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Spare the Rod

(The Heretic Doms Club #3)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  261 ratings  ·  74 reviews
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
Kindle Edition, 388 pages
Published December 16th 2019 by Marie Sexton
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Average rating 3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  261 ratings  ·  74 reviews

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Xia Xia
1st attempt: 30th of Dec, 2019
On hold at 12%... I'm not DNFing yet.

Edit 9 Jan 2020:
Tried again. Reached 56% and I can't anymore.

Book, for f**k's sake...


It felt like I was returning to my favorite restaurant to eat my favorite dish, but the cook decided somehow to change the recipe and make it more whimsy, adding a bit of politics, with a dash of how social media can affect someone's judgement, and a sprinkle of how the media is controlling the public via the news, turning the dish from
Leaf of Absence
***There's no plot spoilers below, but read at your own risk in any case***

So I stayed up all night reading Spare the Rod. I love the previous books, especially Terms of Service, and I literally couldn’t wait to see what ‘outlaw’ Gray’s story would look like. Marie Sexton is amazing writing the dynamics of her Heretics, those kinky, non-monogamous, flawed, charming weirdos, and Gray’s birthday party is the best example of that--because we see it all through the eyes of bratty, cynical, insecure
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Gave it 5 stars to counterbalance an unjustified 1 star rating before this book is released, I will update when I read it. I love this series and I'm looking forward to the book :)

Edit : Christmas holidays just started, and I was finally able to read Spare the Rod. I feel a little conflicted about how to rate it, but I settled on 3.5 (rounded to 4).

No spoilers ahead, just my thoughts about this book :

Not my favorite of the series. While I loved the other books, I liked this one but I found some
2.5 “what the hell?” stars
I think the word I’m trying to find here is....disappointing. There was just so much standing on the soap-box that, for me, the romance fell by the way side.

I did enjoy just how much the author made me loathe Avery for the first 45% though. Every time he opened his mouth, and every thought in his head, made me recoil. I hated him. It was refreshing to find that Gray, even though he was initially attracted to Avery, once he got to know him he found him unattractive
DNF at 24%. Sorry, little book.

It's not that I disagree with the message of the book. I had my fair share of encounters with woker-than-thou assholes exactly like Avery over the last few weeks. What I don't like is that it's not done well. I would have been fine (I think) if there had been more showing instead of telling but the way the characters are drawn, they feel more like caricatures than real people and quite frankly, I dislike them both enormously. I don't see that this is going to
I had a long list of things I wanted to say, instead I'm keeping it short.This is a good book. It's just not romance. It's more of a study. With romantic and BDSM elements thrown in.

I agreed with everything that was said here. From social media use to the political stuff and the media twisting things. It's all true. I don't think anyone should take offense, if you do, well... then you should look into the mirror. Some of this stuff I already knew and thought it was evident, especially regarding
Dec 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: erotica, lgbtq
I enjoyed elements of this story but I didn’t like the political banter- it was way too much and dominated the story. I understand there was a purpose in using this information to support Greys character traits but it really was just way too much. I actually got frustrated and flicked those pages. Probably not my favorite book in this series.
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was ok
I like the first book of this series.
I freaking LOVE the next book. I'll never forget about River and Phil's reunion in the end.
This was supposed to be the third and my favorite but Omg. This was so annoying. Like real annoying.

Me all along.

Gray is one of my fav (he was my fav before this).

Gray met his mate in a party. Avery.
God. I totally disliked Avery. I tried. Hard. But in the end I have to admit. He was my limit in this. I mean he became a better man. True.

Avery is a son to a rich
Dec 16, 2019 rated it liked it
I was looking forward to this book and I’m so disappointed. The romance was pretty solid for most of the book, but it was overwhelmed by a series of political harangues. Sexton is wildly frustrated with the state of politics in America today, but in critiquing the unforgiving dogmatism that can exist on both the left and the right, she equally dogmatically asserts the superiority of the center for no better reason than the fact that it is the center.

