Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review – Room 1024 by Racheline Maltese & Erin McRae


Rating: 1 star out of 5

Room 1024 covrWhen Cameron takes his submissive boyfriend Noah to a gay men’s leather convention in San Francisco, Cam expects to spend the week exploring their relationship and experimenting with non-monogamy. What he doesn’t expect is to run into his own former dom, Lou, in an embarrassingly public reunion.

While Noah is enthusiastic about the opportunity to play with the former international leather title-holder, Cam is more wary. He and Lou have unfinished business. A four-way encounter with Lou and his sub Stephen could be great fun—or it could show Noah that Cameron can never quite be the dom he wants and needs.

As Cameron and Noah work through the uncertainties in their relationship, Noah is offered everything he ever wanted, in a completely different way than he ever expected, leading all four men to discover that sometimes the only way forward is to revisit the past.

I failed to read the official blurb before reading the book because I didn’t want to be influenced, I just wanted to experience the story. For reasons, I’ll state later, it’s important to include the blurb above.

I included it now, because I did not get all the points listed above from reading the story and, in fact, it wasn’t until I went back and read the blurb that the story made some sense to me. Conclusion? The author did not convey the message she had planned to deliver. My review follows:

Noah convinces his boyfriend, and supposed Dom, Cameron, to take him to a leather convention in San Francisco. While picking up their registration forms and heading back to their room, Cam hears his name called by the speaker at a pre-conference workshop. He’s immediately embraced by big and burly Lou, the Dom doing the workshop. He’s then introduced to the attendees by his full name and profession—Dr. Cameron Beck, professor of queer studies at Boston University. (Is there such a major?) Lou then declares that Cameron used to be his boy and gives him a big smack on the cheek.

When he finally gets back to his room, he tells Noah about seeing Lou and informs him that they are invited to dinner with him. Noah’s enthusiastic response includes the statement that Lou is someone that they can try their “non-monogamy thing” with. When Cam questions him about doing it with Lou, Noah tells him that someone has to take the initiative.

So at this point in the story, I already found myself questioning the protocols at a conference where a former “leather title holder” would grab his former boy and introduce him by his full professional title without permission. And the “non-monogamy thing” Noah mentions is never explained the way it is in the blurb. It’s just stated and we’re never given background about the decision, nor is it really addressed later in the story.

As the story unfolds, it appears that Cam and Lou separated prematurely, and now Cam is longing to get back together with Lou, and Lou, though happy with his new sub, Stephen, doesn’t close out the possibilities for the future with Cam. I would have thought that if Cam is now a Dom, Lou may have been his trainer, but Cam just acts submissive and training is not addressed, so I wonder how Cam ended up being a Dom if his behavior is submissive.

To be honest, I was confused throughout the story in several different settings since Cam is supposedly Noah’s Dom but continually looks to Lou and even outright submits to Lou, going so far as to have alone time in which they have sex, and he submits again. Noah isn’t collared throughout most of the story and does seem to continually ask for more than Cam is willing to provide, even though he has thoughts about how proud he is of Cam and how he hopes that Cam will demonstrate his dominance in a scene. Noah and Cam do end up in Lou’s room (1024), however it’s more of a Noah and Stephen sex scene, with Cam and Lou coaching them than it is all four men together.

By the end of the book, which takes place over the course of the week-long conference, I still felt that the story was disjointed and choppy. I also found use of the present tense in the writing style annoying and confusing. The fact that twenty-four hours later, after reading several of the chapters twice, I’m still confused and having difficulty writing out the review leads me to the conclusion that I need to give the story no more than one star.

Cover by BSClay is a photo depicting a hand gripping a sheet and is symbolic of the BDSM content of the story.

Sales Links:  Torquere Books       All Romance (ARe)   Amazon   Buy It here

Book Details:

Expected publication: April 8th 2015 by Torquere Press
edition languageEnglish

settingSan Francisco, California (United States)


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