Book Reviews

Unknown Desires by Jax L. Kramer at Changeling Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / New Adult / BDSM / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 26-September-2017

Book Blurb

The instant attraction Michael feels toward his new Dominant, Mr. Johns only grows stronger each day. Spending time together in the dungeon is always a fun, unique, and unpredictable experience. Only Mr. Johns can take him to places he's never known existed. The pleasures of pain and the highs of sub-space were once unimaginable, but now Mr. Johns truly owns him body and soul.


For Michael the most startling emotion is the fear he feels when he's earned a punishment. Although punishment is meant to be feared, Michael is more afraid of being dismissed. He's certain each mistake is a step closer to being sent away. No punishment could ever hurt as much as Mr. Johns giving up on him.


Is it possible for Mr. Johns to have any real feelings for Michael, or is has Michael set himself up to be hurt worse than ever before?


Book Review

This is a story about emotions, fear, and coming to terms with needs that may not be regarded as “normal” by a large section of society. The main character, a young man named Michael, is nineteen, but he has experienced a few things in life that make it particularly difficult for him to be as self-confident and certain about what he wants as some of his peers. His back story only emerges slowly, so some of his hang-ups only begin to make sense partway through the book. Michael is the narrator throughout, and the fact that he talks about events in first person and present tense makes everything seem more immediate. Mr. Johns’s perspective is missing from the tale, so he remains somewhat of an enigma throughout.

Michael goes through a lot of discoveries about himself as the story unfolds. He knows he wants to submit, but he isn’t comfortable with it. He has been trained by a professional Domme, but when she sets him up with a potential more dominant partner, that person turns out to be a man. Michael is shocked, but not repulsed, and bravely sets out to discover what it is like to be in a 24/7 D/s relationship. It is all consensual, contracts and limits are discussed in great detail, but it is still a scary undertaking for Michael.

The writing is very realistic and direct, almost mechanical in places. Michael’s emotions are as confused as you’d imagine them to be, and the realization that what Mr. Johns offers is exactly what Michael wants is as gradual as I expected. Personally, I thought the gradual emergence of deeper feelings was realistic, but it almost got buried in some of the story detail. Nevertheless, I think this is a good story for “beginners” reading about BDSM and D/s for the first time – because everything is safe, sane, and consensual, not all the focus is on the romance, and yet there are questions and confusion, misunderstandings and obstacles to overcome.

If you like D/s stories where a beginner learns about what he wants, if a more experienced Dom leading the way is your thing, and if you’re looking for a read that feels pretty realistic, then you might like this novella.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Changeling Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 102 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 22-September-2017
Price $4.99 ebook
Buy Link