Title: A Man, a Jersey and a Tight End
Author: A.M. Riley
Publisher: Loose Id
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: m/m/m/m contemporary BDSM, D/s romance
Length: 210 Pages
Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
A guest review by Jenre
‘A Man, a Jersey and a Tight End’ picks up where AM Riley’s High Ball, ‘Goldilocks and His Three Bears’ left off, with Brian and his housemates and lovers sorting out the rues of their unusual relationship. Paul and Scott are away for long periods of time, their work putting stress in the relationship.
Add in Brian’s curiosity and need, where he fears the growth will send him farther from his men, and things to start to reach their breaking point. Jim feels the strain of holding the household together and Scott, being Scott, can always find a way to throw a wrench in things. Can the Goldilocks boys find a way to keep their unique family together?
A Man, a Jersey and a Tight End is the sequel to Goldilocks and His Three Bears (GAHTB) which has a place on my keeper shelf. GAHTB is, rather unfortunately, out of print – a great shame in my opinion because I love its cheeky humour and theme of four men who fall into a rather unconventional relationship. When this sequel opens it follows on almost directly on from the previous book. The four men – Dom & Alpha male Paul or ‘Daddy’; the other Dom and peacemaker Jim or ‘Momma Bear’; the irascible reluctant sub Scott and the bouncy sub Brian – are settling into their roles in the household based on their domestic discipline relationship. Paul and Brian are a couple and Jim and Scott are a couple, but within those dynamics there is a certain amount of fluidity as both subs answer to either Dom and they all have sex with each other should the fancy arise. It’s unconventional to say the least but it works within the context of the book. It is rather important to have read the first book to understand how these power dynamics came into being and I’m rather hoping that AM Riley will find a new publisher for GAHTB as it’s well worth reading.
This book then follows the four men as they seek to cement the rules of their relationship and move tentatively into a lifestyle based on reward and punishment with quite a lot of BDSM thrown into the mix. Brian is especially interested in some of the aspects of BDSM and although Paul is nervous about it there’s quite a few scenes where they are trying out that kind of role play in the bedroom. This led to a number of intense sex scenes which worked well in furthering the characterisation of Paul and Brian who were the main focus of the first book. I would say that the focus is more on Scott and Jim in this book as Scott finds what Paul and Brian are doing quite bewildering and reacts badly to it a number of times. Scott also brings another man into the house – Joshua – and there is a sub-plot between Joshua and another man, Freddie, which takes up some of the second part of the book.
The tone of the first book was generally very lighthearted and I got the impression that I wasn’t really supposed to take it that seriously. In this sequel the tone is much darker, and rightly so as we move more into the nitty gritty of what a domestic discipline relationship entails. There were still quite a number of funny, and even laugh out loud, moments, especially when Brian and Scott put their heads together to stir up trouble for Jim and Paul. On the whole though this book is designed to look at how reward and punishment can be used effectively in a relationship between a Dom and Sub. As a result of this there were also some scenes, mostly involving Scott, that I found uncomfortable. I can understand the use of spanking/paddles for sexual pleasure, but when it was used for punishing a sub for a wrongdoing, I felt a little uneasy. My unease was partly due to the fact that we don’t get Scott’s thoughts during this time and so I didn’t really understand why he needed to be punished in this way. I could only assume that his low self-esteem, which is another characteristic of Scott’s to be drawn out during this book, is what fuels him to need that punishment.
I always feel quite amazed when I read this book or GAHTB that the author who wrote this also wrote the very serious and emotional books Amor En Retrogrado and The Elegant Corpse. In some ways it shows how versatile AM Riley is as an author that this book is part of that author’s repetoire. Having said that, this book is one of AM Riley’s early works and there are some mistakes – such as the viewpoint being rather all over the place by randomly switching from one character to another – which have been ironed out in the author’s later books. Some readers may also be put off by the number of main characters in the book – six in all – but I found it quite easy to follow what was happening with each character so it wasn’t a problem for me.
Overall, A Man a Jersey and a Tight End is an enjoyable book: The writing is tight, the characters are well drawn and sympathetic, the sex scenes are a mix of hot and tender and the themes of the book were unusual enough to keep my attention. It’s a book I would recommend, particularly to those who have read GAHTB and who are interested in a well written book about men in a domestic discipline relationship.