Trust and Obey (NeRdyWYRM’s Review)

review master
Title: Trust and Obey
Author: T.S. McKinney
Publisher: Painted Hearts Publishing
Release Date: September 18, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 258 pages
Reviewed by: NeRdyWYRM
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5

For the past few years, Landry has been able to tuck the horrors of his past into a nice, neat compartment inside his head. He’s been focused on his future instead of dwelling on a past he can’t change. All this changes when Jericho Brookes struts into his life. Piece by piece, Brookes tears down the walls surrounding Landry’s heart – leaving him raw and vulnerable. Every time they’re together, Landry opens up more…gives more. Can Brookes be trusted with Landry’s heart?

When Landry’s past comes calling, will Brookes be friend or foe?


So … I have a feeling that people who know more about BDSM than I do might have a few things to object to in this title. To be fair, that’s just a hunch on my part. I don’t really know squat, but I’m getting a vibe on this one. Those of you more in the know will have to judge for yourselves.

I. Could. Not. Stand. Landry. I am tired of these weirdly over-the-top characters. I dislike shitty attitudes as ineffective self-defense mechanisms, and we had that here in spades. The plot was decent. There was a whole lot of things going on simultaneously which felt confusing even though it wasn’t actually confusing. In other words, I got a good sense of why all the characters were confuzzled, but I didn’t have a hard time following along as a reader. Jericho being job-relatedly stalkerish made the insta-connection on his end a little more believable, but still people! This shit doesn’t happen in real life.

every time

The overall pacing was okay, but the relationship flew along a little too fast given Landry’s hangups and all the half-truths and bullshittery floating around. As it seems that’s a common trend in romance these days (one I abhor), whaddya gonna do? It gets to where it’s kind of pointless to continue complaining about insta-love, i.e., Sage and London. EYEROLL. I don’t even have to read the next related book to see where that’s going.

happily ever after

There was some suspending of disbelief on this one for me for sure. It wasn’t that anything that was going on was completely inconceivable, it was all just … overblown in a very typical kind of way for the genre these days. There were some hot moments, some sweet moments, some whatthefuck and whatthefuckever moments. The characters were well-developed enough that some of them irritated me while others piqued my interest. I don’t know what else is worth mentioning.

iz not dun

All in all, it pushed some of my pet peeve-y buttons but was a solid 3-star read on balance. I don’t think I would go back and read about previous characters, and I’m on the fence about reading any future ones in this particular story arc, but this title wasn’t a waste of time or overly infuriating so … this week, I’m calling that a win.

This review is cross-posted at Goodreads. Other reviews by NeRdyWYRM can be read here.

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Trust and Obey provided by Painted Hearts Publishing in exchange of an honest review.


I am a life-long reader and an avid learner. I remember reading books without pictures when I was about four, and raided every title on my parents' full and intimidating book shelves—well, the ones they would let me read, anyway—from then on. Characters written by authors like Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan, Robert Jordan, David Eddings, Terry Brooks, Anne Rice, Stephen King, Raymond E. Feist, Mercedes Lackey, Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman, and Anne McCaffrey were my childhood playmates. Back then, I went nowhere unless I had a book in my hand. While the rest of my generation was shifting from cassettes to CDs and from Atari to Nintendo, Sega, and Playstation, I spent my allowance on Myth & Magic pewter figurines and on books at the Stars and Stripes bookstore. These days I don't have a book in my hand anymore, at least not the printed variety. Instead, it's any device with a Kindle app. I stubbornly held on to the printed page until a military move weighed my book collection in at over a ton. Oops. Sorry-not-sorry, but I did have to exercise some pragmatism in that area, unfortunately. Now I only buy hardbacks from my favorite authors, the classics, or long-running series. Otherwise, I've surrendered to the times and our weight allowance and have gone all digital. I stay strictly on the fiction side of the fence because non-fiction is generally too dry to hold my interest. I was always a scholar, and so have read enough textbook-like titles and required reading for school and college to last me a lifetime, thank you very much. So, non-fiction? No, thanks. However, barring non-fiction and biographies (ewww people), there's not much out there I won't read. I have loved romance novels since I was prepubescent. Something about historicals and anything with horses, i.e., Native American inspired romances just did it for me. My grandmother was appalled that my parents let me read that 'smut' as she called it. I'd already justified my position on being allowed to read those controversial titles with a logical argument that there were a lot of historical facts in those books that couldn't be learned in the classroom alone. And to this day, I maintain that stance. I have learned more from books, specifically romance and fantasy novels, than I ever did in a classroom. ~~wink-wink~~ My dad always said I was too smart for my own good. Looking back, he was probably right! I could logically talk my way into and out of just about anything. It's served me well, but caused me no end of problems, too. That said, despite my love for the romance genre in general and the m/m romance genre in particular, there is little chance that a decent book of any kind will fail to catch my interest, and there's nothing at all I'm unwilling to learn. So bring it on. I hope you enjoy my reviews.