To Seek and To Find by Tamyrn Eradani. Ninestar Press. 2018.
This book caught me by surprise. It’s more of a slice of life story than a classic romance arc, and I enjoyed that aspect of it. There is no central conflict, instead we watch as things unfold for Kyle, and see how this new relationship develops. I appreciated it because its so rare to find slice of life kink fiction, especially kink fiction that mostly feels realism oriented, instead of more fantasy based. It was a refreshing, enjoyable reading experience.
I really loved that Kyle was bisexual and it wasn’t a big deal for anyone. We see him play and have sex with women and men in his quest to get Aiden’s attention (which takes up a good portion of the book), and nobody blinks, including Aiden. I really liked that Kyle was an active bottom with lots of casual play partners, who did demos and was a rope model, and that nobody questions whether he might be up for a serious relationship or monogamy if that’s what he wants.
I liked watching Kyle with his friends and community, and especially with Jenny and Charlotte. I liked that some of his play was depicted as not at all connected to sex. I wish that hadn’t been attributed to sexual orientation, but I appreciated the discussion of aesthetic attraction. I really liked that it was a representation of kink practice that emphasized things like: negotiation, consent, unpacking scenes afterwards, aftercare, communication, supporting novice tops to learn.
The quirks of the BDSM club centered in the story were fascinating to me. Those were the bits of the book that leaned toward fantasy, but the social interactions in them felt a lot like real life kink community, which made for an interesting mix. I enjoyed imagining the idea of a kink club that’s mostly about private suites you could use all night that are stocked with aftercare supplies, instead of public play. A club where if you do a demo you get a bracelet marking you as someone who cannot play or get served alcohol. Rope demos where afterwards audience members are allowed to touch the person who is tied up. A BDSM club that serves alcohol but also discourages mixing play and alcohol and also has a full on cafe where people socialize with their friends, negotiate, and unpack scenes afterwards.
I enjoyed watching Aiden and Kyle’s relationship begin. I found myself continually surprised by the turns it took, in really good ways. I loved that they did role play, something I rarely see depicted in D/s romance, and I enjoyed watching their scenes, watching the way their D/s dynamic worked, seeing the ways Aiden was so flexible and creative in the way he established control, and how closely he paid attention to Kyle. I liked that so much of the experience included internal conflict for Kyle, and showed the ways he was struggling with trust. I got a kick out of the romance kink scene, where they roleplayed a first date; I have never seen that kind of play depicted in a BDSM romance before. I liked Aiden, a lot, even though I mostly got to see him in scene and didn’t have much of a sense of him outside of it. Kyle grew on me over time. I liked them for each other.
I found the present tense a bit difficult to tolerate, especially at the beginning, but it stopped bugging me as much after the first chapter. There were some awkward phrasings that pulled me out of the story at times. There was one moment where I wished that there was a bit more realism in the depiction of the BDSM (how do you put someone in a rope corset while they are lying on their back?), but for the most part, the kink itself felt accurate. There were moments of heat, especially around the orgasm control, but this book wasn’t particularly high heat, for me. I didn’t especially mind that.
There wasn’t a big emotional payoff at the end, it felt more quiet, and like it had finished this stage of things but there was more to show. Like the beginning of a series about the same couple, which it is, so that fits. I would read the next book, and follow this couple to see how their relationship develops over time.
- Bi MC
- Gay love interest
Content Warnings (in white, highlight to read)
Sex on the page. Consensual BDSM including bondage, role play, rough sex, light humiliation, spanking, romance kink, D/s, orgasm control, service, brat dynamic. Detailed descriptions of sub drop.
References to a scene that included abusive behavior in the past and created trauma for the bottom. Reference to a D/s relationship in the past where the submissive did things they were not fully consented to, without telling the dominant.
- Source of the book: ARC from the publisher via Netgalley
- I have had no contact with the author.
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