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A Strong Hand

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  3,033 ratings  ·  278 reviews
Nicholas Sayers, needing money for college, takes a job as assistant to infamous photographer Damian Wolfe. It's just taking pictures, right? Wrong. While Nick has never questioned what kind of man he is or what he truly wants in life, working for Damian during a BDSM photo shoot opens his eyes to all sorts of sexual possibilities, and many of them include the handsome Mr. ...more
Kindle Edition, 240 pages
Published April 13th 2009 by Dreamspinner Press (first published April 1st 2009)
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Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,033 ratings  ·  278 reviews

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Optimist ♰King's Wench♰
Feb 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Optimist ♰King's Wench♰ by: Denise
Awwww man… I got duped by a cover again!

But look at that cover <-------- I mean… Come On! That cover coupled with the title I thought fer sure I was gonna get slammed up against a wall thereby making my pupils dilate to the size of pancakes. Instead what I got was…

This has been reviewed ad nauseam so I'm not going there but I will give you a list of what I like to call my whatever moments.

My main whatever is the BDSM elements just didn't gel for me. Damian is a Top who reportedly likes the D/s
Apr 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Damian is a photographic artist with a taste for the kinkier side of artistic life. He is a Top but has not indulged in that part of his life for several years. Nick is a struggling last year art student. He is looking for something but truly has no idea that he is looking or that he needs anything. For that matter, Damian is also looking for something and doesn’t realize it.

Nick becomes the assistant to Damian and their two lives collide.

Damian is photographing products for his friend Ashley’

This book is probably more of a 2-2 1/2 star read for me, but I bumped it because I do love the cover, which was what first drew me to the book. Nick is the assistant to a photographer, Damien. Damien's friend Ashley runs a company that sells kink- everything from whips to leather pants. Ashley has asked Damien to shoot his catalogue, but Ashley also wants to play matchmaker plus he might have a thing for his assistant, Derek, who used to be Damien's assistant. Damien and Ashley are both in
Aug 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I started re-reading this for the second time in November 2013 but was disillusioned at about 50%. It wasn't living up to the 5 stars from my first reading. I felt like I was reading a shifter book. The MC's were marking each other and growling "mine" and talking about being "mates." I decided to put it down for a bit and re-read at a later date. My original rating will remain for now. ...more
Funzee Shu
May 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gay-romance



"Does it excite you to be under my power, to surrender your pleasure to me, to trust me to give you enjoyment when you deserve it, to be under my control?"

"Yes, sir."

The main reason I marked this book is...
Absolutely because the cover !

Oh, come on, ladies !
Look at that adorable-delicious-lickable BUM !!!

Gosh ! I really-REALLY wanna lick it or snuggling on it or well...uhm...yes...I must admit that it make me wanna do some light spank on the chick eh
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: bdsm
This book felt more like a short story structure rather than that of a full novel. There were no real world intrusions, no meeting of friends outside of the lifestyle, and the main character didn't confront his sexuality in any meaningful way. ...more
Oct 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
This? Awesome BDSM book.

Nick Sayers is a young artist who begins working for a well known photographer, Damian Wolfe, and eventually begins modelling for a kink catalogue that Damian is shooting.

Nick has some curiousity about the lifestyle and Damian eases him into things slowly. Surprisingly there's a lot of info dump here but it never gets in the way of the really sweet romance that develops between the two men.

Nick is a submissive and Damian is a top who really understands and enjoys the d
Elisa Rolle
First of all I'm shallow, but I was enticed by the cover since the first moment I saw it. It's perfect for the book, a story of a young boy who is starting to discover the BDSM world, but he likes it "vanilla", he mostly likes to be spanked, and what is better than a pretty bum to suggest it?

Nick is a young art student who is working for a famous male erotica photographer, Damian, to make the ends meet. Since the beginning he is a brat, always answering back to Damian even for the smallest thing
Jul 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: bdsm, m-m
This is my first book by Catt Ford and I really enjoyed the coupling of Nick and Damian.

