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Publisher's Summary

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 asks to stay with Gray for a few weeks, Gray reluctantly agrees. Avery may be the perfect sub, but as an accidental roommate, he sucks. The younger child of rich, indulgent parents, Avery is an entitled slob with a disdain for rules, a lack of ambition, and an obsession with social media. Gray tolerates his presence, but when Avery breaks one of Gray’s ground rules, he punishes him and takes away his phone. 

Deprived of his usual echo chamber, Avery feels lost until he discovers a local Tap House, a piano, and his buried love of music. The more Avery plays, the more the community around him blossoms. For the first time in his life, Avery has a purpose and goals for the future. But the thing he longs for most - Gray’s love and respect - may be forever out of reach.

©2019 Marie Sexton (P)2020 Marie Sexton

What listeners say about Spare the Rod

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Worth the Wait

I’m a patient woman. I LOVED the first two books in the Heretic Doms series and was willing to wait for this one. The author would provide periodic updates and I read each one eagerly, hoping for a publication date. Well, that came a couple of months ago and then began the wait for the audio. I love John Solo and knew he was working on it so, tapping fingers, I exercised more of that patience. I listened to piles of audios in between, all the while knowing this one was coming. Then, voila, it arrived. I grabbed it, held it to my chest, and chanted MINE MINE MINE. But I digress. The book is long, clocking in at over 15 hours, and I would’ve done it in one sitting if I hadn’t needed to, you know, sleep. I listened over two days and loved every part of it. John Solo took a wonderful book and elevated it even further, giving it the spark it needed to come to life. I was so glad to be immersed back in the world with Warren, Taylor, Phil, River, Gray, and even Charlie. (And he’s getting a book, right? Don’t worry, I’ll wait patiently…) John has distinct voices for each man and his narration flows beautifully, taking me into the men’s world. Gray needed a strong partner who is also a pain slut. I don’t use the word in a pejorative term – I am a bit of one myself, so I understand Avery’s need for it. There’s something about needing to immerse oneself within the pain, to know you can take it, to – if you’re really lucky – go into subspace. Which is a thing. When Gray and Avery meet at a BDSM house party, it’s clear they are well suited. Each ghosts on the other and it looks like it’s over until Gray comes back into Avery’s life in the most embarrassing way possible. Now, Avery is a spoiled brat. I wanted to slap him upside the head. But he’s no different than plenty of young people, especially those raised in the age of social media. I have a sister who’s never lived without a smart phone, doesn’t know what a rotary dial phone is, and has never spent a day without a computer in the house. She’s wise with her social media use, but not all young adults are. Avery gets pulled into the echo chamber and often experiences faux outrage, believing everyone on the other side is, to be blunt, a Nazi. Now, I’m as mystified as the next person on why so many people voted for Donald Trump, but I try not to paint all of them with one brush. They had their reasons. (I’m Canadian and we’ve voted in a few people and I’ve gone, ‘huh, really?’ and watched them destroy things I believe in.) I could get into the basis of the polarization but that would take a week and you’re here to read about what a great book this is. Let’s just say I’ve seen Twitter mobs in action and to be on the receiving end isn’t pretty. Lives have been lost. People destroyed. Relationships ruined. What I love about this book is that things are not presented simply. Gray comes from a family where every side of every issue is examined, litigated, and then hashed over yet again. I know I’d love to immerse myself in that environment for perhaps a dinner, but as a way to live? No wonder Gray can see both sides of every argument. But the openness to hear the other side does come back to bite him in the butt. When Gray agrees to let Avery stay, he lays down some basic rules, then figures he’s going to get plenty of sex and BDSM sessions. Avery’s laziness quickly turns Gray off, but it’s not until Avery breaks one of Gray’s critically important rules that things fall apart. Gray feels he can’t kick Avery out, but he can punish him. And sometimes pulling away emotionally is ten times worse than any physical punishment. It becomes apparent that although Gray isn’t happy about losing the sex with benefits part, he’s truly had enough of Avery living in an echo chamber and his bratty behavior. Avery, without his phone, has to find a new way to live his life. He wanders into the Tap House and everything changes. He makes new friends from all sides of the political spectrum. He rediscovers his love of music. His attitude improves, and he even makes friends with Taylor. Then Warren and Charlie come to see what he’s up to. But he doesn’t tell Gray. He’s afraid of more rejection, which I understood. But secrets have a way of coming back to haunt you. Then something horrible happens and the fragile relationship Avery and Gray have built is threatened. The hatred has come home to roost and both men have to face the wrath of the angry Twitter mob who are, unsurprisingly, totally uninformed and unwilling to see the truth. Okay, in all that chaos, there is more character development going on. Not just with Avery and Gray (although I do love what happens when a sadist and a masochist meet…) There are wedding plans for one of the previous couples, and men who seemed stable might have moments of doubt. Moments where coping with life is almost too tough. In other words, real life.

