Author: N. R. Walker
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: July 23, 2019
Genre(s): BDSM, Ménage
Page Count: 248 Pages
Reviewed by: ColinJ
Heat Level: # flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Founded over four hundred years ago, Sanctus Infinitus Redemptio is a private and very elite society where dominance and submission are revered. Steeped in tradition and excellence, every Dominant and every submissive, and their pairing, are selected with great care.
When Hunter Vargo is brought into the Sanctus, his need for strict dominance sees him paired with the wrong Master. But only a short time later, mistreated and his trust broken, he’s recalled, his collar removed. The Grand Master knows it will take a special kind of Dominant to restore the sub’s faith and trust.
Sig Bruckner’s world is perfect. He has a great job, he has high standing within the Sanctus, and he has Levin, the very best submissive. When he’s asked to take on a second sub, a young man with issues and a rule not to touch him, Sig’s world is turned upside down.
When his dominance, his patience, and self-control are tested, and when Sig’s relationships with both subs are pushed past his limits, everything begins to unravel. Yet Sig knows every good Dom learns from their subs, and he’s no exception. He might not be able to fix everything on his own, but perhaps the three of them together can.
This is an easy and quick read with little in the way of complexity or detailed plot. It is written from the first-person perspective of the Dom. It is, as the author describes in her preface, a departure from the type of story written previously and provides an opportunity and vehicle for her to explore and describe her understanding of a dom/sub culture. There is a story that underpins this, but it is lightweight and offers a single theme. Although the story commences from a dark point, its direction is very much towards the resolution of problems and the development of positivity. There are odd moments of misunderstanding that add poignancy, but it is largely a very supportive and empowering tale.
The world-building is rich with a clear historical structure; however, this has little impact on the plot. Detail is provided of the locations involved that provide a useful context; the use of adjectives is kept to a minimum so what you see is what you get. This is typical of all aspects of the book; there is nothing to judge. Characterisation is strong with each of the roles clearly described and their position within the whole done in an unambiguous way. This is in keeping with the hierarchy of dominance that is at the core of the book. Everything is compartmentalised into something that is both neat and yet lacking in any organic dynamism. Repeatedly in the book, the question of the difficulty of maintaining this 24:7 is raised and yet it is something that has been established for a long time without change. It is clear that there is comfort to be gained from this sense of the familiar; it is not so obvious why this needs to be kept so secret.
The relationship between the characters in the ménage is highly sexual and charged throughout. The hierarchy clearly provides an effective structure to allow three men to come together without conflict. The sex is well described but despite the trappings of BDSM, this is very vanilla and tender in its representation. The clear sense of responsibility, care and passion is present throughout. The sex is consensual and highly charged for all its structure.
The story itself is presented as a steady to slow pace. There are times when the reader feels a little as though they are in a class about the nature of Dom/Sub relationships, but it is not preachy and does not persist. The characters are likable and the story interesting so there is a desire to pursue the plot to its end.
It should not be a surprise that there is a happy ending, but there is a feeling throughout that the penny is going to drop at some point or that something untoward is going to happen, but it never does. As such, it is a pleasant diversion and feels about the right length for what it is.