Review: Manties in a Twist by J.A. Rock

manties in a twistRating: 4.25 stars
Buy Links: 
 Amazon | All Romance | Amazon UK
Length: Novel


Kamen has moved in with his boyfriend (and Dom) Ryan, and he is rocking at adulting. He loves his new life with Ryan and how they are becoming settled and moving forward together. The only problem is that his best friends aren’t so pleased with the changes in Kamen’s life. Not only do they think he has moved too fast with Ryan, but they actually don’t seem to like Ryan much at all.

Even though he is hurt by his friends’ attitude, Kamen still loves Ryan and they are a perfect fit. They enjoy role playing and discover a shared enjoyment of Kamen cross dressing. When Kamen gets into an argument with Cinnamon, a woman at their club, he finds himself agreeing to challenge her in a pony play competition. At first Ryan and Kamen have no idea what they are doing, but it turns out to be something they both enjoy.

Things seem to be going great for Kamen and he is trying to move forward in his life, but his friends are still very focused on the past. Now he has to figure out how he can move on to the life he truly wants, but at the same time not leave behind the guys who have been like family for years.

Manties in a Twist is the third book in J.A. Rock’s Subs Club series and it is another great installment. The series follows four best friends who are still struggling in the aftermath of the death of their friend Hal. Kamen has always come across as kind of lovably goofy. His friends don’t seem to see him as particularly smart, but he is fun and sweet and they love having him around. Here we see things from Kamen’s POV, however, and it is clear that there is a lot more to him. We see him settled with Ryan and moving forward in his life. He is not nearly as flaky as he comes across in the other stories, and I enjoyed getting to know him more here as the POV character.

Ryan and Kamen make a fun combination. I was intrigued when we first saw them together in the previous book, Pain Slut, when the giant Kamen suggested that the wee little Ryan couldn’t possibly be a Dom — only to have Ryan take him over his knee and show him exactly how well he can be a Dom. I love their sense of humor together and just their joint joy in life. They are alway open to trying new things and the story is fun and entertaining. I loved their banter, their joking, and just their overall attitude. The only thing I felt was missing here is the time gap between the previous book and this one. We see them meet in Pain Slut and then here they are already living together and in love, and I kind of missed seeing that actually develop, even only as highlights. I felt a little behind to start this book and already have them in a relationship that we never saw develop on page.

The focus of this story is two fold. One plot thread focuses on Kamen getting involved in pony play. It starts as a challenge to Cinnamon, a woman they all hate because she was there when Hal died and didn’t notice he was in distress. When she gets sassy with Kamen about how he could never compete with her, he takes it as a challenge and he and Ryan go full on with the pony competition. The rivalry never feels intense or super serious, but the set up is a nice way to see the guys pushing their boundaries, trying new things, and figuring out what they are into. And the scenes as they try to figure out all the different aspects of the pony world, in particular things going on at the competition, are fun and often hysterical.

The other conflict is the more serious one as Kamen deals with the realization that his friends don’t like Ryan and how this causes a rift in his relationship with them. The four guys have always been super close and are like family, and as Dave and Miles added partners, they were integrated into the group. Yet somehow they don’t like or accept Ryan, and seem to be resentful that Kamen is moving forward in his life. So here we see Kamen struggling with how to grow and change in his life and move on from the past, but at the same time still keep his connection with his best friends.

I really enjoyed the latest installment of the series. It is definitely a lighter feeling book than Pain Slut, mostly because Kamen is such a fun character. I love how Rock manages to really infuse each book with the personality of the POV character and give them all a distinct feel. And here is it is light, sometimes silly, but also with some hidden depth. Manties in a Twist was a lot of fun and I am really looking forward to the final book in the series.

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Comments

  1. This is where I have to admit that, back when the blurbs for this series was announced, this book was the one that caught my eye. I DNF’d the first book, but I keep hearing that the second and third book won’t be as effective/offer an impactful reading without book 1. SO, given your really tantalizing review, Jay, I’m going to give Book 1 a second chance (something I v., v. rarely do) because I think it’s going to get me even more excited about reading Manties in a Twist. (FTR, I also happen to be a v. linear reader and it’s such an ingrained habit that I couldn’t jump into Book 3 while skipping Books 1 and 2).

    Anyway, this comment is my v. long-winded way of thanking you for encouraging me to not give up on something that I might end up enjoying (such as this series). :)

    • Thanks Luce! I look forward to hearing what you think. As I noted in the review, the books really follow the tone of the POV character. So I can see how your feelings about the books could be influenced by how you feel about the MCs. Books 2 and 3 are very different in tone from both book 1 and each other.

      I too am a linear reader so I get it. I think you could probably follow this as a stand alone if you feel like book 1 just isn’t working for you, but you do miss the larger story line. Good luck and let me know what you think!

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