Sanctus Infinitus Redemptio is a private and elite BDSM society founded hundreds of years ago with chapters all over the world. Sig Bruckner is a Dom with Sanctus and he has a wonderful submissive in Levin. Sig is more than content with his relationship with Levin, and so he is surprised when his mentor asks him to take on a second submissive. Hunter Vargo was placed with a Dom that violated his trust and his limits and Hunter is feeling insecure and adrift. The hope is that Sig can provide a more stable and loving environment in which Hunter can thrive. However, given Hunter’s bad experience with his previous Dom, it is decided that he will have a week trial run with Sig and Levin before anything is made permanent. In that time, Sig can help Hunter become comfortable and confident, but they are not to engage sexually while Hunter is still deciding if he will stay with Sig.
It doesn’t take long before Sig comes to care for Hunter, and he is thrilled to see that Levin happily takes Hunter under his wing as well. As first sub, it is important that Levin also accept Hunter into their lives, and the two submissives quickly form a bond. But keeping Hunter at a distance sexually is challenging for Sig, as he finds himself so drawn to the man. At the same time, Sig is determined to let Hunter decide if he wants to stay with Sig and not put any undue pressure on him. Soon, however, it becomes clear that Hunter is still feeling uncertain and Sig comes to fear he will not want to stay when the week is out. Sig prides himself on taking great care of his subs, but he isn’t sure where he is failing Hunter and it is killing him to see the man unhappy. Now Sig, Levin, and Hunter must open up to each other and share their true feelings and just maybe they will find the perfect fit among the three of them.
SIR is a sweet menage story with a BDSM overlay. I enjoyed how N.R. Walker explores the relationships among the three men, with one established couple in Sig and Levin, and then the new dynamic of adding Hunter in their existing relationship. I appreciated that the story gives focus to not just Sig and Hunter, but also to how this new Dom/sub partnership impacts Sig’s relationship with Levin. I think it is an interesting choice that we are in Sig’s POV here. In some ways, it seems like this is Hunter’s journey and so having his POV would make sense, but I actually think it really worked quite well putting us in Sig’s viewpoint instead. It helped express both Sig’s desire to protect and care for Hunter, and also kept Hunter’s feelings a little unclear to the reader. This works nicely with the story as Sig is not certain what Hunter is feeling or if he will want to stay with them.
Walker describes this story as BDSM-lite in the blurb and I think that is very accurate. Sig describes himself as a “soft Dom” in that he is very tender and nurturing and his interests lie more in acts of submission than things like pain play or intense dominance. If you are not a big BDSM reader, I think this book will still be very accessible as the kink scenes are almost exclusively focused on bringing the men sexual pleasure, along with some basic submission elements. As Hunter and Sig are not sexually intimate for most of the book, I think Walker provides a nice range of scenes here. We see the steamy intensity of Sig’s sexual scenes with Levin, as well as the way Hunter is incorporated into their relationship and their scenes without directly sexually engaging with either of them (however, lots of watching and enjoying happens here, so never fear).
The sweetness and warmth that I loved in this story is also what gave me a little pause here. These men are just so good, so seemingly perfect, that I found it almost too sweet at times. Sig is the most caring, loving, doting Dom there is. Levin not only accepts Hunter into their relationship, but he enthusiastically shares his Dom and his life with Hunter without the slightest hint of jealously. Both men seem to adore Hunter from the moment they meet him and he integrates into their lives almost seamlessly. There is tension that comes from Sig and Levin’s uncertainty that Hunter will want to stay with them, and Hunter has some issues to work through. But for the most part, things are very easy and these men are presented pretty ideally. Which isn’t not necessarily bad, but at times just veered a bit too far on the too perfect side for me.
You also have to just go with the whole Sanctus concept. Walker makes clear in the front matter of the book that this is a fantasy-type society and you need to be able to accept that to really enjoy the book. The idea of this BDSM society existing all over the world with total secrecy, and where the members basically live in exclusive communities where they interact almost solely with each other and live by their own rules takes a bit to swallow. I kept forgetting that this was supposed to be a real, contemporary world, and not a fantasy or alternate world story. But if you can go with the premise, I think the story works well within that framework. I have no idea if Walker plans for more books in this series, but there are lots of opportunities for interesting stories witting this setting.
Overall, these men are all sweet, loving, and truly care for one another and so there is a lot of warmth to this story and to the relationships they build. I really enjoyed the dynamic among the men and the way we see the connections develop and unfold. If you like your kink with a lot of sugar, I think SIR will be a great fit.