Donavan Gregory has a fantasy of submission, but being a big, hulking guy, most people figure he would rather be dominant, so he hasn’t had a chance to explore his interests. When Donavan meets Dr. Seth Manning at Pride and the hunky doctor offers to tie him up for a demonstration, Donavan’s interest is peaked and he finds the demo confirms that submission is something he totally wants to pursue. As it turns out, Seth is interested in Donavan as well, and the two begin a relationship that gives Donavan a chance to learn all about submission and both men a chance to find the loving partnership that neither one expected.
Override is a story that called to me immediately. I mean, the cover alone made me want to pick it up. Add to that a hulking submissive with his smaller Dom, plus a blue collar/white collar combo (Seth is a doctor, Donavan works in an auto plant) and this one seemed made for me. I just love opposites attract, as well as guys who are different than they appear. Plus, newbie submissives are always fun!
I definitely liked Donavan and enjoyed seeing him get to explore the things he has been fantasizing about. I appreciated the juxtaposition of this big strong guy, someone who is expected to be a caretaker, but who in actuality craves submitting. Donavan is a likable guy and very relatable. I particularly enjoyed his friendship with his best friend Cain. I mostly liked Seth as well, but at times he grated a little. I think a bit too much smugness, a little too “all knowing Dom.” Seth would frequently explain to Donavan all the things he has cleverly learned about him from watching, all the things he can tell Donavan wants or likes or whatever. I don’t know, I get the Dom thing, but for some reason Seth grated a bit.
I think my biggest hurdle here is that not much happens. Everything is too easy. Seth and Donavan meet, they both fall for each other right away, they adore pretty much everything about one another, and that is it. There is no conflict here, nothing to generate some intensity. They just meet and date and then are in love and it is over. Things that could have been developed are mentioned in passing but don’t really go anywhere. For example, Donavan mentions his fears about fitting in with Seth because he is a blue collar guy and Seth is a doctor who comes from a wealthy family. It is touched on a bit, but never really becomes a conflict or is even really addressed much. I would also have loved to see more exploration of how Donavan deals with being a big guy and people assuming he is toppy when he isn’t. Again, this is brought up a couple of times but doesn’t develop into anything. Like I said, everything is just too easy. It is like the edges have been sanded down and things are just kind of rolling along. There is no conflict between them, no conflicts they face externally, everything is perfect pretty much from the start and it stays that way throughout the book. So while the book is entertaining and I liked a lot of it, it just didn’t have enough spark for me.
This story is the first of a new series, the Underground Club. We see the guys in the club a couple of times and toward the end of the story we meet some characters who are clearly sequel bait. We get kind of an info dump of the conflict those guys are facing, which sounds quite interesting and definitely has me intrigued, but seemed a little shoehorned into this story. FWIW, this book ends at about 90% and the remainder is a lengthy except for the second book in the series.
So there was a lot I liked about this story and it is an easy read. I enjoyed Donavan in particular and the sex is hot and the connection nice between them. But I needed more going on here to give the story some energy. I wanted to get to know these guys more, explore some of the dynamics between them, and have more happen then just meeting and adoring each other. But I am a huge fan of SJD Peterson and intrigued by the series so I am definitely looking forward to more.
P.S. Seriously, that cover! I don’t know how Peterson always gets such delicious covers, but nice!
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.