Jeff Sanders's Reviews > Puppy Love

Puppy Love by Jeff Erno
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Jan 19, 10

Recommended for: nobody
Read in January, 2010 — I own a copy, read count: 1

I got this book knowing that there was some BDSM in it, but I really like stories about gay guys my age. One of my favorite series is Mark Roeder's gay youth chronicles. I had to struggle to get through this book. If this is what a bondage relationship is like then I don't want to read about it. I think its because the word was in the title but all I could think of was a puppy being beaten by a bully. And because the puppy wants attention really badly it is mistaken for love. If I could write this review without giving it any stars I would.
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message 1: by Staceyr (new) - added it

Staceyr Jeff wrote: "all I could think of was a puppy being beaten by a bully. And because the puppy wants attention really badly it is mistaken for love."

Yup--same here, Jeff. It was hard to watch a nice guy get victimized. Made me wonder if this book was written as a warning to show all that can go WRONG in the hands of the inexperienced and misguided. Hope so.

I just discovered Mark Roeder's books last week--good reads.


Maria47 Hello Jeff,
perhaps you should read what Jeff Erno posted about his Matt Porter character:

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/...

You suggest in your review this book is about bullying.
And that's something I can't see at all.
I have to confess I read Puppy Love twice: On nifty and the book. When I first read it I got the impression Matt is a mean, egoistical, unmature boy who doesn't care about Petey that much.
When I reread Puppy Love I thought Jeff Erno might have changed a lot of things - but he did not.

Spoiler

The second time I just knew Matt loves Petey.

The impression of Matt being mean I (and maybe you as well) got was mainly because the story is told in Petey's view. And he is too self-conscious to believe Matt loves him when they begin their relationship. On the other hand this is just what's so amazing about this book: Jeff Erno is so talented in his writing, he succeeds in drawing us on Petey's side so completely he has to face reviews of upset readers.

But when you think of it: Matt never told Petey that he will be monogamous. And Petey isn't expecting it. What makes him upset when Matt spends time with Tracy isn't the fact Matt sleeps with her, he is so upset because he thinks Matt doesn't love him. When he is convinced Matt just wanted to have a girl it is ok for him. But Petey isn't hurt so much by the things Matt does to him but by his interpretation what it means for them.

So Petey is constantly afraid Matt won't love him the same way he does love Matt. But Matt is showing and telling him his love all the time! There is so much evidence of Matt's feelings: How he gently starts their intimate relationship, reassuring Petey being gay and being sub is ok, how he vocalizes his love by simply telling Petey, how he showers him with meaningful gifts (the letter jacket), how he spends most time with Petey - and not Tracy!

Of course there is the Dom/sub relationship and true: For people who live and want a relationship of equals this is alien and having Petey giving Matt a bj til his mouth and knees ache without getting anything in return, being paddeled for calling him: That's a little bit unsettling. But I guess with real life Dom/sub couples it may be like that. The thrill for the sub is to please his master, to obey him and to be punished when he fails.

True: Matt, being so young and unexperienced and being at least cocky, hurts Petey. But bullying would mean he does it intentionally and likes to do it. And this is not the case. Matt loves to be served and to order but when he hurts Petey and finds out he stops. And when you think of their first anal intercourse: Do you think a bully would be so tender and careful? It was a wonderful experience for Petey and it is the first time he begins to believe Matt could love him.

A long comment, I know but I think this book is great and you'd miss a good and very well written coming of age story if you gave up on it. There are no sugarcoated settings a lot of female romance writers even put BDSM relationships in. I think it is a non -judgemental story advertizing tolerance even when a life style is not your cup of tea.

Maria



message 3: by Jeff (new) - added it

Jeff Erno Thank you Jeff, Stacey, and Maria for reading and commenting on my book. Feedback is so important to me, and I take all comments seriously. I would normally find it inappropriate for an author to respond to a public review, favorable or critical. However, I am a bit disturbed that anyone would get the impression that I promote, condone, or encourage bullying of any kind. I would like to invite readers to visit my blog where I posted an entry about this very topic several months ago http://www.jefferno.net/jeffs_blog/im...

My hope is that readers see that Domination is not the same thing as bullying. A Master has a responsibility to protect, develop, nurture, and reassure his sub. In Puppy Love, Matt is not perfect, but as he grows as a Master, he learns to do all of these things.

I personally find it very hot when a Dominant guy is cocky and a bit egotistical. To some this is obviously interpretted as bullying. To me (and Petey) it is simply part of the reason I'm attracted to this type in the first place. But rest assured, I would never be with someone who abused me or beat me. And the implication of the book title is definitely not that I feel puppies (or humans) should ever be beaten.

In any event thanks for your reviews and your very valuable feedback.


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