Throwback Thursday Series Spotlight: Deviations Series by Chris Owen and Jodi Payne

Deviations is a five part series about Dominant Tobias, his longtime relationship with former sub, Phantom, and the start of his new relationship with Noah. It takes the men on a journey of submission, bondage, intimacy, and love.

SubmissionSubmission

Rating: 4.25 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance

Tobias is a well respected and skilled Dom. After mutually ending a long standing relationship, Tobias has not had a regular sub in some time. For his birthday, Tobias visits the D/s club where he has been a member for many years for a night of play. The owner, who is also Tobias’ friend, introduces him to Noah, as he feels they would be a good fit.

Noah is a man truly in need of a skilled Dom. Working days as a police officer, he longs to shed his authority and become the perfect submissive. He has been attached to several Doms, but has physical and emotional scars from not be treated in the right manner.

throwback thursdayTheir first night together sets off a spark for both Tobias and Noah as they both see something they need in the other. A second night and then a weekend leads to a six month contract, where through bondage and discipline, Tobias helps Noah trust again and Tobias tried to balance his need to be a Dom with his need for love.

Submission is the first book in the five part series. We meet Tobias, Noah, and even Tobias’ former sub, Phantom right away. The story immediately throws us into the BDSM world of clubs, rules, and contracts. Told from Tobias’ POV, we do get a sense of both Tobias and Noah during their conversations with each other. But, a bit more time inside Noah’s head at times would have rounded out the story more.

Tobias is well respected and shows himself to be a demanding, yet compassionate Dom who truly has the best interests of his sub. The story delves into the psychological aspect as well as the erotic nature of their relationship, as Tobias is still dealing with what he sees as failings from his previous relationship and Noah hides pain that continues to torment him that was inflicted on him from his former Dom. The story not only deals with the start of a consensual D/s relationship, but the men’s feelings as they begin to fall in love with each other.

The only area that stuck out at me was the nature of the gossip at the club and on the scene in general. The club was a very exclusive BDSM club that prided itself on anonymity, yet the staff gossiped relentlessly in front of both the guests and the owner. Doms were openly discussing relationships with former subs and when Noah and Phantom meet for dinner, they are comparing notes and Phantom was offering tips on Tobias. It just went counter to the described privacy that the club was supposed to offer.

Submission. There is a lot of sex, BDSM scenes, playing, and toys to enjoy as Tobias and Noah navigate the start of a life changing relationship.


dominationDomination

Rating: 4.25 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance

In the second installment, Tobias and Noah are settling into their six month contracted relationship and learning more about each other and their limits. Tobias is working to balance his professional life and being a full time Master again and Noah is learning to trust Tobias with his biggest secrets in an attempt to overcome his pain.

When an evening has Noah seeing the softer more human side of Tobias, their relationship has to overcome one more hurdle as they try to balance their contracted relationship versus being lovers.

The second book picks up shortly after the first one and there is no loss of continuity. Tobias and Noah are expanding their relationship and earning trust with role playing, more intense scenes, and Noah’s fantasy of scening in public. Their personal relationship is gaining intensity and becomes emotional as Tobias seeks comfort only to then try to gain his control back possibly at Noah’s expense.

While Noah is able to compartmentalize the different aspects of his life, it’s not as easy for Tobias to make the same shift. Tobias struggles with becoming too comfortable and not challenging what Noah needs as a sub versus what Tobias is now looking for in a lover. The shift in Noah’s different mindsets from sub to cop is spoken of, but seeing this a bit more would have added to his character.

There is a lot of sex and scenes again as in the first book and there is not much that goes on outside the BDSM world. We get more of Phan here as well and while more is given on his background, the complete picture was not offered, which made the intervention lose a bit of focus from a reader perspective. But, the simmering sexual tension between Tobias, Phan, and Noah sets up for one hot scene between the three of them and the possibility that more will be played out.

The scenes, the sex, the discipline, and trust continually gain intensity as Noah continues on his journey with his eye on being collared by Tobias.


disciplineDiscipline

Rating: 3.75 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance

Coming off of their public collaring scene and celebration, Tobias and Noah push deeper than ever, while dealing with a death close to home. Tobias’ goal is to push Noah through his greatest fear, the cage. Phantom and Noah become better friends and deal with the attraction between them and Noah is a true comfort to Phan when he reaches a breaking point.

Tobias and Noah set off to Paris, where they explore not only the landmarks, but the Parisian sex clubs, and renegotiate their contract. Their relationship as both D/s and partners is stronger than ever, but where Phan fits into their lives is still unknown.

As we reach the third book, the series reads as one extended story. That’s just to say the books flow well from one to the other and the story remains constant as Tobias and Noah get settled into their new committed and decorated relationship. There is minimal movement for a good portion of the book. There is a death that is mourned and more issues with Phan. Tobias does find time to work further with Noah in the quest to conquer his greatest fear and the trust the men have for each other is evident.

