Melanie Abrams
Julius Addlesee
Shelley Aikens
A. Aimee
Jeanne Ainslie
Fredrica Alleyn
Rebecca Ambrose
Diane Anderson-Minshall
Laura Antoniou
Janine Ashbless
Lisette Ashton
Gavin Atlas
Danielle Austen
J. P. Beausejour
P.K. Belden
Tina Bell
Jove Belle
Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore
Ronica Black
Candace Blevins
Primula Bond
Lionel Bramble
A. J. Bray
Samantha Brook
Matt Brooks
Zetta Brown
James Buchanan
Louisa Burton
Angela Campion
Angela Caperton
Annabeth Carew
Julia Chambers
Dale Chase
M. Christian
Greta Christina
Valentina Cilescu
Rae Clark
NJ Cole
Christina Crooks
Julius Culdrose
Portia da Costa
Alan Daniels
Angraecus Daniels
Dena De Paulo
Vincent Diamond
Susan DiPlacido
Noelle Douglas-Brown
Hypnotic Dreams
Amanda Earl
Hank Edwards
Jeremy Edwards
Stephen Elliott
Madelynne Ellis
Justine Elyot
Aurelia T. Evans
Lucy Felthouse
Jesse Fox
I. G. Frederick
Simone Freier
Louis Friend
Polly Frost
William Gaius
Bob Genz
Shanna Germain
J. J. Giles
Lesley Gowan
K D Grace
K. D. Grace
Sacchi Green
Ernest Greene
Tamzin Hall
R. E. Hargrave
P. S. Haven
Trebor Healey
Vicki Hendricks
Scott Alexander Hess
Richard Higgins
Julie Hilden
E. M. Hillwood
Amber Hipple
William Holden
Senta Holland
David Holly
Michelle Houston
Debra Hyde
M. E. Hydra
Vina Jackson
Anneke Jacob
Maxim Jakubowski
Kay Jaybee
Ronan Jefferson
Amanda Jilling
SM Johnson
Raven Kaldera
J. P. Kansas
Kevin Killian
D. L. King
Catt Kingsgrave
Kate Kinsey
Geoffrey Knight
Varian Krylov
Vivienne LaFay
Teresa Lamai
Lisa Lane
Randall Lang
James Lear
Amber Lee
Nikko Lee
Tanith Lee
Annabeth Leong
James W. Lewis
Marilyn Jaye Lewis
Ashley Lister
Fiona Locke
Clare London
Scottie Lowe
Simon Lowrie
Catherine Lundoff
Michael T. Luongo
Jay Lygon
Helen E. H. Madden
Nancy Madore
Jodi Malpas
Jeff Mann
Alma Marceau
Sommer Marsden
Gwen Masters
Sean Meriwether
Bridget Midway
I. J. Miller
Madeline Moore
Lucy V. Morgan
Julia Morizawa
David C. Morrow
Walter Mosley
Peggy Munson
Zoe Myonas
Alicia Night Orchid
Craig Odanovich
Cassandra Park
Michael Perkins
Christopher Pierce
Lance Porter
Jack L. Pyke
Devyn Quinn
Cameron Quitain
R. V. Raiment
Shakir Rashaan
Jean Roberta
Paige Roberts
Sam Rosenthal
D. V. Sadero
C Sanchez-Garcia
Lisabet Sarai
R Paul Sardanas
R. Paul Sardanas
Elizabeth Schechter
Erica Scott
Kemble Scott
Mele Shaw
Simon Sheppard
Tom Simple
Talia Skye
Susan St. Aubin
Charlotte Stein
C. Stetson
Chancery Stone
Donna George Storey
Darcy Sweet
Rebecca Symmons
Mitzi Szereto
Cecilia Tan
Lily Temperley
Vinnie Tesla
Claire Thompson
Alexis Trevelyan
Alison Tyler
Gloria Vanderbilt
Vanessa Vaughn
Elissa Wald
Saskia Walker
Kimberly Warner-Cohen
Brian Whitney
Carrie Williams
Peter Wolkoff
T. Martin Woody
Beth Wylde
Daddy X
Lux Zakari
Fiona Zedde
By: Jack L. Pyke
Fantastic Fiction Publishing
December 2012

Reviewed By: Kathleen Bradean

The worst thing about reviewing a thriller is that almost anything I say about the plot may be a spoiler. The best thing is that I love thrillers, and Don’t is a pretty good one. This is what I like to see in erotic fiction – a solid story with decent writing. Period. If it fails there, the sex scenes aren’t going to help it. It’s also so refreshing to step outside the cookie-cutter Dom/sub mansion training secret society high fantasy world. Okay – there’s a mansion and a secret society, but that’s not the main focus, and the dynamics of the relationships are more compatible with real life than the way they’re portrayed in many other novels.

Let’s see if I can give you an idea of the plot without giving anything away.

Jack owns a garage but he also works as a mechanic there. His need for order and cleanliness is challenged every day. He has OCD and a few other issues that are best kept under control when he has a Dom to help him through things. One of his other issues, however, is in direct opposition to being a sub: his first impulse is always to disobey. So when he gets a mysterious email that begins with the order “Don’t,” he does exactly what it says not to do. He doesn’t know who is sending these messages, or apparently how this person got such direct personal access to him. Then Mr. Perfect Vanilla comes into his life. The messages start coming more frequently and weird things begin to happen. Whoever is sending the messages is getting closer, and his demands are getting more intense. Mr. Perfect Vanilla is finding out more about Jack and he’s not sure he can handle all of Jack’s issues, but he tries. As Jack tries to balance his secrets, his love life, and the escalating creepiness of the mystery man, everything falls apart.

This is a long novel, and as I read the second half, I wished it had been split into two stories. It began as a captivating psychological thriller and it would have been nice if that had remained the focus. It could have been amazingly intense. The second half with the complications of a relationship between a very vanilla guy and a man who really needs a Dom would have made a compelling stand alone novel. Instead, neither premise is used to its full potential.

While the copy edit on this novel was very good, some intense story-level editing was needed here. There were far too many secondary characters without much to make them stand out. After reading several paragraphs devoted to a woman at Jack’s dojo, I expected her to become relevant in the story, but she was never seen again.  A good edit would have deleted those useless paragraphs. That’s just one example, but there were many problems like that. Easily twenty percent of the word count could have been cut and not changed the core of the story(ies). The narrative needed to be clarified and tightened. And I was extremely disappointed in the reveal. You may think that means I don’t recommend the book. That’s not quite true. There’s a lot to like about this book. I just wish it had been either a thriller or a story about a difficult relationship and spent time exploring either one of those worthy themes. It’s evident from what I read that the writer has the talent to do it, and do it well.