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By His Rules

3.68  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,579 Ratings  ·  208 Reviews
Aiden Cole can be anything men want—naughty schoolboy, palace slave, virgin twink, or slutty secretary. He’s a gifted actor with a gorgeous body who gives legendary head. Aiden could have his pick of any Top in the local leather bar, but is drawn to Scott Runge—a cruel, sexy Dom who pushes Aiden to his limits, allowing Aiden to experience the excitement and danger of the B ...more
ebook, 1st Edition, 248 pages
Published January 10th 2012 by Loose Id
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Best Gay BDSM
41st out of 679 books — 991 voters
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Best M/M Romance Published in 2012
55th out of 617 books — 1,450 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,965)
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Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

Ahhh, reading in the bath. *bliss*

Everyone has their favorite kinks. As some of you may know (those that pay attention to the nonsense I blurt out of my face), I am drawn to some specific kinks in the BDSM realm, namely domestic discipline, daddy kink, chastity, and humiliation kink. I actually cringe reading about flogging or whipping, and tying someone up does nothing for me. I get why some people love certain things, but a lot of those things are not for me and I don't love reading about them
Emma Sea
This is an unusal BDSM-themed book. Keaton is into domestic discipline, not BDSM. Keaton is looking for a nurturing relationship of equals, supported by corporal and other punishments. This was an interesting twist on a familiar genre, and I enjoyed it. I didn't find it hot in the least, but I did find the emotionally caring aspect of Keaton and Aiden's relationship very sweet and calming.

I was taken a bit aback when I started the book, because I assumed the sample I read (when Aiden is living w
May 31, 2014 Otila rated it it was ok
Maybe Domestic Discipline just isn’t my thing because this didn’t work for me. The relationship between Keaton and Aiden was odd. Keaton is more like a parent to Aiden than his lover or Dom. He had Aiden writing lines, gave him time out and he just sucked all the fun and kink out of spanking. I didn’t like either MC. Keaton was boring and Aiden acted like a five year old most of the time. They did have their sweet moments but it wasn’t enough to convince me that this relationship really has a fu ...more
Oct 11, 2012 Heller rated it did not like it
This book was a bit Jekyll and Hyde for me.

I found the first half of it almost unbearable to read and came pretty close to DNF'ing it but was too curious to see how Aiden was going to get himself out of the hell he was in to stop reading. I guess this was just too hardcore for me, the barrage of degredation and humilation just felt endless and hopeless.

Aiden's reason for finally leaving Scott just felt inauthentic and forced, just as his reasons for staying. Those few times that Scott was shown
May 25, 2013 Tina rated it really liked it
Shelves: bdsm

This is one of the very few domestic discipline books that I have read (Gilli was the first one).

J.A. Rock does a great job in showing how a man wants to experience the BDSM world, falls for the wrong man and finally... after going through an abusive relationship... finds the right person to fulfill his needs.

I liked how Aiden, emotionally and physically damaged, fights to find himself again, to regain trust in himself and people around him, to follow his dreams. I also liked the way Keaton sup
Mar 02, 2012 Jane rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, bdsm
There's a kind of uneasy relationship for me between BDSM and DD. I love the former, have issues with the latter. They share some letters, but they don't stand for the same thing. This book has both and the switch between the two is almost jarring.

The book opens with some powerful and dark scenes that push things more than most of the D/s books I've read and it's got some major angst in it, but the resolution is a happy one and even the nominal villain is redeemed to a certain extent.

To a certai
Feb 03, 2012 Lauraadriana rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

This book was certainly interesting. Parts were a hard look at how badly BDSM can go wrong, parts were an education on other types of D/s relationships, others were sweet, some were frustrating and others were INCREDIBLY frustrating. They all seemed reasonable though, so overall it worked.

Aiden Cole is a recent college graduate, he is an actor, with lots of promise. He is also very involved in the BDSM scene. He is at Obey the local club, constantly, and is well known among the tops as
Feb 01, 2012 Jenre rated it really liked it
This book is divided into two parts. The first part covers Aiden's relationship with Scott. At the beginning of the book Aiden is drifting a little. He has a good degree in Drama and vague plans to go onto to do an MBA but he can't seem to summon up the gumption to start applying for places. He knows he's a good actor and an attractive man, and he dabbles a little in the BDSM scene, excelling in role playing with a little pain play. When he's picked up by Scott, he's excited that Scott sees thro ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Optimist ♰King's Wench♰ & MANTIES Champion
Sep 27, 2015 Optimist ♰King's Wench♰ & MANTIES Champion rated it liked it
Recommended to Optimist ♰King's Wench♰ & MANTIES Champion by: Rissa (an M/M kinda Girl!!)
Shelves: menz, dd
3.5 Stars

Honestly, this was a 4 star book for me up until the last few chapters then it floundered. I didn’t understand the rationale behind the climax, it just didn’t gel for me but I’m not going to tank it for a few chapters. Overall, it’s a good example of domestic discipline (DD). Falls Chance Ranch is still the gold standard as far as DD is concerned in my book, but this is a good offering & certainly not as long & involved as the FCR series.

