Touch and Trust

Author: Sean Michael
Cover Artist: S. Squires
Buy Link: Touch and Trust, a Velvet Glove story
Genre: Futuristic M/M Romance
Length: Short Story
Rating: 1 star

A Guest Review by Sammy

Review Summary: A nice story derailed by a stylistic writing element that left me frustrated and disenchanted.

Blurb: Sampson is too tall to be anything but awkward outside, but in the Velvet Glove he shines, confident in his ability as a top. When he meets Alain, it breaks Sampson’s heart. Alain has been without a top, and any kind of touch, for too long. Can Sampson prove himself and win Alain’s heart?

Review: I never do this. No, I’m truly serious. I always try to be fair–to not fall into mockery or snarky commentating when it comes to reviews But, now? I am about to break my own golden rule.

Touch and, um, Trust was, um, a nice, story. Oh my. It had, um, two very ah, likeable characters who, um were, ah admittedly underdeveloped but, um, still interesting and, ah nice.

Had enough yet? Well there is a lot more. Trust me (no pun intended). But rather than give you a poor imitation, let me give you this from the story itself:

“I believe that um, a dom/sub ah, relationship is a um, partnership. And so ah, both parties ah, needs should be considered and ah, something worked out.”

I felt like I was in the 5th circle of stuttering hell. And I LIKE Sean Michael’s work–really, I do!

Sampson is a young twenty something Dom who is the meekest, mildest creation of Sean Michael’s considerable imagination to date! He spends his entire life savings purchasing a membership to the Velvet Glove–a very exclusive, posh BDSM club. On his first visit there he is given an older sub, Alain, to escort him around and show him the club’s amenities.

Alain lost his master of many years just a scant few years before and has been unpartnered every since. The two meet, they do a scene together and boom, Sampson is in love. Not only that but before the night is out, he will move in with Alain, be hired as a trainer for other doms at the Velvet Glove and live happily ever after.

Believe it or not–I have no problem with all of that–none. I know when I read one of these little sips by Sean Michael that this is exactly what I am in for–insta-love and insta-happy. I happily check any hope of reality at the door and go along with the flow. Every once in a while we all need a simple little story that lets us escape–and Sean Michael is an author who can often deliver the goods.

Well, I would like to send this package back to sender. No, it wasn’t the story line that derailed this mess for me. I loved that Alain was a lost soul in need of a gentle touch that Sampson was ideally suited to provide. That was not the problem at all. It was the stylistic writing method of making our dear Sampson a stutterer of extraordinary proportions that left me gnashing my teeth in frustration. Surely there was another way to show us that this man was shy–a gentle giant?  Couple that with the lack of characterization–just a few more pages would have given us a clearer view of what made these two guys tick, and you have a very disappointing story all around.

I actually liked these two guys, Sampson and Alain. I enjoyed the hot sex and the idea that this was a fantasy and as such would have little plot. But, to be ripped out of the story over and over and over again by the dialogue–the stuttering mess that was passed off as dialogue. No, I had to throw in the towel on this one; it was simply too over the top for me.

Touch and Trust suffered greatly at the affected speech patterns of its main character–a tic that need not have taken center stage thus pushing all other memorable moments and sweet plot devices to the sidelines. I must regretfully give it 1 star.

Here is a fact. I have read MANY good things by this author. Some very tender and well-thought out stories that left me desiring more. But this? This simply left me wanting…just wanting.


  • LOL. Too true Cryselle. And I had seen this often enough. Really the guy does not have to be policeman or firefighter to know what to do with his height and carry himself with grace and power. Not that talk and awkward is not possible but too much of something often turns into cliche IMO.

  • I pasted it into Word and counted, 600 usages of Uh and um (and variations) in a 66 page story. Yeah, it made me crazy. I had hoped that once he was more at ease with Alain it would stop, but nope. Really hard to read.

      • My point exactly!!! Wasn’t there some other way to get his shyness, his hesitancy across to the reader? I know the idea was to show how he lost this fumbling demeanor once the Dom in him took over but there weren’t enough of those scenes to even show the dichotomy in his personality. No, unfortunately this failed to make the point the author was trying to get across.

  • Gah sometimes I hate my phone with changing words as it deems fit. “you have” not “you has”. Ugh.

    • I know this author is definitely not for everyone. But Sean Michael rightfully has a very loyal following. This one though I am sure had to disappoint the most ardent of fans. And Sirius I totally agree with the sex and lack of plot statement. This author is pure escapism for me.

  • Hahaha Sammy. I actually avoid this author – I liked one of his works but two or three others that I read had way too much sex and not enough plot for me. I will say however that you has one of the best hooks in your summary. I was so curious what is this mysterious one element that caused you to grade this story do low if you liked it overall. I can see why you did now :)

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