Jamie Fielding hasn’t been able to find a relationship that really works for him or where the sex is satisfying and he isn’t sure why. When a friend makes an off-hand comment about Jamie being a masochist, suddenly it is as if all the pieces fall into place. As Jamie does some research and looks into it more, he realizes that he truly does crave pain and humiliation in his sex and that is likely why he hasn’t yet found what he needs. Jamie also realizes that he has an attraction to men, as well as women, and that he really would like to find a male sadist as a partner.
When Jamie is connected with a trial membership to BDSM club Blasphemy, he is shown around by Alex McGarry, one of the owners and Master Doms. Alex hasn’t quite found what he is looking for in a relationship either, but he isn’t sure he is going to get it with a newbie sub who is both exploring his kink and his attraction to men for the first time. But it turns out that the men connect immediately and their personalities and kinks align perfectly.
As the days pass, Alex and Jamie begin to fall for one another, at the same time Jamie thrills in discovering this new side of himself. But even as both men realize this connection could turn into something more, it could all fall apart if Jamie isn’t ready for things to become public.
On His Knees is the fourth book in Laura Kaye’s Blasphemy series, and the first m/m romance of the otherwise m/f series. This story absolutely stands alone, and while we meet some of the other Doms who presumably feature in their own books, I had no problem following along with Jamie and Alex without having read those other stories.
What I think works really well here is Jamie coming to understand himself and his needs. He has been feeling unsatisfied and not quite sure what is missing until someone suggests he is a masochist and suddenly it all falls into place. At the same time, he is also exploring an attraction to men for the first time. I think Kaye does a nice job showing Jamie’s exploration, as well as that thrill that finally things are clicking for him. He is eager and excited and I enjoyed the scenes where we can really see what this new opportunity to explore his kinks and his sexuality is giving to him.
On the relationship side, things felt a little too fast here. Jamie gets a two week trial membership at the club and is gone for the second week visiting family. So we are basically talking about a week where he and Alex are actually together before they are falling for one another and the whole story takes place in less than three weeks. While Kaye does make clear that the guys are spending time getting to know one another in addition to having lots of kinky sex, we don’t actually see much of that happening. So things get intense super fast and I didn’t quite feel like I was fully on board.
I also found myself really unhappy with the ending conflict. Jamie pretends Alex is just a friend when introducing him to someone and Alex completely freaks out. He refuses to listen to Jamie explain and ends things immediately. Now this is a relationship that is barely two weeks old and Jamie just realized he is into men and kink. Doesn’t this warrant a bit of flexibility as he settles into this new life? Alex’s reaction seems way over the top, especially as he won’t even let Jamie explain the extenuating circumstances. Even worse, his reaction to Jamie’s attempts at contrition are downright cruel. The idea that one mistake, one behavior that is not perfect is going to make Alex drop Jamie as both his boyfriend and his sub without a word just didn’t sit well with me and really colored my opinion of Alex. This is especially true as we don’t really get to know much about Alex’s background, why he has been struggling finding a partner, etc, so his behavior seemed out of nowhere and way out of proportion to the situation. I kind of felt like Jamie would be better off with someone else at that point.
Overall, I did enjoy the aspects of the story that dealt with Jamie coming to find himself and explore his new interests. Kaye really captures that sense of excitement as things finally come together for him and he figures out what he has been missing in his life. Although I liked the guys together in general, their falling in love seemed a little fast and the ending conflict really didn’t work for me. But if you are looking for a quick, sexy BDSM story featuring someone exploring the lifestyle and his sexuality, this could be a good choice.
P.S. We do get a brief cameo here from Jeremy and Charlie from Hard to Be Good, another of Kaye’s m/m books set in a larger m/f series.