Amber Kell, $0.99
Fantasy Romance, 2017
Based on the copyright information, it seems like Amber Kell’s Keeping Dallas first came out in 2012, and this version is either a reissue or a revised version. At any rate, I haven’t read the previous version, so I can’t tell you whether you should read this if you already had the 2012 version, sorry. I can’t read everything, even if I want to, sigh. You should see my huge, messy pile of yet-to-be-read books.
Anyway, this is a werewolf story. Dallas Ballin (yes, I didn’t make that name up) is part of a pack, but he has a dilemma. He is a submissive – aren’t they all? – but the only Master that makes him howl at the moon is a human, Laurence.
This close to the full moon, Dallas struggled with his submissive side. He might not be an alpha wolf, but his inner beast knew he could take down an average human and he didn’t like anyone near his master who might be a threat. Luckily, Master Laurence didn’t have an average bone in his body, and even though he didn’t know of Dallas’s feral nature, Laurence had no difficulty bringing his submissive to heel.
Now, if you are anything like me, you may be thinking, “Ooh, a human and a wolf – this may lead to some interesting dynamics!” Unfortunately, Laurence is actually a sorcerer with woo-woo powers, so yeah, the dynamics in this one is a very familiar one. It also comes complete with the eye-rolling premise of the submissive having been sexually abused before, although naturally it doesn’t bring up the possibility of the reverse: if a submissive is the product of sexual abuse, then the dominant must be the product of being a sexual abuser. No? This premise has always had its unfortunate implications, and I’m continuously bewildered by how authors claiming to be champions of sex positive stories often include this premise without batting an eyelid.
The author also kind of cheated here. Despite having a dominant and a submissive in a coupling, the sex scenes are actually vanilla in nature – BDSM for toddlers and people who want to imagine themselves purveyors of adventurous erotic stories but actually don’t want to read those frightening stuff.
Keeping Dallas is a thoroughly wasted opportunity. If Laurence had been fully human, if there were an actual story other than two people moping and whining as part of their foreplay, this may be an interesting story. As it is, this is a generic, forgettable by-the-numbers baby’s first BDSM story. If the two men had been wholly human, this story would still work with some minor adjustments. Why even bother with the wallpaper fantasy premise in the first place?