Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Connor's Journey, A Velvet Glove Story by Sean Michael
Author: Sean Michael
Length: 139 pages
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: m/m futuristic BDSM
Connor attends a friend's pre-commitment send-off at the Velvet Glove, and he knows he's out of place, but is determined to enjoy his one night among the rich. Then he meets Desmond, a regular member, who wants to show him everything about being a sub if he'll take a five year contract. It beats his old job, but can he do the things Desmond wants him to?
Originally published on the Turn of the Screw serial service, and in print in Velvet Glove, Volume 1.
This was written as a serial and has pretty much just been put together, including chapter headings. For those not familiar with the Velvet Glove, it is a self-contained BDSM community/club set at some point in the future. Many people have apartments at the Velvet Glove and there are all kinds of services for the residents, most of them BDSM related. As the blurb notes, Connor is there for a friend's party, but he has no experience in BDSM at all, but the club part is pretty tame. However he's soon approached by Desmond and before Connor knows what hit him, he's getting a tour of the facility including seeing a whipping in progress and needless to say, he's a bit wigged out. So they head up to Desmond's apartment and within hours Desmond has gotten Connor to agree to a five year contract to be his sub, even though Connor has no clue what that entails. However Desmond "knows" that Connor will be a perfect sub.
The next several chapters chronicle Connor's adjustment to the lifestyle, including shopping for fancy clothes (Connor was a blue collar worker), learning about submission and pain and of course getting a tattoo and some piercings because what sub would be complete without them. There is also a commitment ceremony of his own as they soon discover they are made for each other and a collar appears.
There were some pretty obvious continuity errors. I even double checked and sure enough "they were both naked" and then ten minutes later he's undoing Desmond's pants. Umm. How did they get back on him? As well, Desmond has a rather odd method of speaking, rather formal and stilted and until he starts calling Connor, Lyum, he seems insistent on calling him by his first and last name. Connor Dean. It either kept annoying me as if his name was Billy Bob or something being called David Jones. "Come and sit by me David Jones." Huh? Connor always referred to himself just as Connor so I found it rather odd.
On the whole the BDSM is pretty light given that Connor is a newbie and Desmond doesn't want to freak him out too much. Connor's amazement at the life he now leads with perpetually rich Desmond was cute to observe, but the whole "I knew you were perfect for me the minute I saw you" thing kind of caused a bit of eye rolling. The BDSM equivalent of gaydar? There were a few cameos by other characters in the Velvet Glove universe, but none of them more than a fleeting glimpse save for the piercer/tattooist twins from Braided. I've not read too many of these stories, a few including Braided, but I'm not sure this was a must-read unless you are a real fan, but then most fans probably caught it the first time around.