Changing the Rules

Diane Leyne
Changing the Rules
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Release Date
February 2013
Book 1 of Club Libertine
BDSM, Erotic Romance, Ménage or more

At twenty-one, Michelle Edwards loved her boyfriend Mac Whelan and his best friend Sean O'Mally. The three of them lived happily together until one night, Mac invited Sean to join them in a ménage. Michelle enjoyed it, but because of her upbringing, her feelings scared her and she ran away from the men she loved.

Ten years later, to pay a debt and save her grandparents' home, Michelle reluctantly agrees to be their sub for a month. The sex is hot, but the men hold her at a distance, especially Mac. And something else has changed. The men are now Doms at the city's notorious Club Libertine and expect her complete submission.

She realizes quickly that she still loves them, but do they just want revenge because she left them, or is there a chance for all three of them to be happy again?

Book Review by Rain Hart (reviewer)
Jun 20, 2013   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
317 people found the following review helpful
Nice, hot, short read!

When she first met Mac and Sean, Michelle was attracted to both of them. Sean was tall, blond, easygoing guy, while Mac was dark and intense – a complete opposite. They were both instantly attracted to her as well. Still, Mac made it clear he wanted her, and the decision was made... Until one night they thought sharing would be way better for them all, and tried ménage. That night was perfect, but Michelle woke up full of doubts and fears, decided she can't do it after all, packed, and left them only a note, expecting they'll never see each other again.

Ten years later, though, they meet again. In order to pay a debt and save her grandparents' home, Michelle is about to sign a contract that will make her their sub for a month. And although it's just the three of them again, nothing is the same. Mac and Sean are Doms now, and they are doing everything they can to keep their distance but expect her to submit completely. To make matters worse, Michelle only just realized she still loves them both, but can't figure out if there's a chance for them to finally be together, or are they only trying to get back at her for leaving them all those years ago.

Will they manage to find a way to overcome the past? Will Michelle win them back? Or will they push her too far?

I have to admit, I really liked the theme and the blurb, but in my opinion, the execution left a lot to be desired. The whole story seems rushed and all over the place. I really wish it were longer, as I believe it would provide more space for development.

The biggest issue I had was a severe lack of communication. After Michelle ran away, they haven't seen each other for ten years, but when she returned, they still failed to address her reason for leaving or take the time to get to know each other again. It seemed like it was all about revenge for the two of them, but at the same time they still loved her and kept sending her mixed messages. At one point, it all became... hopeless.

Still, the characters are likable, and my favorite part was definitely Michelle's decision to change the rules. If it weren't for that, the story couldn't possibly be this good. This way, as it turns out, the best was saved for last.
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Book Review by BookAddict (reviewer)
Mar 13, 2014   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
307 people found the following review helpful
Reuniting with estranged lovers is never easy. It's worse when the lovers were left behind and now they want revenge and hold the upper hand.

In college, Michelle loved Mac with all her heart. When Mac invites Sean into their bed, her morning after regret is too strong and she flees. The sex was too kinky for her. Now, ten years later, both men are rich and even kinkier than in their twenties.

From a ménage fantasy, this is a good read. The BDSM is what is slightly off. There are several things written about BDSM in this story that makes me think Ms. Leyne is not in the lifestyle. In addition, her research was cursory or perhaps based upon other romantic BDSM stories.

The first one, which bothered me, is the way a safe word is abused.

"'Red' will stop everything. You say 'red' during sex and it all ends. You leave. Period. No discussion. Understand?" (pg. 34)

Seriously? Use the safe word and out the door, don't let it hit you on the way out? What kind of dominant does this with their submissive? None I know and none I'd ever play with.

Another one which rubbed me wrong was the rules for the BDSM club. This is a club which apparently goes with high protocol. Because Michelle is warned if she missteps, she will "be subject to strict rules, and any Dom or Domme will have the right to punish you for your infraction." (pg. 65) She was told they [submissives] have no right to refuse a Dom except by saying their safe word, which would also mean they had to leave for the evening. (pg. 68)

This completely rubbed me wrong from a BDSM perspective. It's probably the reason why I'm not in a high protocol relationship or organization. Just because a person chooses to be a submissive does not mean they are a submissive to anyone else. This edict also completely bypasses negotiation which is also suspect.

From sexual heat standpoint, this story is arousing and enjoyable. The ménage is explosive, even the train wreck public spanking turned into a sexual exhibition. Each of the characters are easily understandable even if they make mistakes in communication. It makes a reader wonder just how good of a dominant Mac and Sean are when they make so many mistakes in breaching trust. It's almost painful to watch. Still from a story conflict, it is needed.

Overall, this is a good romance with a good BDSM fantasy. Recommended for romance lovers who enjoy ménage and kink.
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