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The Collared Pup

The Collared Pup - Shea Balik

Nope didn't like this one at all. Picked it fairly at random 'cause the blurb sounded decent. And it's BDSM, which I thought would be a good thing but, I really don't like a lot of the way it's portrayed in this one -and in a lot of romance novels m/m and het both. Bram the Dom in this one, decided that Ethan (sub) was 'his' within seconds of meeting him. While Ethan was at the hospital to get treatment after being badly beaten by his brother! Yeah that's appropriate. And he keeps thinking of Ethan as 'his boy' way before he ever broaches the subject with E. Which is just, not ok. People, even submissives, aren't objects you can just pick up and keep at your whim without any input from them. The way Ethan is so desperate for affection and validation makes the situation even more unsavory. Because he's so eager for anyone to like him he'd agree to whatever they asked.


I thought Bram's behavior towards Ethan was frequently infantalizing. And it's one thing if that's the dynamic you enjoy and you choose it, totally another if one party decides that's what you get and expects you to live with it.


In the beginning Ethan complains that Bram treats him like a kid (his objection that he's a man is prompted not because the way Bram is acting is insulting -and it totally is- but because why would Bram want someone sexually when he has to take care of them like a little kid. Blech.) Ethan is scolded for swearing, because 'Bram's sweet boy' doesn't get to say things like that ( fuck off, seriously.) For leaving the room/house and not telling Bram where he is going. Urk barf no. And none of these things are negotiated first, or at all. Bram decides and Ethan is just expected to accept whatever he's told.


And one that really bothers me, Ethan throughout the book jokes with his friends Zeke and Aiden trading insults and giving each other a hard time, it's mutual and a facet of their friendship, no malice intended. It's also one of the rare example of him having a personality beyond 'needy needy needy'. And every time Bram hears it he admonishes E, frequently in front of his friends- and/or punishes him for it. Fuck you Bram. I mean that sincerely. You are an asshole. You don't get to dictate how he relates to his friends.


I feel like I need to read a good BDSM now, where all parties are equal, even (especially) when they aren't.