Story Rating: 3.75 stars
Audio Rating: 4.5 stars

Narrator: Shannon Gunn
Length: 8 hours, 58 minutes

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


Nav likes sex preferably with no attachments. He’s had lots of partners over the years, but none of them can give Nav what he’s truly craving. He wants someone to take care of him and know what he needs, but Nav doesn’t even fully understand what it is he needs himself. That is until the night he’s in an alley next to the dance club and a stranger mistakes him for someone else, pinning Nav to the brick wall and taking everything Nav is comfortable giving. Except the man is not a stranger, he’s Nav’s neighbor, Trick, and the scene was supposed to be with Trick’s partner and fiancé, Theo. When Trick realizes his mistake, he is horrified.

Trick has been with Theo for ten years and their relationship has been great. They know their kinks don’t always align, but they have always worked through it. Except this time, when Theo was going to call a halt to the outdoor scene, as it was just too far out of his comfort zone. Theo talks Trick down when Trick can’t make sense of how this happened with Nav. Theo also encourages Trick to give Nav the aftercare he clearly needs. But Trick and Nav need each other, and Theo has his own needs that aren’t being met, and their lives become a tangle to sort through.

Kinked Up rides high on the BDSM, as it is a huge part on Trick’s life. Nav has always dreamed of a having a partner like Trick, but he has never been in the scene before. Nav likes to be used and when he finds himself in a dark alley with a dominant stranger, Nav is all in. It’s consensual non-consent, as the stranger checked in with Nav and Nav always felt he could get out of the scene if he needed to, but Trick is horrified when he realizes that Nav is not his fiancé.

In some ways, I felt like I was put into the middle of a story. We don’t get that much history on Trick and Theo’s relationship and, at first, I couldn’t understand why Theo wasn’t more upset when he found Trick accidentally having a scene with Nav. Trick and Theo’s relationship does get more detail as the book goes on, but in the beginning, things felt very abrupt given their ten-year relationship.

Nav likes to feel pain and Trick introduces him to a whole world of it. When the men first get together, however, they never have a conversation on limits or what their relationship is, which causes jealousy and Trick to lose control in a way an experienced Dom shouldn’t. Nav was always interested in kink and, while he never had a partner, he never did any research on it either. He was naïve about everything and he probably could have looked on the internet at some point in his life so he wasn’t so shocked by everything. The scenes get dark and dirty, but the men don’t communicate well at all. We see their scenes, but not so much the development of a relationship, and we are told they are in love, but that part of their relationship isn’t on page as much. There is also a story regarding a painting that Trick has in his apartment and, for as much of a focal point as it was in the beginning, I wanted something more to close that part of the plot.

If you like BDSM scenes that take a partner to the edge, you will find that here, although with less relationship development overall.

Shannon Gunn narrated this audio and he was a good choice for these characters. He has a deep, forceful tone that worked well for Trick and he was able to tone it down some for Nav. Gunn’s inflections felt right there in the room, as scenes and emotions heated up for Trick and Nav and he performed this well and set the right tone for the book. His pace and cadence were on point and the audio is a great way to experience this book and bring it to life.