*** This review is based on a copy provided by the author. ***
I was very impressed by MAKE MINE TO GO, an M/M novelette by NTM author, Dilo Keith. Very well- and tightly-written with great dialogue, it packed a lot into its short length and as with any good story, left me wanting just a little… OK, a lot
more. Highly recommend this erotic and thought-provoking short for those comfortable with reading about M/M, BDSM, and/or a committed yet open relationship.
I consider MAKE MINE TO GO to be an erotic romance (vs. straight erotica) because the story is a vignette of the MC’s relationship. Toby and Justin are a legally-married homosexual couple whose sexual play places them somewhere between monogamy and open. This practice (and thus, their seemingly perfect relationship) is tested when Justin senses, and Toby finally acknowledges, a certain… ennui? restlessness?... with their sex life. Specifically, Toby wants to make their semi-open relationship a little more open.
I finally figured out Justin couldn’t provide the missing piece, not directly. I missed the thrill of a new encounter and seduction, the excitement of the chase and being caught, or perhaps doing the catching.
And this is when the story becomes thought-provoking. While not everyone can relate to (or perhaps even understand) open relationships, I think that readers can relate to the more basic concept of changes to, and within, a relationship over time. Whether it’s “getting too comfortable”, “slump”, “rough patch”, or “seven year itch”, it happens.
The entire story is told from Toby’s POV so there were moments when I felt a bit frustrated. So accustomed to dual POVs, I couldn’t help but wonder what change(s) in Toby’s behaviour alerted Justin and what he really thought about further opening their relationship. Perhaps it was deliberate but the single POV left me to guess along with Toby as he tries to balance his love for his husband with his “new” desires while not hurting him or undermining their marriage in the process. Per Toby: I hated the idea of him thinking I valued him less by wanting something extra. I’d give it all up if it was going to hurt him.
So what to do when one partner suddenly needs something “more”? I loved how MAKE MINE TO GO handled it, as well as its surprising twist. Definitely hope to read more from this author.
Note: FWIW, the BDSM scenes were very well done but I didn’t find the BDSM aspect to be critical to the story. It’s not as if Justin wasn’t meeting Toby’s submissive needs or the Lifestyle itself gave rise to Toby’s desire for “the thrill of the chase”. But it was a huge relief to read BDSM scenes written in such an authentic manner. Oh and did I mention that it was hot? ^ᴗ^