Screwing the System by Josephine Myles
Title: Screwing the System
Author: Josephine Myles
Publisher: Samhain Press, February 2013
Rating: C List
Blurb: He’s nobody’s bitch. Until he gets a ride on the bitch seat.
Forced to apply for a job he doesn’t want, Cosmo Rawlins has only one aim in mind: fail the interview and get back to making music. Except his attempt to shock the older, sharp-suited Alasdair Grant doesn’t have the desired effect.
Instead of getting thrown out of the office by flaunting an interest in BDSM, Cosmo finds himself on his knees, apologizing to the sexy, good-looking Top.
Alasdair has more important things on his mind than training a novice sub, especially a rebellious bad boy like Cosmo. But there’s something beneath the younger man’s defiant attitude that’s too intriguing to ignore.
As Alasdair takes Cosmo in hand—and for a wild ride on his Harley—he becomes obsessed with bending the young rocker to his will, both in and out of bed. Until he goes one demand too far, and Cosmo is gone in a cloud of dust. Forcing Alasdair to admit that earning Cosmo’s loyalty—and love—will involve the toughest challenge he’s ever faced.
This title contains an overbearing Top with a less-than-glamorous job, a rebellious brat who refuses to call him sir, and a total lack of high-end BDSM clubs or playrooms. Expect floggings over the kitchen table instead.
Review: This book’s blurb made me raise my eyebrows and go, “Interesting,” with a cheesy accent. I’m a kinky girl through and through, so I was excited to read this one, and with a name like Josephine Myles on it, what could go wrong?
Alasdair was an incredibly hot, yet compassionate Dom, which I appreciated. The books where the Dom is unforgiving or cold hearted leave me wanting. That Cosmo was cheeky and sarcastic was just an extra bonus. Taming the sass-mouthed sub is one of my favorite BDSM tropes, and this one was done very well. When Alasdair reaches a point where he appreciates Cosmo’s sarcasm and wit and no longer wants to dominate it out of him, I sighed all gooey and warm inside.
Cosmo, while a stunning example of insubordination, also had an inner fire I found myself admiring. He made me laugh, sometimes in public, earning me strange looks. The chemistry between Cosmo and Alasdair was unmistakable. They were so hot together.
So where’d the book lose in the rating? I kept expecting a conflict to arise, and not much did. Sure, the pair had their bumps, and the blurb alludes to Alasdair making a mistake and Cosmo taking off, but if this was the main hurdle of the plot, it happened too early in the story for me to realize it was the climax.
There was potential for greater fireworks in a couple different plotlines—with Alasdair’s newest possible client and neighborhood friend who doesn’t know he’s gay or a Dom, or with Cosmo’s grandmother being swept up in the cogs of business dealings. The solution Alasdair came up with made total sense, but it came without any work.
The plot line I would have thought to create the greatest tension between Alasdair and Cosmo was the allegiance Cosmo had to his band and how one of the band members undermined Cosmo’s success. While it worked out that Cosmo came to his own conclusion about the band and his place in it, either the tension with his friends could have been used to greater advantage, or the strain it put on Alasdair’s patience with Cosmo could have created a stronger conflict to be overcome.
Overall, entertaining story, hot characters, sometimes brilliant descriptions that left me rereading some passages, but there just wasn’t enough meat on the bone to make it as well rounded a read as it could have been. Solid C List.