When they head to Paris, a lot stays the same but with different geography. Tobias shows a great ego as he shows Noah off in the clubs. Although Noah enjoys his time of service to Tobias at the clubs, it illustrates Tobias’ need to show Noah off and his pride to look good in front of his peers. And for his part, Noah does come off as a bit childlike in some of his thought processes. It would have been helpful at this point to get a bit more from Noah’s side of things.

The men have so much sex and play time together, when they do discuss a true partnership in addition to a D/s relationship, it was a bit harder to see the love they saw in each other as their relationship was based primarily on sex and discipline. They need a lot of paperwork to make both sides of their relationship valid, not just the D/s portion, and it is a bit much on that end of things. Also, Tobias is open with Noah about Phan and while Tobias states his feelings about both Phan and Noah, Tobias is still ready to drop everything the moment Phan needs him. His inner thoughts and actions were a bit contradictory to what he was telling Noah.

While I enjoyed seeing Tobias’ and Noah’s relationship grow further and by the end of the book they have worked through a lot, a majority of the story was more of the same with a Paris backdrop.


bondageBondage

Rating: 3.75 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance

Back from their trip to Paris, Noah and Tobias have a renewed contract, a deeper personal bond, and a better understanding of their needs. However, they are immediately thrown into yet another crisis involving Phan that could threaten their relationship. Noah and Tobias both step up for Phan and all of their relationships evolve. They go through one scene after the other, adding in more role playing as they test their limits.

Tobias finds himself constantly stretched in many directions as he tries to be everything for both Noah and Phan while still maintaining his veterinary practice. When it all becomes just too much for him, new opportunities, new choices, and a new direction is offered to him. For Noah, a crisis at work has him questioning why he became a cop, and Phan tries to find his place with both of them.

Tobias, Noah, and Phan. Three different men leaning on each other and finding their way toward loving each other.

This fourth book opens with Tobias and Noah in what they think is a really good place in their relationship. But, the end of book three showed us that Tobias will still drop everything to take care of Phan and that is exactly what is needed from him here. All of Noah’s previous concerns come to light about Tobias and Phan and he pretty much just rolls with it. Even though Noah has his own relationship with Phan, Phan wanting Tobias back has always been a concern for him all the way through the series and his reaction goes counter to what his feelings have previously been. It also felt more like Noah didn’t have much of a choice and it would have helped to be inside of his head more.

The three of them evolve and try to find their way together under the same roof. There is still lots of sex and a lot more role playing. The role playing scenes are well written, but they are extended and more detail is added for each scene. Tobias finds it extremely difficult to manage his practice and his Dom responsibilities leaving Noah and Phan to spend some more time together. And because we don’t get much from Noah’s POV, his decisions about his career were not as clear to the reader. There are a lot of changes for the three men and while their relationship is constantly evolving, some of it when counter to their feelings throughout the rest of the series.


safewordsSafewords

Rating: 3.75 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance

Tobias, Noah, and Phan are all working at the club and still figuring out how their personal and professional lives meet all of their needs. It’s not easy with three and Phan is the one struggling and feeling left out at times. He doesn’t handle change well and the men have to frequently accommodate him.

Working together has Tobias and Bradford spending more time together and Bradford has his own struggles with realizing he has feelings for Nikki. The club is expanding and life and relationships are constantly shifting as all of the men take on new responsibilities and find their place living, loving, and playing together.

The final installment has the men fully taking on their roles at the club and constantly rearranging to accommodate a relationship with three. The tone of the previous books has shifted as Phan is now a full contracted partner in the relationship. He still has a lot of emotional issues and some of his outbursts were manipulative and Noah just went along with everything all of the time. We still see primarily Tobias’ POV and that left some situations open to individual interpretation.

While a lot has changed in their lives on the outside, such as where they are living and their jobs, a lot internally remains the same and there was not a lot of forward motion. Tobias is not really challenging Noah so much anymore and their role playing scenes, submissive scenes, and even the intimate scenes were similar to other books and not a whole lot of new ground was covered. Tobias’ voice remained the same with him thinking he is the boss and the boys are his. The connection to him was not fully there for me, which then affected connections to Noah and Phan as well. By the time the end of the fifth story is reached, there still was no absolute clear answer on what exactly happened to Phan, only some brief glances. As with the other stories, the ending is somewhat open ended.

The series overall was good and I cannot seem to get anymore excited about it than that. The first two books were the ones I favored most and then the path of the storyline went in a few places I could not connect with as well. The books do tend to run into each other with an overlapping quality if read one after the other. If you are looking for a continuing BDSM themed story that has all the elements of role paying, public scening, and lots of toys in a consensual relationship with men of different mindsets, Submission would be a good cplace to start.

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Comments

  1. These books are my favorite series. I will read these books over and over.  I recommend them to all my friends who read MM with BDSM. 

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