Duck! by Kim Dare #LGBT #Audiobook #Review #Shifters #MM #BDSM

Marc reviews the audiobook version of ‘Duck!’ (Avian Shifters #1) by Kim Dare. The eBook version was published by the author on August 12th, 2015 and is about 255 pages long. The audiobook was released on December 15th, 2016, was narrated by Rod M. Maskew and is 9 hrs and 19 mins long.

Why I read this book: This week, reviewers at RGR have challenged themselves by reading and reviewing a book that is outside their comfort zone. For me, a book with BDSM fits that criteria. I rarely read books with BDSM. I’m not really into BDSM and I have found that a book with BDSM has to be really well-written to interest me. If an author succeeds in portraying the love and trust and respect that can be found in a BDSM relationship in a way that I can identify with, it can be fascinating and intense. So from time to time it can be well worth to give books outsside my comfort zone a try. I have chosen ‘Duck!’, because I have often heard great things about the book and the audiobook version was just released. I love shifters and avian shifters seem exotic and interesting to me and I am looking forward to see how Kim Dare included the BDSM elements.

*****

Raised among humans, Ori Jones only discovered he was an avian shifter six months ago. Unable to complete a full shift until he reaches his avian maturity, he still can’t be sure of his exact species.

But with species comes rank, and rank is everything to the avians. When a partial shift allows the elders to announce that they believe Ori to be a rather ugly little duckling, he drops straight to the bottom rung of their hierarchy.

Life isn’t easy for Ori until he comes to the attention of a high ranking hawk shifter. Then the only question is, is Ori really a duck – and what will his new master think when the truth eventually comes out?

Buy Links: Audible | Amazon  | B&N | iTunesAdd to Goodreads

*****

Review

My ReviewThis book came highly recommended to me, but it is definitely outside my comfort zone. It is a modern day re-telling of the ugly duckling tale with avian shifters and BDSM elements. Even though the book ended up much sweeter than I thought, the BDSM aspects are quite hardcore as the D/s (Dominant/submissive) relationship has a total power exchange (TPE),

In BDSM, TPE refers to a type of relationship: total power exchange. The implication is that the dominant partner has complete control and authority over the submissive in all areas and at all times, even when they’re not actively engaged in a scene. (Urban Dictionary)

As you might be able to tell, I have looked up and learned a few things. That’s because the book made me interested in knowing more and did a great job of gently showing me both the perspective of the dominant and the submissive. It made it easier to understand why this kind of relationship seems perfect for them. This was very important for me, because it is hard for me to identify with the need for a total power exchange. I want MCs in the books I read to be equals, even if they have different roles in a relationship. When they are master and submissive 24/7 it is not easy for me to see them as equals.

At first, the shifter aspect of the book seemed to make it even more complicated for me. Ori grew up in the human foster care system, but it was discovered that he is a shifter. However, after his first partial shift, it was not completely clear what kind of shifter he would be. The best guess was a duck, the very bottom of the Avian hierarchy. He isn’t just treated like a lowly duck, the fact that he is no full member of any species yet, means he has no full representation. Not just that, no nest of a certain species is willing to take him in, before a full shift reveals his form. So he finds a place in a Gentlemen’s club, which consists of mixed shifter species.

This beginning was the hardest part for me to read, because Ori is being abused and used like a thing there, beyond being a servant. Everyone is allowed to do with him what they want and he is to submissive to protect himself and has no one to turn to. His abusers like to use him for sex with bondage and pain play. They ‘punish’ him, even if he has done nothing wrong and his treatment is abhorrent. This kind of forced servitude seemed to be part of the shifter world and has nothing to do with real BDSM as I understand it for me. I would have loved if these actions had lead to more severe consequences for the people involved, but I am glad that Raynard, a hawk and thus much higher in the pecking order (Heh. See what I did there? 😛 ) got him away from that dangerous situation. Thankfully, it is also made clear that what happened to Ori is not the norm in the shifter universe, at least not at such an extreme and dangerous level.

This is when the story gets really sweet. Raynard treats Ori with respect, appreciates him and what he does and helps him to be more self-confident and to accept himself and his nature. Through both of their perspectives, readers can see how the MCs start to fall for each other and it is easy to see that Raynard is not just using Ori. The author uses great patience to help readers understand the relationship, even if it is very different from the relationship the readers might desire. It is beautiful to see the mutual respect, love and trust between the MCs. Ori really becomes a stronger person for being able to gift someone with his submission.

Then the story gets fresh wind once again, when Ori finally performs a full shift and his world changes dramatically. The story unfolded in an unexpected way for me, even though I know the ‘Ugly Duckling’ tale and it broke my heart. Don’t worry, though, in the end you will get your HEA and your heart will be mended.

I enjoyed that I was able to listen to the beginning of book two in the series (readers can listen to an audio except in the end of ‘Duck!’ if they want) and that it has already been published. That one is very different, yet seems promising as well.

I did enjoy the narration and the production quality and can recommend the audiobok, though for me the story itself is the true star. Having said that, it was not always an easy read for me, especially in the beginning. But the story captured my interest and had me under its spell. It was very well-written and in my humble opinion, the BDSM aspects were expertly handled. I might not read a lot of BDSM, but it has to take a lot of skill to write a hardcore BDSM relationship in a way that I can still recommend the book to people new to BDSM. In this case I can. I think lovers of BDSM and people new to the sub genre will find a wonderful story here that is very much worth the read. Sometimes it pays off to search out stories outside of one’s comfort zone 🙂

My Rating: 8/10 Pots of Gold (80% Recommended) – Compares to 4/5 Stars

pot_o_gold_8

*****

AuthorBio

Kim is a bisexual submissive from Wales (UK). First published in 2008, she has since released over 100 BDSM erotic romance titles ranging from short stories to full length novels. Having worked with a host of fantastic e-publishers, she moved into self-publishing in 2013.

While she occasionally enjoys writing other pairings, most of Kim’s stories focus on Male/Male relationships. But, no matter what the pairing, from paranormal to contemporary, and from the sweet to the intense, everything she writes will always feature three things – Kink, Love and a Happy Ending.

You can find out more about Kim’s books on her website, follow her on twitter, catch up with her blog, and email her directly using the links below.

Website: www.kimdare.com
Blog: www.kimdare.wordpress.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/KimDareAuthor
Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/kimdareauthor
E-mail: kim@kimdare.com

 

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