Aiden’s a twink sub. He’s got some experi
♆ BookAddict  ✒ La Crimson Femme
My review is the second one. Doh! I'm always second. :(

The Romance Review

A downward spiraling submissive is never a pretty sight. I had misgivings about this book. Would it live up to the hype I've heard? I'm more critical of BDSM books since it seems more authors are jumping onto this latest hot trend with nary an understanding of this subject.

J.A Rock pulled me in within the first chapter. Aiden Cole is a hot twenty-three year-old being sought after by many a leather Daddy. Aiden's understanding of BDSM is mor
Veronica /  V
4.5 stars

Sometimes I like to challenge myself with stories that I don't usually read.

The beginning of this book was a real challenge, Scott, the Dom, was the most horrible human being, a sadist who loves to inflict pain on his sub, leaving him bloody and bruised.
Some of the abuse was too much for me and I had to skip pages.
I don't know much about this practice, but I'm quite sure BDSM is not about making your Sub suffer, and Scott was just a sadistic prick.

Keaton in the other hand, was the mos
May 15, 2012 Vivian rated it liked it
Shelves: erotica-contemp
It is a M/m domestic discipline story, not my usual fare. It was well written and the characters made sense, but it just didn't talk to ME. A couple of the self-sabotaging incidents after trust was established were hard to deal with--not intellectually, they weren't implausible just aggravated me.
Jo * Smut-Dickted *
A very good book about domestic discipline. Those of us who know a bit more about BDSM can see the differences between a DD relationship and a D/s one although they might seem the same on the outside. I enjoyed Keaton quite a lot - Aiden, eh, not all the time. I tend to not like the more immature type character and he was definitely not very mature. To the author's credit she took a theme I do not like (and I mean I DO NOT LIKE it and normally it makes the book a DNF) and at least made me unders ...more
Valentina Heart
Mar 23, 2012 Valentina Heart rated it really liked it
This review was originally written for The Romance Reviews and can also be found there.

BY HIS RULES is certainly a different take on BDSM. While it did contain some of the usual scenes I've read about in other book, the main concept broadened my horizons and at the same time showed two very different sides of sexual kink. The combination of good writing and novelty kept me interested to the very end and made me ask that one question every author should aspire for – Where can I get more?

Aiden is
JustJen "Miss Conduct"
May 22, 2014 JustJen "Miss Conduct" rated it really liked it
Shelves: mm, ebook
I really enjoyed this story. Aiden is so misinformed about the the real meaning behind d/s, thanks mostly to Scott, the jackass bastard of a dom who does nothing but beat and humiliate Aiden into submission. Keaton is on the other end of the spectrum, believing in an entirely different aspect of d/s without using the typical bdsm, d/s techniques. When Scott finally goes way too far over the line (I think he was over the line quite a few times already), Aiden ends up staying with Keaton and relea ...more
Re-read August 16th to 17th 2014 as a comfort read. I really need a Keaton.

Original review:

Great writing! I really enjoyed reading this, despite the abusive relationship in the beginning that was hard to read. I loved the DD relationship between Aiden and Keaton, and absolutely adore Keaton :)

It perhaps says something about the quality of this work that the baddie, Scott, was shown human, and capable of developing, and in the end an interesting enough person that I'd like to read a book about hi
Nov 26, 2013 Simsala rated it liked it
I didn`t know switching Doms means switching personalities.
Abuse or not, I found Aidens transformation from obidient sub to temper-tantrum throwing dramaqueen unconvincing.
The flaws of the story are already pointed out and some of them bothered me quite a bit but overall I had fun reading it - laughing at the most inappropriate moments and the domestic discipline relationship between Aiden and Keaton gave me some really good ideas for the next time someone dares to talk back....
Adrianamae, Marco's fan

this book reads like a manual on bdsm because it really isn't about the characters, but about the different styles of bdsm. The book, the writing is cold and factual. I felt nothing for these heroes. In fact, I felt nothing at all while reading this book. It was more of a case study about an abused sub who has physical and psychological problems and how they get resolved through another style of bdsm (sort of pain/humiliation BDSM versus discipline bdsm).
Awilk -never sleeps-
A very quick read. I tried the sample and had to download the full story instantly. There was a few things I had problems with, mainly in the first part of the book, which kept me from rating it higher.
Still, for people who enjoy BDSM m/m books, I would say you might enjoy this one, but I don't think it's a good book to start with.
Sep 19, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, gay, done, bdsm, ebook, 2012
Very good kinky m/m romance about a recent theater grad who's sort of at loose ends and spends his free time playing the perfect sub for an assortment of doms... until he makes something of a miscalculation and things go awry. JA Rock's now on my autobuy list.
Smith Barney
Well. For me. I appreciate this writer's humorous voice much more. Not this f'ing party-pooping-preaching voice.

