A Huge thanks to the very lovely SJD Peterson, our last guest here at SSBR for BDSM week… for stopping by. She is an author that has continued to astound me with her writing and the realism of her characters from the beginning. I fell in love with Micah and Tackett in the first book of her Guards of Folsom series PUP and this series remains one of my all time favourites, I just can’t get enough of her boys! With Tek and Jamie from her new release ROPED continuing that trend… I loved them!!!
Jo is also gifting signed copies of Roped (Guards of Folsom #4) and her novel Beyond Duty, so don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter below.
THE CROSSROADS OF REAL LIFE & FICTION
For me personally, what makes a great writer, is someone who can draw me into a story, make me care, and feel what the characters feel. Whether I hate them, love them, or something in between, I want to remember them. They make us, not just read a story, but experience the journey along with the character. On the flip side, there are those who become so invested in a story they forget that it’s fictional, about fictional characters and fictional events. The majority of us fall somewhere in the middle. Yet, within that level there is some who fictionalize whole groups of real people.
I remember reading a review where the reviewer made a comment; something to the effect (I don’t remember the exact words) who needs a doctor when you can just get yourself a Dom. It went on to complain about the BDSM lifestyle being portrayed as a cure for all mental illness. As I read more—as well as the comments from others agreeing with the reviewer, I got the feeling that they had forgotten one very important fact. The BDSM lifestyle isn’t a fictional lifestyle which is only found between the pages of a book. It’s a lifestyle with real people, real emotions and real events. Those who consider themselves Dominate, submissive, a kinkster, whatever, are real people with real problems—yes mental illness issues— just like everyone else in society.
Take my Guards of Folsom series for example. PUP tells the story of Micah who has adult attention deficit disorder. I myself suffer from this as does a close member of my family and a couple of my friends. Every one of us deals with it in a different way, as did Micah. He wasn’t a vanilla young man who walked into a BDSM club and thought, “Wow I think I will find me a Dom to cure me of my ADD.” Micah was already in the lifestyle. The challenges of attention deficit disorder are beatable. With education, support, and (I love this part) a little creativity, the symptoms of adult ADD/ADHD can be managed—even turning some weaknesses into strengths. It’s exactly what Micah and Tackett did. The D/s relationships are not a cure all for mental health issues, nor are those within the lifestyle immune from suffering from those disorders. They simply do as the rest of society does—find what works for them.
In Tag Team, Mason deals with depression, suicidal ideations and severe social anxiety disorder (SAD). Again, I have a dear friend (a submissive in the lifestyle) who suffers from this disorder as well as depression. My sister and my niece both suffered from depression and committed suicide. Mason and my friend are dealing with their issues using a little creativity and taking it one day at a time.
Most stories end happily for now or happily ever after, because let’s face it, who wants to curl up with a hot and steamy romance novel and it end any other way but happy. Now we all know that the HEA is the rarity in real life and that true for those within the lifestyle too. They are everyday people with bills, jobs, good days, bad days, and yes some even have mental health issue. So while those who write BDSM are telling fictional stories about fictional characters, often times they are based on real people with real issues, they’re simply telling you about the ones with the Happy Endings.
Roped (Guards of Folsom #4) by SJD Peterson
Title ~ Roped (Guards of Folsom #4)
Author ~ SJD Peterson
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Due for Release ~ 12th May 2014
Genre ~ M/M BDSM Erotic Romance
Guards of Folsom: Book Four
Life has been known by a series of constants. Violence, anger, drugs, sex, death, heartbreak, pain, fear and the most common, hunger. Always hunger. Not the kind that can be satisfied with food, but the kind born of circumstance. The kind that not only claws within a gut, but settles into a heart, consumes a mind. Deeper. Encircles, penetrates the soul. Hunger for something more, something better, safer. Always just out of grasp.
It’s part of me.
Who I am.
Born of blood and violence, hunger is my fate.
Yet, the slightest things can change the directions of a life. An unplanned circumstance, random act—a connection—a chance event, like a lightning strike, fate trumped.
Jamie is my lightning strike.
Tek Cain was cultivated from birth to lead the motorcycle gang, Crimson Eight. Jamie Ryan, his best friend, is destined to be his second. But forbidden desires have them questioning everything they know, and an undeniable bond makes them want more than their supposed brotherhood can provide. Their love could get them killed, but they are bound to each other—from the cradle to the grave.