Damian is an experienced Top and well known erotic photographer who has chosen not to participate in the scene for the last 5 years, although we are never really given an explanation why other than the subs were annoying him. Nick, is about 10 years younger (as we are often reminded), working his way through his last year of college as an art major and has never been attracted to another man or the BDSM life
Sep 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
It is a miracle I finished the book. On an upside, there were plenty of hot sex scenes, page after page if that is what you go for. On the down side, the story was really weak. There was not much of anything else going on other than a sexy catalog photoshoot and a new Dom-Sub relationship in blossom.

What made me drop the book multiple times was the CONSTANT headhopping. It happened even in a single paragraph. I don't mind not knowing all the time what goes on both mc's mind - let alone everyone
Emanuela ~plastic duck~
01/18/13: Revised rating after a couple of years of reading m/m: from 5 to 3.5.

I was surprised by this book. I thought it was out of my comfort zone, but I was wrong and I was really glad I read it. I think it's the right book for those, like me, who had little to no idea abaout what a BDSM book entailed, but who are curious and want to start to explore it.

What did it for me is the way Damian introduces Nick to the BDSM lifestyle, almost step by step, and the fact that he feels he is not infalli
Awilk -never sleeps-
First off the cover. It is one of my favourites. Enticing without being overly beefcake. Nice.
The story was one that pulled me in very quickly. It was a book that made me cook dinner one-handed so I didn't have to stop, and I think it was the writing style that captured me. The only problem I had with that was that it jumped around a bit too much in who was telling me the story.
It could have been a 5 star read but I really don't believe in these gay-for-you story's very much. If you like both se
Dec 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
Know that moment when you finish a book and you just think to yourself, "What the f*ck did I just read?"
Well that's exactly what happened to me.
I have to admit I was actually interested in this book after I saw the cover, silly, I know, but then I saw the reviews and decided to give it a try.
Oh how wrong I was...
I didn't enjoy this at all, it was a promising idea but it just didn't deliver.
The narration was horrible.
I bugged me the hell out that they kept referring to Damian as 'the older man
JustJen "Miss Conduct"
This was a sweet story about Nick, a young straight man finding himself in submission to his gay photographer boss, Damian. I liked the way Nick was eased into the lifestyle when asked to model some of the kinky props being photographed for a catalog. I did not like how easily Nick accepted having a gay relationship. It seemed odd that he didn't have more issues with this. There is a lot of spanking which gets repetitive, and the lack of deeper conversation between the mcs prevented me from havi ...more
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
This got one extra star for effort.

This has no plot at all. And I have my doubts about the BDSM side of it, to be honest. No, I don't have any experience with it. All I can do is compare it to other books in the same genre.

Some of the reactions were just... Weird. And this was just smut on top of smut (I like my smut to have a little bit of plot and/or character development). I didn't feel any chemistry between Damian and Nick, either.
Aug 29, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: glbt-fiction
Loads of angst interspersed with much smex and a young man exploring his burgeoning submissive side, made for a rather entertaining read. Defnitely on the lighter side the of the D/s scale, although one of the scenes in the last third was a little rougher. Nothing you’ll need someone to hold your hand through though!

There was great tension between Nick and Damian, and I especially enjoyed Nick. He was super cute and kinda artsy/emo! I found his character rather appealing and easy to read. He has
May 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Lovers of sugar kink
This is my favourite type of BDSM book. I find it hard to reconcile the need of an adult to take total control over/for another adult with my own life experience so the books which portray that kind of 24/7 domination leave me feeling a bit icky. A Strong Hand on the other hand (no pun intended) neatly separates the bedroom games from the rest of the character's lives.

Having said that, some of the BDSM was intense but it was intended to titillate rather than punish/humiliate Nicholas so it staye
J.L. Merrow
Mar 25, 2010 rated it liked it
A difficult book to rate. Parts were very well done indeed - the innocent sub Nick getting into the BDSM scene, but completely freaked out by its more extreme aspects. The fallible Dom - a pet hate of mine is the Dom portrayed as some kind of all-knowing, infinitely patient sex-god. The erotic scenes were red hot and smoking, and both main characters are appealing. Secondary characters add interest without stealing the show.

