Title: Fugue
Author: Rick R. Reed
Publisher: JMS Books
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: Contemporary, BDSM, gay erotica (M/M)
Length: Extended Amber Kiss (11 K)
Rating: 5 stars out of 5


Who is the master and who is the slave?

In Rick R. Reed’s tortuously sexy short story, you might not always know. Fugue takes the brave reader into the dungeon playroom of a master and his boy. It’s the kind of place where “darkness skitters into corners, hiding in shadows where the walls disappear.” A boy is chained to the pipes along the ceiling. Hooded, he can only experience the sensations his master delivers with his whips, fingers, tongue…

But in the boy’s mind, a dream state takes him places even the master could not imagine…places where the established pecking order is turned upside down. As he’s being deliciously whipped, tantalized, and tortured, the boy takes a mental journey on a late-night train where his adventures are even more raw and erotic than what goes on in this very dungeon.

Come along for the Fugue…and answer for yourself the question: who is the master and who is the slave?


Fugue begins with a slave awaiting his master in a damp, filthy dungeon, and the author sets the stage so well that I had no difficulty picturing the sub chained to pipes, shackled, his naked, freshly shaved body shivering in anticipation and dread for the pain he will endure for love of his Master. This book is made up of layers and aromas, from the decay and mildew of the roach infested surroundings to the smell of the leather hood that covers the sub’s head and face as his world is thrust into darkness. I felt what he feels as he escapes the darkness into an alternate imaginary world, riding the el train in Chicago.

On the el we meet two men sitting opposite each other, one young, in his late teens, the other a much older man dressed in leather chaps, boots and cap; the Leatherman is tall, muscular and has a small tattoo on one of his biceps – one word: fugue . The men are total opposites, one is rough, tough and powerful and the other is little more than a boy, affluent looking, with a lean body and beautiful. Their only companion in the carriage is an older woman who disembarks at the next stop and when the men are left alone a metamorphosis takes place as the boy becomes the Master and the man the sub.

The men explore their physical attraction in a darkened alcove of the train. Just when things are getting hotter and they are about to embark on a new, more sexual journey the train stops at the next station at the worst possible moment and our would-be lovers have to hide their presence, frustration and what they had been doing as a young couple enters the carriage. They hope for deliverance from their unwelcome companions and hold their breath; their prayers are answered as the couple leave at the next stop.

The intensity is maintained throughout the story as our lovers continue their train journey which turns into a wild ride in a scenario that’s as sexy as any I have ever read. In both the dungeon scene between the young sub and his Master and on the train there is no let up as the author generously takes us along with him.

This is the second Rick R. Reed book that I have read and I was struck by his delightful prose and spectacular world building as he weaves these two tales on parallel tracks – one is pure imagery and escapism through the mind of the sub as he turns his situation around 180 degrees and becomes the Master, and the other story is more traditional as the slave submits to his Master.

Fugue is perhaps more reality than most of us will ever want to experience. There is not a lot of dialogue, and it’s more a sensuous and deeply emotional ride as the slave invites us along. Mr. Reed is an exceptional writer who provided me with an experience that’s not just another well written tale. His writing style is unique and he paints pictures of different hues with words, and his worlds are so detailed that you live them. Fugue is not a love story even though the boy loves his Master, what it is, is an adventure into eroticism that is emotionally and physically intense both on the train and in the BDSM sequences, and the train is as much part of the story as the well drawn, three dimensional characters, as it stops at different stations and the protagonists wait with bated breath to see if someone will join them.

The word “fugue” is defined as a work of music with many “voices” based on a single melody, repeated in various ways and Rick R. Reed’s book of the same name is a lesson in how to strike the right notes at varying intervals to increase the intensity in a different type of performance


I live in Canada and I love big dogs, music, movies, reading and sports – especially baseball


  • you can always get the ebook *giggle*

    I’m not even going to dignify this with an answer. *g* And I know about the girl cooties, but I don’t mind. I’m nowhere near as concerned as Jen about that 😉 Plus in this story, it’s a necessary part of the plot.

  • Orientation is 249 pages in .pdf and I’m really looking forward to reading it, even though there are “girl cooties” in it. If you read the blurb on the website you’ll understand what I mean 🙂 I gave Rick hell.

    It’s not yet available in Canada (I just checked for you) but you can always get the ebook *giggle*

  • Orientation is a long book? *sigh* Damn. I hope it’s available in print in Canada by the time can find time for it.

    And what you said made me realize that I can enlarge my PDFs to see the text bigger, too 😀 Maybe that can make the reading on the computer less tedious. But my problem is the opposite of yours; I’ve been myopic since I was 9, so the only thing I can ever do without my glasses is reading… if it’s a print book I can hold close enough. Lol.

  • Rick told me that once I start Orientation I won’t be able to stop, so I have to set aside a lot of time because it’s not a short book.

    For me it’s much easier to read ebooks because I can adjust the print size (as you get older those things are important, Mary *g*) an d it’s really handy to have the computer right there.

    I left you a message on LJ.

  • Lol. And here another reason I don’t like e-books is PRECISELY because I also work on my computer most of the day, so when I leave work I don’t want to see a computer again until the next afternoon 😀 I’m glad you are enjoying The Dreyfus Affair ! It was an original and funny book. Although I think I liked Almost Like Being In Love even more. The style is different though – more Janet-Evanovich-ish :-DD

    And I’ve had Orientation on my wish list ever since I first saw it on the site. It looked intriguing and different. Pretty obvious it wasn’t a conventional story by any means but it looked like there would be a bit of romance too. Looks worth it. 🙂

  • I have to set aside some real time to read The Dreyfus Affair b/c it’s a print book. It’s so much easier for me to read ebooks because I work from my computer all day, so when I have a break I just open a book. But I promise to do it soon.

  • oh… I am looking forward to your Dreyfus Affair review. I love that book 🙂

    There’s been loads and loads of rumours that it will be made into a movie – but it’s been going on for 10 years!

  • Mary
    I forgot to answer your question re The Dreyfus Affair. I just started it and so far it’s really good. I have the same problems with print books as you with ebooks – I have to find blocks of time to read them. While with ebooks b/c I’m only computer so much it’s really easy. But it’s really good so far.

    I recommended The One That Got Away to Tam late on Wednesday evening and she was so greedy she finished it in the early hours of Thursday morning. She is now blaming me for her lack of sleep and bags under her eyes:)

  • Eve
    Not everyone likes BDSM. As I told Mary I try to review many genres so that fans of those types of books can check out a review or two of their favourite genre.

    If you like horror apparently Rick Reed is a master of the genre, and as I mentioned earlier, I’m going to read Orientation which is on top of my TBR pile and hopefully review it within the next couple of weeks. I’m such a chicken I can only read it during the day. 🙂

  • Hi Mary
    BDSM is not for everyone and I only read it occasionally.

    What I try to do on the blog is to review most types of books so that fans of different genres can check out their favourite type of book if they like my review and think the book is worth buying.

    I don’t read horror anymore and have only reviewed one on the blog but I think Rick’s writing has persuaded me to try a couple of his horrors, so I’ll be reading Orientation soon as well as another very short book that he recently released.


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