The Longest Night (Bob-O-Link’s Review)


Title: The Longest Night
Author: Z. Allora
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 20, 2019
Genre(s): Science Fiction, Super-heroes, Fantasy, BDSM
Page Count: 202
Reviewed by: Bob-O-Link
Heat Level: 1 flame out of 5
Rating: 3.2 stars out of 5

Blurb:

The holiday season is lonely for construction worker Benjamin Morgan, a big muscular guy who just wants to submit, obey, and serve. But the men he’s attracted to usually don’t have a dominant bone in their bodies. He’s done seeking his BDSM dreams with someone who isn’t interested in putting him in his rightful place—on his knees at their feet.

When a friend sets up a meeting with Foster Ridgeway at the BDSM club, Entwined, Benjamin has his doubts. Of course he is attracted to bookish Foster, who works for the same construction company, but how will someone so small and delicate-looking master Benjamin? But when Foster–the tiny temple of dominance wielding a crop—heads toward Benjamin, he might get what he’s always wanted, just in time for Solstice.

REVIEW:

The class will please now come to order!

Today, we begin with a philosophical discussion of the differences between S&M and
B&D.

Employing an iteration of Wikipedia, S&M seems to be more attuned to realizing pleasure
by acts involving giving or receiving the infliction of pain or humiliation. Practitioners of
sadomasochism often may seek sexual gratification from these acts – and many writers of
gay fiction tend to treat S&M as a sort of sexual communion between consenting parties.

As to B&D, the Urban Dictionary refers to it as the practice of restraining a sexual partner
(either physically or emotionally?) and then asserting control over them through a variety
of methods, including, but not limited to: restricted sexual positions, humiliation, or forced
climax. (Denial of climax is also erotically used!) Exercise and enjoyment may result
from such adjusted physical and emotional balance of power, which is often followed by
tender aftercare.

Writing against the expected tropes, Ms Allora presents two non-archetypes in this D&D
exercise. Benjamin is an outcast from his conservative family. Forgive me misquoting a
description of major banks during the last financial crisis, but he is seen as “too big to
kneel.” Foster appears to be physically diminutive, unlikely to be a dominant, strutting
“down the stairs and across (the bar’s) main space . . . two parts wiggle, three parts
dominant. . . . He even had some black eyeliner that highlighted his long lashes.” Sounds
like someone made an error in your order?

Yet – here they are. As their sex together is quite hot, if nothing else, class, they are proof that
BDSM is as much fantasy as reality. Perhaps Ms Allora’s quirky casting of these characters is intended
to challenge our pre-set view of the B&D dynamic – it’s a tantalizing fillip of expectation. Or perhaps she
is merely testing the limits of our credibility. At one point in the story, the reader may note
the exquisitely slow torture Foster applies to Benjamin, and question whether B&D has evolved into
solid S&M. “Do you think you could come this way, Benjamin?” “ ‘ Don’t know, Master.’
The ecstasy of not coming for Foster was almost better than an orgasm.”

Now, class. The sides have been chosen up: B vs D; massive man vs sprite; timidity vs
assuredness. Let our game begin! Your teacher is not averse to occasional erotic trips
into this realm. However, The Longest Night seems sufficiently off center to generate less
than complete satisfaction. It’s brevity, however, does add much to its reading pleasure.

Sadly, as our class time must now conclude, at the insistence of the powers that be, our
scheduled, appropriately educational lab exercises, have been canceled.


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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of The Longest Night provided by the publisher in exchange of an honest review.

Author

I'm a retired professional. My husband and I, each with an ex-wife, between us have six married children and 10 grandchildren. We both read voraciously, with a strong leaning to gay romance and HEA. Stories with a little (okay, even loads of) sex, and a lot of tears, always pleases.