Narrator: Gomez Pugh
Length: 2 hours, 26 minutes
Matthew Fisher was a dancer for 10 years until a knee injury ended his career. Now he works for a high-end property manager overseeing homes while their owners are out of town. Matthew also has a secret life through his Tumblr blog where he shares sexy pictures of himself as “Silken” that he takes at the various properties he manages. Over the past six months, he has also started an online Dom/sub relationship with a man he knows only as “Austin.” Matthew is just starting to explore BDSM and finds himself falling for Austin, but the two have never met and Matthew doesn’t even know what the man looks like.
When a twist of fate has the two men meeting, at first Matthew is wary. He has always kept that part of his life separate and he is shaken up by the idea of his online Dom suddenly a part of his real life. But Matthew quickly realizes that he can actually have his online fantasy man in the real world. Now the two men finally have a chance to explore their intense connection in person.
Silken is a a story built around a sexy fantasy. The man Matthew has only known online, the fantasy that he never expected to meet in person, suddenly appears in his life and Matthew gets a chance to really be with him. The story has a voyeuristic feel, as we watch Matthew doing a photo shoot for his Dom in one of the properties, engaging in all sorts of kinky acts for the camera. It takes on another layer as we see that unbeknownst to him, his Dom is actually watching Matthew take the pictures, and there is a nice intensity as things build between the men before they even meet in person. When they finally get together, we get to see them live out their fantasies in real life in another sexy scene. There is a bit of cross dressing here as Silken loves to dress in lingerie, as well as a light BDSM element. The guys are Dom/sub and there is some mild kink when they get together, but nothing intense if that isn’t your thing.
I enjoyed this one for what it was: a fantasy fulfillment story. There are elements that didn’t fully come together for me though. First off, there is a HUGE suspension of disbelief required for how these guys meet. You just have to go with it, despite the shocking coincidence. You also have to be cool with the idea that Matthew is using these properties where he works to take erotic pictures and post them online. Personally I could deal with that; yes, it’s totally unprofessional, but it works for the story, even if I found him nuzzling someone else’s underwear to be kind of disconcerting. But I couldn’t help wonder how Mathew doesn’t see this as risky. I mean, he takes pictures in people’s homes and posts them online. He is not worried about anyone recognizing them? And more than that, when he meets his Dom unexpectedly in real life, Matthew is shaken up because he wants to keep his work and his private life separate. But to me this seems kind of silly given that fact that he is USING his work as a setting for his private life. So Matthew’s anger about this, as well as his Dom’s guilt for having caused this conflict, seemed a little misplaced.
I also think the pacing of the story felt a bit off here. We get a lot of set up where we watch Matthew engaging in kinky things in an apartment, then a repeat where we see his Dom watching him. I actually liked that element, as it gives us an added thrill to see Matthew being watched and to see how turned on Austin gets seeing him. But by the time these guys actually meet in person and finally get together, the story is almost over. I feel like there is a lot of set up for a very short pay off. This is further complicated by the fact that the majority of this relationship occurs in the 6 months prior to the story taking place. So we know that these guys have grown to care about one another, but it all is just told to us after the fact. I had a hard time really feeling the romantic connection these men supposedly had (though the physical one was quite clear). I wish we had more time to see them together and how they interacted so I could really feel the emotional side of things.
I actually picked this story up largely because I wanted to hear Gomez Pugh’s narration. I have never listened to one of his books, but his work narrating the PsyCops series is greatly acclaimed, so I was eager to give him a try. I think overall Pugh does a nice job here. There are really only three voices in this story — the narrator voice, as well as Matthew and Austin. Since these guys don’t meet until the end of the book, most of the story is told to us by the narrator since the guys aren’t actually talking to anyone for most of the book. I found the basic narration to be solid and easy to listen to. Matthew is British and Pugh’s accent felt believable (to my albeit untrained ear), and Pugh does a nice job narrating him from his everyday voice through his more sexual moments. The only one that didn’t really work for me was Austin. He is described as having a raspy voice, so Pugh provides one, but it is so low and raspy that I found it distractingly over the top. I could practically hear him saying “I’m Batman” in my head. I just found it didn’t sound as natural as the other voices, so when we went a long time without hearing Austin talk, it would be jarring when he spoke again. Fortunately, as I said, most of the story is narration so we don’t hear the characters’ voices too much, and so it didn’t have a major impact on my enjoyment. Overall I really liked Pugh’s narration and I would definitely check out more from him.
So I think this is a fun, sexy story that will work for you if you can just let yourself go into the fantasy and not think too hard about the details. I wish that we had more time to really explore the relationship. Just sex is fine in this type of book, but there was an implied emotional connection and depth of feeling that was hard for me to really buy into. But overall this is a sexy romp and if you like some light kink, especially with some lacey lingerie involved, and a nice silver fox, this could be a fun one to try.