Kitchen Sink Dom (Book 1)
Knowing some of the backstory of how this book developed made it even more entertaining: Chris asked for kink suggestions in a social media group and did her best to incorporate as many as possible. What might have been a disjointed connection of sex scenes held together by a plot is instead a fascinating evolution of a relationship that is also integral to the developing story.
The kinky books that interest me lately are the ones that step outside the “expected” framework of how a kinky relationship should be. Even if this book did not include the engrossing missing person subplot, I’d have loved a simple developing romance between Harrison and Cash as they figure out what works best for them. Because Cash is not a traditional Dom in any sense of the word, and Harrison proves that masochism and submission do not necessarily go hand-in-hand. At the beginning of the book, Harrison even denies his masochistic tendencies, and watching Cash draw those kinks out of him is a ton of fun.
Except this book gets even better because it does include a fascinating missing person mystery! Harrison is a PI hired to investigate the case of a missing teen, which may involve a private club. Cash is his ticket in, but Harrison ends up collecting plenty of other kinky allies along the way. Harrison’s introduction to the scene is anything but smooth, and he makes plenty of missteps. Luckily, his allies are more than willing to stand up for themselves and emphasize the significance of community in their lifestyle.
This book is the first in a trilogy. It does not end on a cliffhanger, but it does leave room for plenty of plot to continue while focusing on some of the secondary characters we meet here. I look forward to more happily ever afters in this world, and I hope Harrison and Cash continue to be present in the rest of the stories.
Chicken Soup Dom (Book 2)
This book is best read after the first in the trilogy, rather than as a stand-alone, to get the most from the established characters, their relationships, and the ongoing external plot. I looked forward to continuing the adventure after the fun first book and was not disappointed on that front. Our kinky vigilante group is determined to take down this human trafficking ring, despite the multiple obstacles in their way, and Cade Brixby is especially determined to still help now that he’s gotten closer to one rescued victim, Arlo.
The featured relationship in this book is significantly less overtly kinky than the previous, which both fits the characters and is more appropriate to what Arlo has already survived. This story hits home how the American justice system doesn’t do much for victims because Arlo (and Kimi) desperately needed to be in therapy after their experiences. Not for the kinky stuff, which is once again enforced in this story as not a problem, but to help Arlo heal from the mental issues he did develop, such as his disordered eating. Instead, he and Brixby muddle along until they kind of fall into a relationship, then a romance. It was sweet and real but made me as twitchy as Brixby at times (though for different reasons).
However, neither Arlo nor Brixby are stagnant characters, and I loved the development they do experience both separately and together. I also thoroughly enjoyed the progression of the external plot, which included a shocking, unexpected reveal. I look forward to the trilogy’s conclusion, especially because I’m intrigued by Sage as a character, Tripp annoys me as a character, and I can’t wait to see what Chris does with them together.
Upsy-Daisy Dom (Book 3)
One of my favorite things about reading book series that focus on different characters set in the same over-arching storyline is allowing the author to lull me into falling in love with characters I might not have cared too much about previously. Tripp might kick off the entire human trafficking mystery in the first book of this trilogy, but other than his obvious care for Arlo, I never found much to enjoy about his otherwise selfish and slightly annoying personality. Along those same lines, Sebastian is blatantly crafted to be the antithesis to the types of Dom that Cash and Brixby represent. He’s the stereotypical sadist who thrives on control, but he’s the money behind this operation, while Tripp is the “inciting incident,” so the group kind of feels like it has to keep them around.
I’ll admit that I cackled to myself when Tripp finally goads Sebastian into playing with him, especially once I figured out how Sebastian intended to mess with Tripp’s mind. However, the scene does not play out the way I expected, and how Sebastian acts toward Tripp afterward had me sliding toward a fondness for the character. Every time they played together later (even against Sebastian’s better judgment), I realized how perfect these two characters are for each other and falling for them as they fell for each other.
Based on previous books by Chris, I already knew she could craft a tense courtroom drama. Just as I thought the dramatic finale of the external plotline would happen earlier in the book than I thought, Chris threw all of my previous expectations out the window and delivered an epic finale that I couldn’t put down.
With this novel, Chris wraps up the trilogy in a satisfying manner while also presenting another wonderful (if nontraditional) romance. I highly recommend this series to readers looking for a series of unexpected D/s relationships with just the right amount of spiciness to highlight a fantastic overarching plot.