Word on a Wing by Jamie Craig

Title: Word on a Wing
Author: Jamie Craig
Publisher: MLR Press
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance/BDSM
Length: Novel
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

A guest review by Lily

Review Summary

The evolving relationship between an older Dominant man and a younger submissive man. There’s blackmail, violence and even death mixed into this story of a new D/s relationship that turns to love.


Young, directionless Casey Eller is the perfect bait for a trap Sheriff Kirkland’s been laying for fifteen years. On Christmas Eve, he uses Casey to stage incriminating photos of the most powerful man in town, a brutal sadist who takes his pleasure from torturing his subs. A man whose cruelty has only grown since Kirkland subbed for him.

When Casey ends up hurt, Kirkland realizes his mistake. Ashamed of himself, he treats Casey’s injuries and offers the unconditional acceptance and devotion that a slave craves from his Master. Kirkland knows he can’t give Casey a lifetime, but will two days be enough for either of them?


Casey Eller is a young man drifting through life. He lives in a small town and works a factory job he really doesn’t like. He spends most of his off time hanging out with friends, drinking and smoking pot, while dreaming of some day getting away to a better life.

When he’s pulled over one night, stoned and with a bit of pot in his car, Casey is nervous but when he sees that it’s Sheriff Finn Kirkland who’s stopped him, he goes from nervous to flat out scared very quickly. The Sheriff is a no-nonsense, by the book cop and everyone knows that the best thing to do, especially when you’re not exactly following the law, is to stay out of his way. Faced with an intent to sell charge, even though it’s not true, Casey decides he has no choice but to accept whatever deal the Sheriff has for him.

Casey’s decision and the sexual encounters he has with Finn during and after his ‘arrest’ bordered on non-con but served to bring him and Finn into greater contact. As he prepares to take part in the blackmail of a prominent citizen Casey finds himself also becoming attracted to the older man. Finn, close to twenty years older than Casey and very familiar with the dangers he could be facing, ultimately decides to let him of the hook. Unfortunately Casey acts on his own with disastrous results.

Afterward, as Finn takes care of Casey the men slowly form a relationship based on mutual need. Finn is a Dom who’s been holding back his true nature for a long time and Casey, although relatively inexperienced, finds that he’s happiest when he lets himself submit fully to Finn. What follows is a gripping tale of lust, D/s, old hurts, new love, dysfunctional family dynamics and at the end a shocking and unexpected twist that leaves one person dead, another wounded and two at a crossroads in their lives.

What I liked…

I really liked the character of Casey. I could really ‘see’ him, young and drifting through life, getting high with his friends to escape the boredom of a small town and an unhappy family life, Casey is a wonderful character despite his flaws. I liked his journey of self-discovery as he learns about his submissive side yet finds inner strength to get through some painful events.

I also liked the D/s element of the story as Casey grows confident in himself and gains trust in Finn  as well. Their story is wonderfully written and I enjoyed reading the slow development of their relationship, based on their mutual needs to dominate and submit and their growing love for each other.

What I didn’t like…

For a large portion of the story I didn’t like the character of Finn. Manipulative and self-serving, I felt he abused the power of his job as he practically forced himself on Casey and then was the cause, however unintentionally, of Casey’s suffering. Despite that, he eventually did redeem himself as he cared for Casey and then fell in love with him.

Something else that didn’t quite work for me was the blackmail scheme that Finn came up with. It just never quite felt right to me that Finn, a strong man and a dedicated police officer, would come up with that plan and then coerce an innocent young man into helping him. Afterward, when Casey does get the material that Finn was after, it’s not used. In fact it was pretty much a wasted, and painful, effort on his part.


This is a well written story that pushed me a bit past my usual boundaries. However, once on the other side I discovered that I did in fact enjoy Casey and Finn’s story. Despite my reservations about Finn I came to like them as a couple. The events near the end of the book and the way they are handled were totally unexpected yet fit well in the storyline. I liked the POV alternating between them which gave me a sense for who each man really was and a nice look at them as their relationship evolved.

This story may not appeal to everyone, in fact at first I wasn’t sure I would like it at all, but as I went along for the ride with Casey and Finn I found myself really happy that I didn’t give up on them. I did waffle a bit with the rating as I really enjoyed parts of the story while others bothered me but in the end gave it 4 stars because overall I did like it quite a bit. If you like a well written D/s story and don’t mind some violence as well as a couple of scenes that may be considered non-con then I recommend Word on a Wing.


  • Lily
    Great review of what worked and didn’t for you. I’ll definitely be reading this one.

    I like the elements you mentioned and I don’t mind non con, dub con or any con for that matter. 🙂 the D/s element would enhance the story for me and I would like to see how the 20 year difference worked in their relationship. I also don’t mind violence and I love cop stories. Angst – not my thing, but everything else works. 🙂

    Thanks Lily

  • Great review, Lily, and I’m with Eden; this sounds great for me. And BDSM? 🙂 Whee!

    I read the excerpt and was fine with what went on there, which I’d call dub-con and seems very plot-related.

    I have two other books by Jamie Craig on my “to buy” list: The Bad and the Beautiful as a definite and Taurus: All That You Do as a maybe. But I think I’ll try this one first 😉

    • Thanks! 🙂

      I hope you like the book when you read it. I haven’t read The Bad and the Beautiful but I did enjoy All That You Do.

  • *Slowly raises hand* “Hi, I’m Eden, and I’m an unrepentant BDSM fan who likes angst, hurt/comfort, and angst. Did I mention I like angst?” I think I’ll like this one. Throw in a cop and what’s not to love? Great review, Lilly.

  • I loved this story. I thought the D\s element in this book worked really well.
    I would describe the non con as dub con, but that is my personal idea. And it is a not a major thing but more as a means to put the story forward.
    Anyone who is in doubt about this can read it because it is in the excerpt at MRL press.

    • I really liked the D/s element as well. And it’s true that some may consider it dub con as you mentioned instead of non con. Overall I did enjoy the story.

  • Hmmm, I don’t know… I like cop & D/s stories, but this one doesn’t sound like my thing. Non con, blackmail that doesn’t go anywhere, manipulative Dom… I’ll have to think about it. Thank you for the review.

  • It sounds interesting, but I don’t just know yet. There are some elements that appeal and some that I think “uhhh no thank you” But I enjoyed other books by these authors, so we’ll see!

    Good review! It outlined the book perfectly! 🙂

    • Thanks! 🙂

      some elements that appeal and some that I think “uhhh no thank you”

      That’s how I felt reading the book however if you’ve enjoyed other books by these authors you’ll probably like this one as well.

  • I did enjoy this one, like you! Though, also like you possibly, it was beyond the boundaries of what I’d usually read. But I just couldn’t put the darn thing down! Even though I thought the drama of the near-ending was just too much.




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