I wasn't convinced by Nick as someone just discovering he was gay, howev
Insecure dom plus insecure sub equals some of the... politest BDSM stuff I've ever read. I kind of enjoyed it for the novelty value of that alone. It's a nice little book, engaging and well-written enough for me to see it through to the end. ...more
Jul 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
much later ETA:
Something I should have said the first time:
Man. Look at that ass...
Sep 09, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction, m-m, bdsm
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erotic Horizon
May 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
World renown photographer Damian Wolfe is on a job as a favour and at this point he’s actually wondering why the hell he is even there. Not that the catalogue he’s doing the shot for isn’t something to be appreciated – but with a very eager friend looking over his shoulder to top that off he has an accident prone assistant – he’s now making use of all the patience he’s built up over the years.

Nicholas Sayers is the accident prone assistant in question – working his way through school, he takes a
May 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: bdsm
This was the kind of book that you read, and it's really good, but then you find yourself asking what was his name again? when you're done.

The premise of the book was solid. The writing was good.

Nick had never been able to please Damian before and hearing approval in his employer’s voice was… heady.

The relationship was dynamic and accurate... The scenes were hot.

“You need to learn to ask for what you want,” Damian scolded gently. “How will anyone know how to please you if you don’t make
Nov 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommended to Shannon by: Katie
This would have been and easy 4 stars read if it weren't for the constant use of "smaller man", "younger man" etc. That phrasing takes me right out of the story and makes me work a little to hard to get back into it. Loved the relationship between these two. So unsure of each other yet desperate to please. And a man on man virgin? Oh yeah, me likey! ...more
Spoiler Whore-Momoa
Dec 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m
Was kinda iffy about this one but I really enjoyed it. Would like a follow up on Damien and Nick also a book about Ashley and Derick.
Jul 01, 2013 marked it as to-read
Shelves: lgbt, m-m, bdsm
Framing that cover in 3...2...1!
Jacq ~
Jun 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Ok read. I

Disappointing chemistry with the MC's ,which add to making this a slow read.
Aug 18, 2009 rated it liked it
This is sweet, touching BDSM story that is really light D/s with a kink for spanking. There are a few uncomfortable scenes with heavier BDSM but these are minor and meant more to help the characters understand their desires and limits rather than focusing on the harder elements of that lifestyle. The writing is decent with some good characters, although the story tries too hard and adds in several disparate elements. Ultimately the sweet, tender nature of the story with an edge of kink and dange ...more
Dec 31, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mm
Eh. This one's got too many problems to be really satisfying, even with that gorgeous cover.

To start with, just how many times am I gonna have to read drivel like the following:

He pointed at the floor and instinctively Nick dropped to his knees, awaiting whatever might come next.

-- instinctively?? Really?? Nick doesn't even know what a safeword is, but he kneels "instinctively"???

somehow Nick knew that no matter what he asked for, Damian would know how much he could bear.

-- there's that pesky
Aug 19, 2013 rated it did not like it
Oh this is a frustrating and bad story. How anyone can grade this book so high is beyond me, as A Strong Hand features one of the worst doms I've yet had the pleasure to encounter in an erotic romance novel, gay or straight.

Damian, our famous photographer dom, shows right from the start that he has all the charm of a cranky and capricious diva. He's downright mean and cantancerous and how Nicholas, the sub, can be attracted to him is beyond my reach. The first scenes show a lot of interaction b
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Catt Ford lives in front of the computer monitor, in another world where her imaginary gay friends obey her every command.

She likes cats, chocolate, swing dancing, sleeping, Monty Python, Aussie friends, being silly, spinning other realities with words, and sea glass. She dislikes caterpillars, cigarette smoke, and rude people who think the F-word (as in faggot, or bundle of sticks) is acceptable.

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“Take this fucking thing off me!" he demanded.

"Good morning to you too, Nick," Damian said mildly. He unlocked the door without haste and went to his office, Nick dogging his every footstep.

"Did you --?"

"I didn't touch it or myself. Take it off right now!" Nick said angrily.

Damian sat down and motioned Nick closer. "We're going to have to have a talk about topping from the bottom. I don't allow that, pet.”
“Pet, so far we've been playing at this. I'm going to take you a bit further. A play spanking can be erotic but I am going to take you flying, so high you'll never have felt anything like it." He paused and strolled around the kneeling boy. Damian pulled his hands together behind his back and linked the D rings on the cuffs. "Feel how helpless you are, on your knees to me, waiting for me to decide what to do to you?” 20 likes
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