I welcome political content in my books and
Dec 16, 2019 rated it liked it
I was waiting very impatiently for this one to drop, so it's probably inevitable that I found it disappointing.

As a pragmatic progressive, the politics in this book drove me crazy. It seemed to suggest that some sort of Jenga-tower of middle ground rationalizations is the only way to be intellectually honest. Not so. You can be fully educated as to the two sides and the tradeoffs, not be out there calling people Nazis, and vote Democratic earnestly. There IS such a thing as the lesser evil.

I do
~nikki the recovering book addict
Not the best of this series

I was so looking forward to this book because the first two books in this series blew me away. I didn’t even know what to expect from this book. I never even read the blurb and I was anticipating like hell for this book!

This was not Ms Sexton’s best. I understand that she struggled to finish this book. But I can’t help but feel slightly disappointed. There were some very noticeable spelling mistakes, especially because whatever word was spelled didn’t make sense with
Dec 16, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mm, unsexy-sex, abuse
Mixing social commentary with the romance storyline could have worked if it was handled with a lighter touch. Instead this instalment came across as a lecture in the evils of social media.
Dec 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Best story yet! Loved all the up and downs. It starts with a bang and then lows of almost disliking both Avery and Gray and then it’s turned around. Lovely discourse on building community. You could tell this book meant a lot to the author.
Jan 05, 2020 rated it did not like it
It was difficult to get through this book, but I did it to write an accurate, honest review. Spare the Rod was a colossal disappointment. I expected a romance similar to the first two in the series, but it is nothing of the kind. This book is less of a romance and more of a political lecture. It would be difficult to write a modern, realistic story that takes place in the US and not mention politics, but this was more than a mention. The reader is beaten over the head with the author’s political ...more
Really love these characters and overall the development of this couple worked for me. The political debate was a bit much at times but did made me think. A lot actually. It also reminded me of this amazing song by For King and Country.

Cannot wait for Charlie’s book. In the meantime a reread of Warren and Taylor is in order.
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was extremely excited to read this book, and as someone who rarely ever writes a review on a book I’ve read, this one had to be written about because of how disappointing I found it. I absolutely LOVED the first two books, I just don’t know what happened here.

Edited to add : I loved the romance aspect of this book, and the relationship between Gray and Avery. I wish there was way more of that instead of whats below.

Not sure if she should have pushed up release or what, but a dissertation on
Dec 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, mm-bdsm, kink, ku
A good story spoilt slightly by unneccessary pages of American politics and voting for Republicans, Democrats and Independents - all rather boring for a non American reader. Found myself having to skip pages to get on with the story ...more
Sarah Sutton
Jan 08, 2020 rated it liked it
I was so very excited for Gray's book but I could barely make it through this installment of the Heretic Doms Club. Ii'm acknowledging that I'm probably overly emotional right now and giving this three stars instead of the one star that I'm feeling right now. I'll have to update this review once I reflect and calm down.

Marie Sexton took what could (should?) have been a raw and edgy romance novel and turned it into a platform for her personal frustrations with online debates, divisive politics,
Dnf at somewhere close to the end.

First I was disappointed because I wanted Charlie's story then I had to sit and read this fake deep book, just because you're in the "center" doesn't make you more reasonable.
I only read that far because I didn't want to miss any clue about Charlie's stuff.
Minerva Spencer
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I can't remember the last time I pre-ordered a book and actually thought about it, and checked the calendar, waiting for it to arrive. For some reason I thought it came out the 11th of December and was so bummed to learn I had to wait. But I got lucky and received my copy just a few hours before midnight. Which is why I'm squinty-eyed and crabby this morning.

After inhaling the first 2 books in the series, I was deeply involved in these characters' lives. I couldn't BELIEVE I had to wait a couple
DNF. I can't even.

