Monday, May 18, 2009

Bent by Sean Michael

TITLE: Bent
AUTHOR: Sean Michael
PUBLISHER: Torquere Press
LENGTH: Novel (roughly 123k)
GENRE: Gay BDSM erotic romance
COST: $6.95

Top Marcus meets would-be bottom Jim under awkward circumstances – when Jim is ranting at a hapless employee in a bookstore. Marcus won’t stand for such uncalled for behavior, but something in the other man calls out to him, a submissive side just waiting to be tapped into. Marcus pursues the other man relentlessly, determined to help rebuild this man’s broken life. What they find transcends everything either one of them ever imagined…

I have a couple books in my TBR pile that are there primarily because the author has been recommended to me so often that I finally caved and picked something out that might be interesting to try. This isn’t a technique that works for me very often, unfortunately. I’ve discovered there are several popular authors out there that fail to work for me for some reason or another. Sean Michael is one of those authors that gets recommended a lot, but after reading this long novel, I can honestly say I’m not sure what category to place him in.

The story starts out well enough. Though Jim seemed to capitulate to Marcus’ near bullying a little quickly, I didn’t mind too much as they seemed to have a genuine rapport, I liked both men, and those first few sex scenes were really hot. I flew through the first 30k and was eager to get back to it every time I had to put it down. But then something happened. I missed Jim’s spirit from the opening of the book, though I recognized that it wouldn’t work within the context of the relationship Marcus was trying to build. Instead, I got more of Jim’s rebellion and whining, which ended up creating the following pattern: Jim messes up, Jim gets spanked, they have sex. Jim throws a hissy fit, Jim gets spanked, they have sex.

Over and over and over again.

Got very boring.

I appreciate the fact that Michael wrote a story detailing how a sub gets trained when they had no idea they were even submissive, but the effect of the scenes gets diluted when they’re all the same. I needed more variety, something else in the context of the plot, anything really that would surprise and break me away from the monotony. And I liked Marcus. I wanted more from it. I can even see why some people like Michael, because a lot of the sex is pretty hot. Until I got tired of reading it, that is.

So, in the end, I still don’t know about this author. I can’t write him completely off, because I was right there for the first third of the book. He hooked me in, the way good authors do. He just didn’t keep me hooked.

Readability

6/10 – Overly simple and repetitive, little challenging or original about it

Hero #1

7/10 – I believed him as an individual, even when I got frustrated with the story

Hero #2

6/10 – The whining got a little old, but I’ve read worse

Entertainment value

4/10 – Hot sex and characters I don’t hate aren’t enough when the same patterns get repeated ad infinitum

World building

7/10 – The BDSM world feels complete, though the rest of it gets neglected.

TOTAL:

30/50

2 comments:

Obsidian Bookshelf said...

Hi, Book Mom. I think I'd have the same reaction to this book. The sex might be hot, but if some plot doesn't kick in after awhile, I get bored and feel annoyed. I, too, have heard a lot of recommendations to read this author, but I haven't yet found something I want to try. Thanks for the review.

Book Utopia Mom said...

I put another of this author's books on my TBR, so I'll let people know how that goes. Maybe if the book had been half its length, I wouldn't have gotten bored.