The Yellow Rope

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Title: The Yellow Rope
Author: M.A. Church
Cover Artist: Angela Waters
Publisher:  Extasy Books
Buy Link:  The Yellow Rope, Extasy Books
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance (Light BDSM)
Length: Novella (119 pages)
Rating: 2 stars

A Guest Review by Sammy

Review Summary: Too little story, too much sex, made for a frustrating read.

Blurb: For a Dom and his sub, a yellow rope becomes the tie that binds.
A cranky submissive…Luke Walker is tired. He spends long hours between his job as a teacher assistant at an elementary school and helping out his family at their restaurant. Coupled with the fact his degree is going to waste, he’s discouraged and fatigued by too much work and endless southern heat, and not enough time spent with his live-in partner.
An understanding Dom…Gage Holt has been on both sides of the fence. He believes that in order to be a good Dom, one has to understand being a sub. Unfortunately, he’s had some bad experiences in pursuit of that knowledge and suffered a great deal. But that’s in the past now.
A long weekend…Three little days…Gage is determined to see that his man gets what he needs in every way he can give it to him. For the next seventy-two hours, he’s going to pamper his boy—in his way.

Review: My brow is furrowed…because quite frankly I don’t know what to say. This was not really a BDSM novel and to call it that would be a misnomer. Yes, there were some very “vanilla” moments of dominance, but this felt more like two lovers giving the other some control over their sexual play. Not like a dominant and a submissive–it was way to equal a relationship for that title to be given. So the blurb…well, it left me confused.

So what was The Yellow Rope by M.A. Church? It was a nice story about a long weekend for two lovers who needed to reconnect that had an incredible amount of sex and some intimate moments that got just too little page space to make them resonate as a a strong plot point for the story. In other words, for me, this was a series of sex scenes bound by too little back story and too little plot.

As a result I found myself struggling to connect with these characters. I got that Luke was terribly overworked and saw little of his partner, his Dom, Gage. I understood that Gage was reluctant to ever push Luke too hard in the bedroom due to Gage’s past experiences and that while bondage was part of their play it was also not necessarily about Luke giving up control–he tended to be a very vocal and pushy bottom.  I understood the basic thrust of this book, it just never completely gelled for me–it seemed unfinished.

I just couldn’t connect and feel sympathy for Luke. He was so outspoken and so, well, dominant in his own way. I kept wondering why Gage did not assert himself and take control. Oh, don’t get me wrong, to a point there were scenes in which Gage did take the lead but they were short lived and the threat of making Luke wait or want was never really followed through on. Hence, the sexual tension that might begin on a page quickly dwindled into just one more sex scene.

Plus, I wanted to know more about these men. I needed more back story about them to make sense of this unusual D/s relationship they professed to be living under. When we finally got to the huge reveal about why Gage was a somewhat reluctant Dom, I nearly screamed in frustration–this was the big moment and yet I felt the author glossed over it, leaving me with more questions than answers.

All in all, this story had good potential to be a window into the lives of two men who came together under hard circumstances and found love with each other. But, in the end, there simply was just too much sex for me, and not enough story.

I definitely will give this author another look, I would really like to see more of M.A. Church’s work before making up my mind. So, dear reader, I leave this one with you. The Yellow Rope was not quite what I expected but could be just the right book for you.