Somebody, somewhere, recommended Push the Button as an alternative for those who are interested in reading about 24/7 BDSM lifestyles, rather than 50 Shades of BDSM Doesn’t Work That Way (and also as a book with persons of color as the protagonists). I don’t remember who, now, but I am ever curious so I picked it up.
I’m afraid I’m about to damn the book with faint praise: it wasn’t terrible. Certainly it was a quick read, and I liked Star/Nicole and David even if there were things in their dynamic that made me cringe more than a little. Jones makes it clear that they do love each other, and that Star/Nicole has consented to (almost) everything that goes on between them.
That almost isn’t a dynamic thing, it isn’t a BDSM thing; it’s a people lose their temper and accidents happen thing.
It’s also kind of a cliche, where a woman is injured by two men fighting over her (cf, oh, Dr. Horrible and about a thousand other examples). It’s also worth mentioning that the book has two endings; a false one and the one where the reader actually runs out of pages with words on them. This is not one of my favorite literary techniques (and I don’t consider it a “twist” ending, either, though I know some people do). The characters are internally consistent, despite those who would think Nicole’s subbiness means she can’t be a power broker in the real world. The writing style is more than a little awkward or rough in places, though never quite enough to make me put the book down or roll my eyes in frustration.
Jones also presents an earlier relationship for Nicole, showing her with a “Sir” who doesn’t respect her boundaries and whose ass gets left because of it (Not, unfortunately, before damage is done).
The sex is pretty epic, and I mean that in a good way.
But, utterly unrelated to the plot or characterization or anything else, there were a few stylistic and/or formatting things that bothered me enough that I feel they’re worth mentioning. I am given to understand that it is not unusual in “The Life” for the sub to always capitalize pronouns when they mean their Dom(me/inant), and once I got used to Nicole (almost) always referring to David as He or Him it stopped being distracting. The use of italics for most of Nicole’s dialogue in the first half of the book was disconcerting, until it stopped being italicized and at that point the absence was distracting because my brain wanted to know what had prompted that particular authorial choice.
And, in the end, I’m not a fan of epistolary writing, even if that section of Push the Button gave an excellent example of negotiating a BDSM contract.
It may just be that I’m not the target audience for this book; it wasn’t a terrible read, it was quick and enjoyable but it just didn’t hit the spot.
As it were.