Review of Tactical Submission

Tactical Submission by Ada Maria Soto. 2017.

5 stars

TacticalSubmission_FINAL-1Wow this was incredibly good. I am blown away by how good this book was. The pacing of this story really worked well for me, as did the deep characterization and the dual POVs. The writing was just so damn good. It made me feel less alone, in so many ways it just quietly held so much of who I am, and I’m incredibly grateful for that, and quite verklempt about it.

Easily in the top three of any BDSM romance I’ve ever read. The BDSM was gorgeous and deeply realistic and just a tremendous joy to read. I love the slowly building pace of it, the way we got to really see the dominant think through what he was going to do, notice reactions, plan based on the submissive’s responses, care about the impact of his actions, make mistakes, do his best to communicate and be careful and caring. I reveled in how deeply loving the BDSM was, and in the slow acceptance of that by the submissive.

The polyamory representation was the most realistic I have ever read. It felt like these folks could be people I knew, like it wasn’t about a fantasy of polyamory, and wasn’t solely about sex, but was really about loving multiple people. The bisexual representation was lovely, just quietly present and not at all the point, and never an issue or a question. The PTSD representation was spot on, so realistic and part of the character while not taking over the story.

My one issue is that the ending was a bit fast and abrupt. I wanted a bit more time with them, wanted a bit more of a sense of where they were going to end up, and just a bit more aftercare, really, at the end of a very kinky story.

This is my standout surprise star of my reading this year. I had no idea it would be so incredibly good, have never read this author before (though I will now be devouring her backlist), and am kind of shocked that I haven’t heard more buzz about this book. I wish I could recall who recommended this to me because I want to thank them profusely.

I very much appreciated the content warnings in the authors note.


  • Bisexual MC
  • Gay MC
  • Bisexual secondary character
  • MC with PTSD
  • Mexican American author
  • Author with dysgraphia and phonological dyslexia

Content Warnings (in white, highlight to read)

Domestic terrorism. SWAT team MC where we see him at work, including situations where people get injured and killed and where gunfire happens. Former army MC where we get descriptions of traumatic events during basic training. Trauma survivor MC, descriptions of trauma reactions. Fear and potential threat of being outed for being both queer and kinky. Doctor MC who describes trauma around treating a patient who did not survive.

Consensual BDSM that leaned rather sexual, including D/s, pain play, bondage, chastity play, orgasm control, anal play. On the page sex, including anal sex, handjobs, and oral sex.


  • Source of the book: I bought this myself.
  • I have had slight contact with the author on Twitter.

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