Myra Scott, $2.99
Contemporary Erotica, 2018
Eric is a bartender in Las Vegas, or so he tells everyone he knows. In reality, this mild-mannered fellow is a Dom in one of those naughty clubs people go to play sexy games with leather and such. Mick is one of the co-owners of a casino – read the other stories in the Sin City Sentries if you want to know about those blokes – and he is this calm but clearly dangerous and ooh, so in charge type. Naturally, he loves to be dominated in his sexy times, and he ends up becoming one of Eric’s clients. And that’s basically what The Perfectionist is all about.
As a novella, there is some little drama here and there – such as one involving Eric’s other client who is all smirking and unpleasant, and Mick being sued for being too much of a bruiser daddy at work – but the focus is mostly on two hard-muscled daddies doing a more romantic version of a Tom of Finland tableau. Which I heartily approve of, by the way.
I like this. The BDSM elements don’t stray too far out of a mainstream erotica kind of vanilla, which is to say, if you are familiar with those Fifty Shades of You Know What or Ellora’s Cave books, nothing here will feel too extraordinary or squeamish. However, the author has a nice way with naughty scenes and erotic wordplay, so these scenes work well enough to make the toes curl now and then.
If I have an issue with this story, it’s that the structure of the story doesn’t lend itself to much romanticism. Mick is basically a client, so they meet at appointed moments for some ow-ow ooh fun, and each man then reflects on his own on how those moments are so sublime that the earth shifts, the clouds part, and the rays of love shine down on them just in time for the happy ending. It’s hard to believe how quickly these two men go from business to OMG EVERYONE SAY LOVE!!!, and I wish the author had kept things more on the down low instead of overloading the sentimentalism to a ludicrous degree. Also, the author accidentally writes the perfect closing sentence of the final chapter of the story… only to then ruin the beautiful moment with an unnecessary, over-sugary epilogue.
Anyway, I like this baby more as an erotic work. As a romance, it goes from zero to over 9,000 way too quickly to be taken seriously, and it also goes from men cussing every few words to gushing like infatuated pink ponies with dinner-plate shiny, anime eyes about forever and beautiful eyes and kissing on cheeks like… come on, love doesn’t turn muscle daddies into emotional Tumblr babies, right?
When it comes to the whacks of love, The Perfectionist is adorable. But the romantic moments make me cringe, and I can only wish the author has struck a better balance between adult sexuality and gushy lovey-dovey sentiments.