Checked out at 65%.
Serena Yates
Jan 13, 2012 Serena Yates rated it really liked it
Shelves: gay
This is a great story that challenges the ‘traditional’ view of a D/s relationship – if there even is such a thing. It made me think about the nature of both the ‘D’ and the ‘s ‘ part of the equation in a fresh way, and I found myself pulled into the book as I was learning alongside Aiden.

Aiden is a sub. He knows this and has no trouble understanding it, or getting what he thinks he wants. He is okay as long as he determines how much and when he is getting the pain, since that is what he thinks
Apr 14, 2012 Jayhjay rated it really liked it
This review was originally published on my blog Joyfully Jay

Aiden Cole is an aspiring actor, supporting himself as a waiter and hoping to go to grad school. He is also a submissive and craves finding a partner who can truly make him feel like he can give up control. Aiden's past dom/sub experiences generally left him feeling unsatisfied; most of the men he meets are merely playing at the scene, and none give him the true submission he really desires.

One night Aiden connects with dom Scott Runge.
Jul 01, 2012 Amber rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bdsm, m-m
Loved this. A LOT. Really emotional. The author has a deft hand, weaving in very serious issues without overwhelming the reader.

Keaton was a faaabulous hero - I am so jealous. And Aiden... well, I see he got some trouble in reviews for being bratty. He was a bit of a diva but I felt it was understandable due to several issues, both his past relationship and the fact that his life is in a place of flux. AND I feel like his continued tempestuousness will make their relationship a lot more fun, tha
I would have given this book a 4 star, but the first half of the book was just so graphically jarring, that I am not sure if it helped or hurt the story. Sometimes it is ok just to say, " and he was abused". Or, carefully craft scenes that demonstrate his abuse and scars, don't just tell me.

Now, what I did like was the domestic discipline, there has been limited romances that focus on that kink. Most authors go into detail about floggings and spankings as punishments. But this book dealt with it
Feb 03, 2013 Shannon rated it really liked it
Recommended to Shannon by: J J
Holy Shit! I thought I was supposed to be enjoying Aiden's relationship with Scott when in reality I wanted to beat the crap out of that mean asshole. Thankfully we finally got to meet Keaten. Aaah, now there's a man. I don't really love the domestic discipline thing but this book was done so well and I just fell in love with poor little Aiden. I was really worried he was going to starve himself to death when he was in his downward spiral. Keaton to the rescue. Whew. Anyhow, I loved this book. N ...more
Sep 07, 2015 MostlyDelores rated it really liked it
I put off reading this one for a while since I'd heard the first part of it was really harsh. And it was... harsh, brutal in fact, especially since Aiden could not figure himself out and part of him was getting satisfaction from abuse and rape.

The slowly developing DD relationship between Aiden and Keaton was almost sweet in contrast, which I guess was the idea. All the characters were distinct individuals, imperfect and human. Even Scott, who was basically a complete sadist and a terrible Dom,
I discovered this had been lurking on my kindle for a couple of years. I dusted it off and settled in for the read.

Aidan was engaging right from the start he had a charisma that appealed to both Scott and Keaton when they spotted him at BDSM club Obey. Scott is a sadist who takes Aidan under his wing. The relationship is far from nourishing and Aidan spirals losing confidence and becoming a shadow of his former self.

Keaton offers respite to Aidan and subsequently agrees boundaries enforced by d

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I feel like this teetered on a fine line of being classified as a stroke story. NOT that there’s anything wrong with that.

I’ve got nothin’ against Faperature. I might even have a few in my Kindle Library. I just don’t add them to my GoodReads library because, well, I don’t really want to feel obligated to discuss them. Or defend them. Or have the stark reminders that I actually, occasionally, buy that stuff.

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I feel the earth quake from my grandmother rolling in her grave for what I
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J.A. Rock is the author of queer romance and suspense novels, including BY HIS RULES, TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME, and, with Lisa Henry, THE GOOD BOY and WHEN ALL THE WORLD SLEEPS. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Alabama and a BA in theater from Case Western Reserve University. J.A. also writes queer fiction and essays under the name Jill Smith. Raised in Ohio and West Virgi ...more
More about J.A. Rock...

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