By His Rules follows a fairly conventional romance formula – the two main characters, Aiden and Keaton, meet briefly, are kept apart a while, are forced into proximity, fall for each other, enjoy a few weeks in paradise, face conflict, resolve conflict, lived HEA.
The sexual content is graphic, but perhaps a little unusual in that it’s not all necessarily intended to be "hot."
Aiden’s early sex scenes with antagonist Scott happen in the context of an abusive relationship. While Aiden derives some pleasure from the pain Scott inflicts and from his misguided belief that Scott is giving him what he’s always wanted, their sex illustrates a negative and unhealthy power dynamic.
What keeps Aiden and Keaton from getting down and dirty once they’re living together is Aiden’s lingering trauma from his time with Scott. So when they do overcome this hurdle and start doing it, the sex has to help Aiden heal. Perhaps more psychological than spicy.
The DD component of their relationship is, as Keaton tells Aiden, not intended to be arousing. It’s a support system for Aiden that shapes his life way outside the bedroom. The spankings Keaton gives are disciplinary rather than erotic. There’s an enema scene in which an enema is administered, not as a kink or punishment, but for its intended purpose. An intimate scene, but again, hot? Maybe not so much.
So is there anything steamy about BhR? Depends on your definition of steamy. Aiden is turned on by pain, and he and Keaton find ways to indulge in erotic spankings while making a distinction between those and disciplinary spankings. Aiden and Keaton also enjoy a couple of romps in the sack/at the kitchen table just for pleasure’s sake.
Discouraged anyone from reading yet? If you’re looking for sultry, oh-gosh-my-towel-fell-off-in-this-tropical-cabana-revealing-my-enormous-manhood, waves crashing, salt spray on faces, moonlit, hanky-spanky spice-itude, this might not be your bag. But if you’re fine with your knight in shining armor being more like a patient guy in a nice sweater who spanks you because it helps you treat yourself better, not because it gets you off…
Then hey. Maybe you’ll find something alt-sexy about By His Rules.
I like my characters to be as confused as I am about what’s hot, what’s healthy, what sex is or isn’t supposed to be…and then learn in the end that what’s hot is simply a matter of what works for them. What brings them joy.
And Keaton does have really nice pecs under those sweaters. Just sayin’.