2 people found this helpful

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  • HF
  • 08-25-20

Beautiful and timely!

Would have my teen listen to it if not for the explicitness. However, I wouldn’t give that up either! Thoughtful, sexy, and inspiring.

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10 Stars!

The 5 stars they allow me to give aren't enough! #AveryandGrey4ever❤ Now for Charlie. Please tell me Charlie is next! Maybe with Robert?😏

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Good Story Great Narration

I enjoyed this audiobook even though book 2 is still my favorite in the series, Gray's story was very good. I have read the entire series and loved how each story is different and unique in its own way. Spare the Rod is Gray's story and I was excited to find out what kind of partner it will take to keep Gray's interest for more that a day. Avery was a perfect fit with his quirks and flaws and amazing talent and I think they make a great couple. I loved the story up until the last 10% of the book. The ending of this story was not my favorite and I am so happy that I got a good satisfying conclusion while reading Charlie's book. Seeing couples from previous books and learning more about each character is my favorite part of reading Heretic Doms Club series. Narrator did a great job performing this story and his voices for Gray and Avery made this story a perfect listening experience. I can't wait for No Good Deed to be out in audio.

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John Solo's Performance is Breathtaking!

As beautiful as this story is, it's even lovelier when read by John Solo. His performance is simply spectacular. There's boatloads of emotion in each of the books in this series, and the way he captures it and conveys it just through his voice..., well it is an incredible experience and I highly recommend it. Folks, if you're turned off by the S&M part I get it, though Marie Sexton does a great job explaining why and how it works for these characters. If you're turned off by the political statements (especially those early in the book) PLEASE stay the course. There's a solid reason why Avery's character starts out like this - and to follow his journey all the way through is imperative. Then you'll understand why Ms. Sexton starts this story out the way she does. Each of the books in this series could be read as standalones, though the four gents around whom the series revolves play a part in each other's books.

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Making Good Decisions!

This book is not your average bdms story. It’s about forgiveness and growth. What you need is often what you deserve. Sharing can be caring. Even brought characters from other stories to make the friends tie in. The plot twist wasn’t always happy but made Since. I can’t wait for the next audiobook.

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Absolutely fantastic!

5 Blue Roses 4 Blue Flames Narrator John Solo expertly delivered the long awaited, extremely beautiful, but so fucking entrancing third installment of the Heretic Doms Club. Listeners, like myself were ravishingly anticipating this audiobook, and John Solo enraptured and delighted beyond measure. Listeners will be transported and enthralled by his delightful performance. They will be captivated by his ability to make you forget about the world around you, while you are hanging hungerly on every word. The quality of the authors’ writing is evident in how she so painstakingly but extremely diligently cared for the details in the plot. The effort and careful writing was felt when I was scooped up and meticulously delivered at the end feeling chewed up, well used, and unable to utter the word “again”. This series is admirable due to the beautiful character building, not only the primary characters, but also the secondary characters, all have their own story or lives while we hear about Avery and Grays’ story. Gray is so much more than just sexy, and Avery is so much more than a horny submissive twink. They both bring the best out in each other, and both are someone the other look up to and truly admire. I absolutely recommend this whole series. I hope Charlie’s book is out sooner rather than later. I nominate this audiobook for a Blue Encore!! Happy Listening

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  • HMM
  • 03-27-20

A struggle to finish

I love series 1 and 2 and will definitely buy the next novel. But this was a struggle. The couple is not the center of the story. It is America's society, social media, and how to argue in an effective way. In short: it reads like non-fiction. And as a European, I am only marginally interested in America's shortcomings. The narration was good, except the first chapter when he lets his voice tremble too often and so distracts from the scene.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kay-Anne
  • 03-11-20

Title misleading

Too preachy, most of the book is a rant against the perils of social media and politics. Unless you are interested in both you might find yourself skipping through.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer 2
  • 04-22-20

I'm conflicted...

okay, so I loved the first two books of this series - they were both amazing. But I'd guess that if you timed all the sections throughout the book when characters talked about social media or politics, then it would be worth 3hrs of this book, minimum. I understand it was to do with Avery's character development and I didn't mind it when it started but there was no need to go into so much detail for some parts about politics. I didn't like that some arguments were repeated by MULTIPLE characters, because that's not realistic at all. At some points, the book felt more like an essay than a book and at others, I started to think the author was using this book to push her own beliefs on how the world should handle politics down our throats. It got very annoying. The only reason I stuck through to the end, is because I throughly enjoyed the relationship between Avery and Gray. I liked how they grew and I liked how they worked. Towards the end, I'm not sure how I felt about it - the book I think lost it's way a little. But it was overall enjoyable... I guess.