Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Rules to Live By – A BDSM Anthology by Heidi Belleau, Lisa Henry, Anah Crow, Dianne Fox,
Anna Zabo, Cari Z.
Four intimate tales of power exchange, discipline, risks taken, and pleasures earned.
Master Key by Anah Crow and Dianne Fox
Navin is surrounded by family in control of their company and feels he can’t live up to their expectations for him—until he starts dating Marquis, and Marq offers Navin the key to his cock cage. It’s because of Marq’s need to be reminded that Navin is important to him and that he needs to make an effort to always be on time for Navin, but it has an unexpected, empowering effect on Navin as it gives him courage to take control in other areas of his life, including his role in his family’s company. The idea seems to be working until one too many things go wrong in one day for Marquis to handle, and he allows himself to doubt his need to submit to Navin in this way. The two nearly don’t get their HEA, but thankfully the simple solution of communication works to get both men back on track. I enjoyed the development of the characters in this story and would like to see it expanded. There’s so much more to explore in their fledgling D/s relationship, and they are so interesting that they deserve their own book. 4 stars
House Rules by Cari Z.
Jonathan lives by the rules established by his lover, Alistair Fraser, an actor who seems to be in a bromance with his co-star in the film that was written by Jonathan himself. Deliberately breaking the rules when he becomes jealous after watching the men on the Academy Awards broadcast, he’s looking forward to a reward after the punishment he knows he deserves. He doesn’t get exactly what he wanted, but he does get the punishment from a master who very evidently loves him enough to do what’s best for him, not what he wants. This is a shorter story than the others in the anthology, but presents a nice glimpse of domestic discipline. 4 stars
The Harder They Fall by Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau
A spoiled and neglected rich kid, Tad cashes his allowance in small bills to hire a prostitute at the fancy brothel he recently found, and he’s looking forward to another night of domination and dishing out humiliation on a whore. But instead of getting an old washed-up whore like he requests, he gets “Daddy”, a big, strong, gorgeous, older man with a major dominant streak. And Daddy doesn’t care what Tad wants, Daddy is going to give Tad what he deserves. This is a great story, perfect for those who like some Daddy in their Doms. I would definitely like to read more about these MCs. 5 stars
CTRL Me by Anna Zabo
After breaking up with his homophobic girlfriend when she finds out he is bisexual, Tom agrees to go out with his best friend Gabe on his usual Thursday date night. Little does Tom know that he’s actually accepted a date with a man who can push all of his submissive buttons. Both techies and co-workers, Tom had no idea that Gabe was bi as well. One glance at the length of soft blue rope in Gabe’s glove compartment leads Tom to hope for more than just sex, and it appears that Gabe is just the man to give it to him. This story was a wonderful tale of giving up control through rope bondage. Like some of the other stories, there’s plenty of room here to expand this story, although it felt more complete than many of the others in this book. 5 stars.
My overall rating of 4.5 stars was based on an average of the individual ratings. This would be a good place for someone new to BDSM to start reading. The very talented authors in this volume explore several different aspects of the BDSM lifestyle, enough to give a newcomer inspiration to continue to read more, or to decide that it is not an area they are interested in exploring further.
Cover Art is a photo by L.C. Chase which depicts several items often seen in BDSM scenes: leather cuffs, chains, collar and candle, all artfully displayed. It’s a nice representation for this anthology.
ebook, 250 pages
Published February 16th 2015 by Riptide Publishing
(first published February 14th 2015)
original titleRules to Live By