Spare the Rod (The Heretic Doms Club Book 3) by Marie Sexton #Audiobook #BDSM #Review #MMRomance #Contemporary #LGBT

Erryn reviews ‘Spare the Rod (The Heretics Doms Club Book 3)’ by Marie Sexton. This book was released by the author on December 16, 2019, and is 388 pgs long. The audiobook version of this story was narrated by John Solo.  It was released on February 19, 2020, and is 15 hrs and 3 mins long. A copy was provided for an honest review.

Why I read this book:  Because ‘One Man’s Trash’ had such an emotional impact on me and ‘Terms of Service’ blew me away.


Gray Andino is a Denver cop with a pain kink and a history of falling in love with the wrong people. He’s jealous of his friends’ newfound happiness, but with a brain that won’t shut up and a need to argue everything, finding his own soul mate seems impossible, so he settles for meaningless sex and doling out pain with willing subs.

Subs like Avery Barron. 

When Avery asks to stay with Gray for a few weeks, Gray reluctantly agrees. Avery may be the perfect sub, but as an accidental roommate, he sucks. The younger child of rich, indulgent parents, Avery is an entitled slob with a disdain for rules, a lack of ambition, and an obsession with social media. Gray tolerates his presence, but when Avery breaks one of Gray’s ground rules, he punishes him and takes away his phone. 

Deprived of his usual echo chamber, Avery feels lost until he discovers a local Tap House, a piano, and his buried love of music. The more Avery plays, the more the community around him blossoms. For the first time in his life, Avery has a purpose and goals for the future. But the thing he longs for most – Gray’s love and respect – may be forever out of reach.


Buy Links: Audible  | Amazon  | Add to Goordreads 

See my review of the audiobook One Man’s Trash – Book 1

See my review of the audiobook Terms of Service – Book 2


My Review:

I’m a patient woman.  I LOVED the first two books in the Heretic Doms series and was willing to wait for this one.  The author would provide periodic updates and I read each one eagerly, hoping for a publication date.  Well, that came a couple of months ago and then began the wait for the audio.  I love John Solo and knew he was working on it so, tapping fingers, I exercised more of that patience.  I listened to piles of audios in between, all the while knowing this one was coming.

Then, voila, it arrived.  I grabbed it, held it to my chest, and chanted MINE MINE MINE.

But I digress.  The book is long, clocking in at over 15 hours, and I would’ve done it in one sitting if I hadn’t needed to, you know, sleep.  I listened over two days and loved every part of it.  John Solo took a wonderful book and elevated it even further, giving it the spark it needed to come to life.  I was so glad to be immersed back in the world with Warren, Taylor, Phil, River, Gray, and even Charlie.  (And he’s getting a book, right?  Don’t worry, I’ll wait patiently…)  John has distinct voices for each man and his narration flows beautifully, taking me into the men’s world.

Gray needed a strong partner who is also a pain slut.  I don’t use the word in a pejorative term – I am a bit of one myself, so I understand Avery’s need for it.  There’s something about needing to immerse oneself within the pain, to know you can take it, to – if you’re really lucky – go into subspace.  Which is a thing.  When Gray and Avery meet at a BDSM house party, it’s clear they are well suited.  Each ghosts on the other and it looks like it’s over until Gray comes back into Avery’s life in the most embarrassing way possible.

Now, Avery is a spoiled brat.  I wanted to slap him upside the head.  But he’s no different than plenty of young people, especially those raised in the age of social media.  I have a sister who’s never lived without a smart phone, doesn’t know what a rotary dial phone is, and has never spent a day without a computer in the house.  She’s wise with her social media use, but not all young adults are.  Avery gets pulled into the echo chamber and often experiences faux outrage, believing everyone on the other side is, to be blunt, a Nazi.  Now, I’m as mystified as the next person on why so many people voted for Donald Trump, but I try not to paint all of them with one brush.  They had their reasons.  (I’m Canadian and we’ve voted in a few people and I’ve gone, ‘huh, really?’ and watched them destroy things I believe in.)  I could get into the basis of the polarization but that would take a week and you’re here to read about what a great book this is.  Let’s just say I’ve seen Twitter mobs in action and to be on the receiving end isn’t pretty.  Lives have been lost.  People destroyed.  Relationships ruined.

What I love about this book is that things are not presented simply.  Gray comes from a family where every side of every issue is examined, litigated, and then hashed over yet again.  I know I’d love to immerse myself in that environment for perhaps a dinner, but as a way to live?  No wonder Gray can see both sides of every argument.  But the openness to hear the other side does come back to bite him in the butt.

When Gray agrees to let Avery stay, he lays down some basic rules, then figures he’s going to get plenty of sex and BDSM sessions.  Avery’s laziness quickly turns Gray off, but it’s not until Avery breaks one of Gray’s critically important rules that things fall apart.  Gray feels he can’t kick Avery out, but he can punish him.  And sometimes pulling away emotionally is ten times worse than any physical punishment.  It becomes apparent that although Gray isn’t happy about losing the sex with benefits part, he’s truly had enough of Avery living in an echo chamber and his bratty behavior.

Avery, without his phone, has to find a new way to live his life.  He wanders into the Tap House and everything changes.  He makes new friends from all sides of the political spectrum.  He rediscovers his love of music.  His attitude improves, and he even makes friends with Taylor.  Then Warren and Charlie come to see what he’s up to.  But he doesn’t tell Gray.  He’s afraid of more rejection, which I understood.  But secrets have a way of coming back to haunt you.

Then something horrible happens and the fragile relationship Avery and Gray have built is threatened.  The hatred has come home to roost and both men have to face the wrath of the angry Twitter mob who are, unsurprisingly, totally uninformed and unwilling to see the truth.

Okay, in all that chaos, there is more character development going on.  Not just with Avery and Gray (although I do love what happens when a sadist and a masochist meet…)  There are wedding plans for one of the previous couples, and men who seemed stable might have moments of doubt.  Moments where coping with life is almost too tough.  In other words, real life.

This book ends on such a happy note, I was moved.  There can be great sorrow in life, but there can also be great joy.  This book reminds us that enduring the one makes celebrating the other all that more important.

As I’ve said, I desperately hope there’s a fourth book coming.  If not, the series ended in a great place.  My faith was restored, and I’ve been forced to examine my own behavior.  I’ll probably think twice before sharing that meme or story.  I may be more empathetic to the other side.  That may or may not have been Ms. Sexton’s plan all along, or it might just be a happy side bonus of listening to this amazing book.  I loved it.

My Rating:

10/10 Pots of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 5/5 Stars


Website | Twitter: @MarieSexton | Goodreads 

Marie Sexton lives in Colorado. She’s a fan of just about anything that involves muscular young men piling on top of each other. In particular, she loves the Denver Broncos and enjoys going to the games with her husband. Her imaginary friends often tag along. Marie has one daughter, two cats, and one dog, all of whom seem bent on destroying what remains of her sanity. She loves them anyway.

One thought on “Spare the Rod (The Heretic Doms Club Book 3) by Marie Sexton #Audiobook #BDSM #Review #MMRomance #Contemporary #LGBT

  1. Pingback: No Good Deed (The Heretic Doms Club Book 4) by Marie Sexton #Audiobook #BDSM #Review #MMRomance #Contemporary #LGBT | Rainbow Gold Reviews

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