Pup (Guards of Folson #1)

Title: Pup (Guards of Folson #1)
Author: SJD Peterson
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
Publisher: Dreamspinner
Buy Link:  Buy Link Pup
Genre: M/M Contemporary (BDSM)
Length: Novel
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

A Guest Review by Sammy

Review Summary: A young man in desperate need of focus and a strong hand turns to an aging Dom who has avoided commitment all his life. Could this eager “pup” be the one who finally breaks the walls around this Dominant’s heart?

Blurb:  Micah “Pup” Slayde knows he wants Tackett Austin the moment he lays eyes on him in the Guards of Folsom. Micah wants to have purpose, to be taken care of, and to take care of his Dom—wants to trust him completely, live for him, belong to him. To become his everything. Micah is sure Tackett is the one. The problem is, in order to be the perfect sub, he needs to stay focused, and that’s not easy for Micah, who suffers from what he refers to as a “broken brain.” Focus and adult attention deficit disorder rarely coexist.

Ever since Ty Callahan and Blake Henderson’s collaring ceremony, Tackett’s been thinking too much about his own loneliness. Even though Ty introduces Micah and urges Tackett to give him a try, Tackett isn’t so easily convinced. He’s spent his life pursuing a successful business career, and the subs he dominates almost never enjoy the kiss of his leather twice. Twenty years Micah’s senior, Tackett has no interest in taking on and taming such a young and naughty sub—but it’s difficult to resist such an adorable pup when he begs.

Guards of Folsom Series

ReviewPup by SJD Peterson hit many of its plot line elements dead on. Lurking in every chapter were some truths concerning ADHD, the D/s lifestyle as I have heard it described by those who live it, and a realistic growth of affection between these two characters. While the novel had some secondary characters, I felt the book fell short of developing any of them sufficiently to make me want to learn more of their story, with the exception, perhaps, being the current owner of the bdsm bar, Guards of Folsom, Blake and his sub Ty.

However the lack of interest-provoking secondary characters is not the reason this novel failed to receive a five star rating. Within the story, which spanned a mere two weeks in which Tackett takes on the training of Micah as a sub, were some contrivances that made me shake my head and wonder at their purpose.

For instance…the name Pup. I get it–My SO and I have nicknames for each other–but we do not use them 24/7. By the near constant use of the diminutive “pup” for Micah I felt the character began to really lose his identity. He had some very real inner turmoil about his inability to focus, about how he had been ridiculed and referred to as “stupid” most of his school life, and about how, even as a young man, he continued to feel inferior due to his ADHD. I really felt that this turmoil was hit on and then almost glossed over by the thought that enough punishment could bring this man…well, to heel.

There were times when Tackett would use punishment and means of restraint as a way to “focus” Micha. While I understand that this is a definitive element in the BDSM lifestyle, I remained unconvinced that a true ADHD person could curb their impulses just because they got a whipping.

However, I have taught ADHD students all the way to the college level and found that Ms. Peterson really did illustrate the heart and mind of Micah spot on. It was just the way in which she had Tackett “curb” him that rang false. Plus, given the fact that she gave Tackett a genuine, caring heart as well, I would have thought that he might have really done some serious research about Micah’s disorder…but no, there was some talking with friends and advisers, but all of it was opinion…no facts. That did not ring true for the Dom character in this novel at all.

Pup was a carefully crafted story–that was so apparent. The author invested a great deal of time in developing her two MC’s and gave each of them believable and beautiful traits. Their growing attraction was real, and it was not unfathomable that after two weeks of living together 24/7 there would be some definite attraction between the two of them.

The BDSM elements occasionally made me squirm–but in a good way. Never brutal, but definitely painful and well detailed, the disciplinary interactions between Tackett and Micah rang with truth and realism. These aspects of the novel read easily, there was an air of the natural about them as if we were actual spectators to a very intimate training session of a submissive.

But the name…pup…the lack of any research into Micah’s disorder by such a controlling and rigid Dom, and the constant “almost completely developed but not quite” feel about the inner dialogue from Micah made this book just a tad unreal for me…just a shade too glib.

Having said that, I would still recommend Pup by SJD Peterson to you, dear reader. I do like this author and this is definitely a worthwhile read for any who enjoy BDSM and a solid love story.


A mature woman, gracefully growing older, who lives with 12 cats and talks to imaginary people–had ya going there for a minute didn’t I? I am an avid lover of all things m/m who delights in occasionally teasing Wave!


  • I read this story also and some of my favorite elements were the same, I liked Micah’s train of thoughts and felt bad for his feeling “damaged”, I liked that Tackett realized he was also on a learning curve in dealing with Micah…that he valued Micah and wanted to help him. Yea,not sure how the punishments were help, but this is a fictional novel.

  • I agree with your review. It rang wrong for me how Tackett just accepted that there had been no other sucessful treatment for Micah’s ADHD.

    And I have another issue I want to add:
    While the writing was good, the characters likable – I didn’t understand the whole discipline/punishment thing. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read my share of BDSM. I enjoy a well written one that makes me understand the actions and it’s results etc. But that is my problem with this book, I never understood how and why the things worked, why they were done. For example, Tackett wants to punish Micah and uses the crop. He wants him to change his behaviour. But – obviously Micah loves the crop. So where is the punishment, the incentive to change? And what was the sense of the daily morning paddling?

    But it was charming to follow Micah’s train of thoughts and I’m not opposed to a Dom who realizes that he also needs to learn or needs support – these are points that make me still like the book.

    But I didn’t think that the whole “handling the ADHD-Sub” was really well done. Maybe I’m so critical because just a few weeks ago I had listened to Amy Lane’s Clear Water and ….yeah, it’s not BDSM but I think Wiskey did a better job.

    For myself I rated this book 3 stars.


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