08 November 2010

Review: Chris Owen/Jodi Payne - Safe Words

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About Safe Words, A Deviations Novel
by Chris Owen and Jodi Payne
350 pages / 79700 words
ISBN: 978-1-61040-044-2
Ebook zipped file contains - html, lit, Adobe and Sony optimized pdf, prc, epub, also available in paperback
Book Origin: Personal E-Book Library

Cover Summary:
In Safe Words, which picks up where the Deviations series left off, Tobias, Noah and Phan are all working on finding their place, both at Bradford's club and in their personal lives. They're all living together, and Tobias has taken on the roll of full-time Dom, which he loves, but finds incredibly challenging.

While Noah finds comfort in the new state of things and is looking forward to deeper submission, Phan is finding it harder to strike a balance. Too many changes happening too fast are making Phan act out, and neither Tobias nor Noah are sure how to deal with it. Life is not perfect for Bradford, either, as he discovers new feelings for his sub Nikki. Can Tobias help his friend, manage his job teaching the other Doms, and his relationships with Noah and Phan, or will the house that he's built for himself fall down around their ears?

The Deviations series includes: Deviations Submission, Deviations Domination, Deviations Discipline and Deviations Bondage. 

My Review: From the first novel in the DEVIATIONS series the author duo Chris Owen and Jodi Payne captivated me with a triangular developing relationship. Not only did they give me some high quality BDSM that rocked the eroticism, but also intricate characters who got under my skin very quickly. I thought it all ended with book four; BONDAGE, so color me surprised to find out my favorite BDSM series got a fifth novel release. Of course I immediately bought it and fired up my e-reader, eager to become a part again in the emotional journey of Dominant, Tobias and his two subs, Noah and Phantom. All I discovered while reading however was that the continuance of this series with SAFE WORDS wasn’t up to par with its previous releases.

It isn’t that Tobias, Noah or Phantom are suddenly different, or that the eroticism fails to heat up the pages. Neither is it the love, for it is evident from start to finish this threesome has something unique going on. I think a part of what diminished the magic in SAFE WORDS is that at the end of book four; BONDAGE I knew Tobias, Noah and Phantom could concur any minor difficulties left to deal with in this ménage. By then they were so deeply in love, their communications skills good and the major problems were solved. That left very little within SAFE WORDS to deal with which showed in the first hundred pages. The day to day activities were at the forefront. It was getting up, making breakfast, having a morning discipline for Noah and Phantom, getting to work together, discuss work related problems, go home, have some sexing, cuddling and go to sleep. It was monotonous and the storyline became tedious for me, lacking the depth in which previous struggles were solved.

Tobias, Noah and Phantom still have that intricate connection though but save one issue for Phantom and a short clash between the three of them, that connection wasn’t challenged much. For lovers of this series it still gives a nice return to the three men with their vibrant personalities. Men who I’ve become very attached to over the course of this series. Tobias is ever the even tempered, giving man who loves to be a Dom. He has his hands full with his two subs, Noah and Phantom. Noah is a man who enjoys the challenge and he is a steady influence on Phantom. Phantom on the other hand is a live wire of emotions and body movement. Each of these three men has his strengths and weaknesses but together they are a unit and their interpersonal connection is translated in the dialogues which is full of humor, passion and everything else they feel.

Every ingredient in the DEVIATIONS series was present but subdued. I can’t say there was bad writing or that that characters had a completely turn around in their behavior. Even the sex play was spine-tingling and there was also some character growth in the latter part of the story. Still, I can’t deny I missed something. Whether it was an intense romantic development, more struggles within the ménage or a higher level of engaging storytelling, I can’t pin point my fingers to the exact thing that made this entry feel so off for me. Perhaps it comes down to the fact that by the end of SAFE WORDS I felt I could’ve done without it and still feel absolutely fantastic about this series. Now I feel let down while the characters are still so very dear to me.

Whatever magic Chris Owen and Jodi Payne possess it isn’t really happening in SAFE WORDS creating a story I could’ve done without in this series.

2.5 stars

Quote Smexing in the hallway:
Noah pinned Phan with both hands and worked Phan's cock with a practiced tongue in the ways he knew from experience drove Phan wild. Little tricks like pulling away and letting the cool air in for a moment before swallowing him deep again, or digging his thumbs into the hollows under Phan's hip bones.

Phan was more than a lover; he was Noah's closest friend, and Noah wanted it to be good, wanted Phan to feel how much Noah cared about him with every muscle in his body.

Phan's legs started to shake right about the time that the words dried up and Phan's hands dug in harder, clinging. With a gasp and a long groan, Phan started to come, his whole body giving a long shudder as he released pulse after pulse into Noah's throat, moaning and whispering Noah's name.

Noah waited for Phan to finish, swallowing everything his lover had to offer and then gently licking and kissing his way up Phan's body until they stood toe to toe. "Hell, yes," he said softly and then kissed Phan gently, curling his arms around Phan's waist.

Phan leaned, holding on. "You didn't have to do that," he whispered. "But I'm awfully glad you did."

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  1. I came this close to buying this the other day. So glad I didn't.

  2. Nice honest review with this one, all can't be keepers

  3. Honestly is the best policy!!! And you know I love you for it!!!!

    Hey honey, I am popping in. I miss you!!!! I hope all is well honey!!! How have you been?? I sent you an email?! So I hope all is okay! Hugs and kisses to you my dear hussy!!!

  4. I was sure I already left a comment, because I've read your review days ago...
    I've bought this at Fictionwise with the Halloween discount, and now I do regret it a wee bit. Not for the less than 3 dollars, but for the disappointment in this threesome that's probably coming my way. :(
    Sexy quote though!

  5. @Smokinhotbooks - Glad I could save you a few bucks hon!

    @Blodeuedd - Yeah, I was so dissapointed in this one! I can remember my DEVIATIONS week earlier this year and was so extatic about this series when i reached book four *sigh* This was a conclusion I could've done without!

    @Cecile - I've been AFK for almost a week *shock...gasp* I know, so not my thing but a few days away and chronic headache prevented me from doing it all. I will contact you today!!

    @Janna - It has some wonderful dialogies and smoe sexy smut but I think you're going to miss a lot in SW just as I did. Especially when you've read the previous four books, there's so much depth, emotion, interplay between characters...dang, I can still go in to rant mode when i think how good SW could've been :((


I love to hear all your voices and opinions so thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.