This book has over 7,000 locations on Kindle. In a romance novel, that means this thing can go one of two ways: (1) I hang on every beautiful word, each of which in some way contributes to the advancement of the plot (see Over and Over Again by Cole McCade) or (2) the book is goddamn fucking interminable (Double Trouble: Two Werewolves for Brian by D.J. Heart is just over 5,000 locations but starts to feel interminable even if you really get what D.J. Heart is all about).

Amber Cooper
Dec 23, 2019 rated it liked it
A lot of misinformation

I enjoyed the romance aspect of this story. There were a lot of editing errors and what looked almost like autocorrect issues (like "cock" changed to "block") but those are pretty standard with this author. But this book seemed like it was about the politics more than the story, and the very first chapter had so many consent violations and blatant misinformation about the BDSM community that it was a little difficult to get into. BDSM parties are not a free for all where
3.5-4 stars
I do love this series. I'm not on twitter or fb or any of that other stuff, but this definitely started to feel like I was being lectured, and I didn't care so much for that. I think the debates are good, I think getting to know people instead of making judgments is good, but after a while, I was like...okay, I need us to move along. I do love the growth in Avery and the self-realizations of Gray. I love all the guys and seeing them interact is always great. I do understand that with
Alexis Woods
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

Been waiting a long time for book three of this series and so worth the wait!! Gray and Avery were perfect for each other and, of course, the political discourse and debate story within the story were impressive an inspiring. Reinforced a lot of my own thoughts, but also made me think outside the box.

My only disappointment was the number of errors throughout the book. Proofreading please!!

KU, contemporary, book in series, D/s, BDSM heavy on the SM, profession: police officer,
Ellie Weir
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was not what I expected, and for the first few chapters I was willing myself to keep going, ‘I have waited so long for this book I don’t want to give up now’. I took a break to decide what was really bugging me about the book; was it too political etc, and yes a little bit of that was it- however I also realised I had too many expectations of what i expected Grays book to look like and how I saw the character developing.

I decided to carry on with a completely open mind and no pre
Vicki Easom Johnson
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh, wow!

Gray and Avery are my favorites! I wasn't supposed to cry! You made me cry! I was having a hard time liking Gray. Gray was difficult, or so I thought. Turns out I was wrong. He was someone I ended up loving. Avery needed to grow up and Gray was the one who could help him. Together they make an amazing couple.
Nat ReadingAllNite
Dec 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: m-m, amazon
I had issues with this one, just my own viewpoints and not anything wrong with the writing. It just felt like 2/3 a diatribe about social media and political polarization and 1/3 relationship. I never quite connected with them as a couple, too much negative interaction for too long. I also disliked how Avery was tossed into the group’s sexual dynamic without warning or explanation. It’s necessary to read books 1 & 2 to grasp this one.

It ends at Christmas with happy events and positive
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Real and brave and wonderful

We all need to grow, not stagnate. And your ideal partner will help you do that! Sometimes it's a hard journey, though.
This book combines the love, struggle, and happy ending with an examination of the issues faced in modern society. Before you can be true to another, you have to be true to yourself.
I think I should have gone into this book blind. I think I might have enjoyed it more if I hadn't had all of those negative reviews pinging around in my head. I still enjoyed it, not as much as the two before it, but still.

I absolutely loved the two books before this. I reread them right before I read this book. And I didn't even skip parts like I do when I reread most books. Still great.

I do agree with some of the reviewers in that I read books for escapism, especially fiction books. And most
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was ok
I really enjoyed the first two books in this series and was looking forward to Grey's story. Unfortunately, this did not deliver. For some reason, the author decided to make this book a social commentary, thinly cloaked in romance. The characters were flat mouthpieces for this agenda. I don't think writers should never be able to express their opinions or political views, but there are many other outlets in which to do so. One of the reasons I read romance is as an escape from all that. I ...more
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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.


Other books in the series

The Heretic Doms Club (4 books)
  • One Man's Trash (The Heretic Doms Club, #1)
  • Terms of Service (The Heretic Doms Club, #2)
  • No Good Deed (Heretic Coms Club, #4)