For a very long time I wasn’t sure what to make of this book. Initially I thought I might be reading a comedy because it took me a while before I could see the characters in this story, especially Jeff, as anything but caricatures.
Jeff appeared to be a stereotypical working class man. His ideas about women seemed rather misogynistic and he definitely came across as rather homophobic. When he decides he wants to find himself a submissive woman to play with, it is hardly surprising they run away before he even makes it to first base. His views about women in general and his lack of knowledge and experience when it comes to BDSM were enough to scare anyone off. What he needs is an experienced sub to train him.
Enter Eddie; as a submissive plain slut he’d make the perfect trainer for Jeff except that he’s male and gay and Jeff is most definitely not into men.
Whereas Jeff initially came across as rather glum, downtrodden and unsophisticated, Eddie seemed fun, light hearted and very easy going. And, for a while, this stark contrast rubbed me up the wrong way. As the story progressed both characters became less one dimensional and far more interesting. Not only is Jeff nowhere near as straight as he’d like to tell himself, he’s also far more caring and insecure than he appeared at first. Eddie on the other hand goes through an opposite transition. He’s not quite as easy going and happy go lucky as he would like the world to believe.
And that’s when the book picked up for me and really captured my attention. Where I’d initially disliked Jeff with a vengeance and had loved Eddie for putting a smile on my face as soon as he made an appearance, I suddenly found myself rooting for Jeff and thinking that Eddie might be a bit more understanding of the situation his trainee Dom found himself in. And this transition in my feelings towards the characters and the story is of course a clear sign this was a very well plotted and written book. I appreciated the fact that there were no miraculous revelations or conversions; small steps forward were followed by giant leaps backwards, progress was at times painfully slow and I repeatedly wanted to take the two men and smash their heads together.
This story and the way it is written is as English as English can be. The setting, the language, the foods eaten the drinks drank and the places visited are all quintessential English; a bit of ‘arse’ anyone?
This was my first book by Josephine Myles but it won’t be my last. If ‘How to Train Your Dom in 5 Easy Steps’ is anything to go by, this lady has a wicked sense of humour as well as a talent for telling a good story. I’m looking forward to enjoying more of both.