Story Rating: 3.75 stars
Audio Rating: 4.75 stars

Narrator: Michael Ferraiuolo
Length: 4 hours, 10 minutes

Audiobook Buy Links: Amazon/Audible | iBooks
Book Buy Links: Amazon | iBooks


Joel spent three miserable years in an abusive Dom/sub relationship. His former partner introduced the kink element and immersed himself in it, dragging Joel along as is increasingly unwilling submissive. After finally dumping him, Joel isolated himself from the only friends he knew—other members of the BDSM scene—worried that now that he knows he’s adamantly vanilla, his friends might reject him, or worse, try to convince him that he only dislikes kink because he had a terrible Dom. Thus, Joel is pleasantly surprised when he is warmly welcomed back at a brunch with the kink crew and downright shocked when his wet dream, Andre, not only knows Joel exists, but shows he missed Joel’s presence as well.

Once Joel and Andre hook up after Joel watches Andre perform a bondage scene with Joel’s best friend, the two men are addicted to the way they light the beds on fire, and eventually, how well they get along outside the dungeon. Yet, neither man can see a future together when their individual kink needs are so diametrically opposed and almost triggering for Joel. Neither wants to walk away from something that has the potential to be long-lasting and damn near perfect, but how can a Dominant sadist who loves flogging and bondage and almost strictly vanilla guy who can barely tolerate a blindfold find a compromise?

I had a hard time with this review. Not because Kinky Sprinkles isn’t well-written or that the characters aren’t believable and engaging, but because the aforementioned is true. Joel is not only self-conscious, a bit high-strung, and defensive, but he is also so new to recovery that he is basically a walking wound so sensitive to touch that just about everything (particularly anything related to BDSM) causes him to become anxious and sometimes near to panic. Even something as simple as having two guys apologize to him fills him with wonder and shock because of how traumatic his time with his ex was; it is this aspect that makes it a bit hard for me to fully commit to Joel and Andre’s HFN.

Not only is Joel touchy and reactionary to the slightest suggestion that he’s not vanilla, he’s still in the early stages of healing, where he has to remind himself that he can buy the bread he likes or can go somewhere without permission or an argument. Starting a brand-new relationship with someone so heavily invested in the BDSM community just seems like a bad idea. However, Witt does make their physical chemistry and their connection and enjoyment of one another’s company in the “real” world compelling enough to almost quell my doubts; had the story been a bit longer, I probably would have been completely onboard. Unfortunately, my trepidation about Joel and the back and forth of falling into bed with one another only to lament and reaffirm their inability to be together wore on my nerves a bit (especially since the solution they settle on seems obvious for people involved in such an open-minded community). But to be fair, it’s definitely not your standard obstacle-busting HEA solution.

What is standard is Michael Ferraiuolo’s stellar narration. As someone who has listened to many of his performances, this is one of my favorites. One of the most enjoyable aspects of Joel’s insecurity and indecisiveness is his mental self-deprecation and jokes/feelings he’d never admit to aloud. Ferraiuolo nails the tone and delivery of so many of Joel’s asides that I couldn’t help laughing, and the hint of the more confident man Joel can be once he deals with his previous relationship made me want Joel to go for it even if the timing isn’t the best. Moreover, the warmth, affection, and care that Andre feels for Joel is conveyed so well that, again, I couldn’t help but root for Joel to take a chance with Andre because Ferraiuolo makes it so apparent that Andre will take care of Joel’s heart and cherish him.

At its core, Kinky Sprinkles is a story about the fact that perfect opportunities don’t always come at the perfect time and sometimes one has to wrestle with all the obstacles again and again before deciding if the potential of something is worth fighting for. So, if you enjoy stories with back-and-forth angst born of imperfect timing, incompatible kinks, and undeniable attraction, narrated with heart and humor, you might want to try Kinky Sprinkles.

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