respective roles. I liked the un-drama of it all and yet that was also my stumbling block to falling in love with the story.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a fan of purple prose, but I felt like there was a lack of passion on page between the MCs despite the life changer the relationship represents for both of them. It seemed that important stuff happened off page, particularly about John’s *problem*. There were some intense and hot scenes but otherwise their conversations are so level-headed they felt like listening to NPR: calm, well reasoned, and sedate. Perhaps this is how people in real life should behave but it all had a flavor of “good for you”. It was all kind of like eating broccoli; I don’t hate hate but I’m not necessarily looking forward to having it. I have the sads for what could have been. :(

***Recommended if you’re in the mood for some sensible kinky romance***

Review copy was provided.

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