Oh. My. God!!! WOW!!! What has Jo Peterson just done to me??? And THAT ENDING!!! This is a very different read from SJD Peterson, and it also has a totally different feel to the rest of the series, there are undertones of darkness, there is danger afoot and at the end of this book you get the feeling that the safety, camaraderie and sanctuary they had found within the close knit group of the Guards of Folsom was about to be blown wide open… because their story is not over!
This is something that Jo hasn’t done before, at the end of each previous book there was always a conclusion to the main protagonists tale. But with Roped, the main body of the book was taken up with Teq and Jamie’s lives before they ever reach The Guards of Folsom. Personally I loved it, I got their emotional connection so much more with their back story, glossing over that would have lost the impact and intensity of the bond and closeness, between these two men… it made me nervous for them and created an atmosphere that was palpable. All compounded by the journal entries from Tek which punctuated the story, a powerful and emotional clue to his internal struggle with the very dangerous, gruesome and horrific lives these two men had been born into. A life filled with drugs, guns, sex and violence, it was their destiny, their birth right, a life of fuck or be fucked! Kill or be killed! Live or die!
Tek and Jamie themselves came across as emotionally uncomplicated, which belied those journal entries which just about ripped a hole in my heart! As a child growing up what you are acclimatised to becomes the norm, you know no different because you have nothing to compare it to. Born on the same day Gunner/Tek and Jamie’s lives had already been mapped out for them. Gunner would be the leader of the Crimson Eight and Jamie his trusty lieutenant. They had been brought up not to have, or show any emotion, desensitised to evil, their childhood or lack of it, was surrounded by things that would scare the shit out of any normal person, but to them it was every day life, their emotions and awareness dampened by the over familiarity to the hedonistic and violent lives of their family and their extended family through the Motorcycle club the Crimson Eight. Manipulated from birth they had been conditioned to be bad ass men, unflinching at the ways of their world, which would quite frankly have us reaching for the sick bowl.
But there was a part of these two men that was untouched by evil… the immense love they have for each other is so strong, it made me want to cry, it was the only thing in their short lives that was pure, untouched by the nefarious lifestyle they had been indoctrinated into… but to those they had been brought up by, it was the one thing that could get them killed.
This is a love story… profound in every way, made more so because of the simplicity of that love. There are no big shows of endearment, there are no grand gestures or protestations of undying love, no sudden realisation or even the need for all or any of it… it’s just so! Jamie and Teks relationship is founded on so much more and Jo conveys all of that beautifully, it leaps off the pages, melts your heart and despite their upbringing, their fear of retribution and the love they have for each other, which leaves them condemned men in the eyes of those they had regarded as family, you just feel that nothing and no one could ever come between them.
At the guards of Folsom they find a safe haven of sorts, and men they immediately have an affinity with. Finally being in a place where they are comfortable with real friends. The other thing that is different about this tale is that neither Tek or Jamie are into the lifestyle. However working in the club and surrounded by those that are, they become curious. It’s not full on BDSM, for both men at the moment it is still just a kink to be explored, but I have a feeling that may possibly change in the next book, or maybe not?!? For me, as much as I have loved that aspect of this series, both Tek and Jamie don’t have that in their background and it would have seemed wrong to force that on them, so I understand where Jo is going with this in as much as there is more to come from these men.
Jo Peterson, in my opinion has showed her versatility as a writer in this instalment from The Guards of Folsom series and moved in a completely different direction which I personally found immensely rewarding as a reader. She never fails to grab my attention and keep me enthralled, I didn’t think it could get any better but, Jo has proved me wrong. Roped brings in raw emotion without losing that humour, two hot, big, tattooed alpha males that will have you squirming and of course cameo’s from the boys I have already grown to love… the list keeps getting longer!!!
Just a side note… There is a scene in this book which involves an m/f/m scene, it’s not overly elaborated on, but it is a necessary part of the storyline in that, at the time both men are unaware of the manifestations of their feelings, both hiding what was really in their hearts. I know some m/m readers are not fond of this, personally I didn’t find it a problem and for me it only accentuates the love these two men have for each other.
About SJD Peterson
SJD Peterson, better known as Jo, hails from Michigan. Not the best place to live for someone who hates the cold and snow. When not reading or writing, Jo can be found close to the heater checking out NHL stats and watching the Red Wings kick a little butt. Can't cook, misses the clothes hamper nine out of ten tries, but is handy with power tools.
Jo is gifting to one very lucky winner a signed paperback copy of Beyond Duty… Mack & Gunny, two of my favourite characters, totally droolworthy!!!