An interesting story, with a bit more thought behind it than similar works. Don't be put off by the fact this isNifty story about a 14 year old boy, Tim, and a 30-something Dom, David. This is nothing like the sissboy series etc, and instead the 14-year old is written like a 25-year old; he's articulate, intelligent, thoughtful, self-aware, and incredibly mature.
The premise is that Tim was abused as a seven-year old and it has affected his life. Tim feels a lack of self-worth, and has not had supportive adults around him to help him deal with what happened (in fact he has never told anyone). Now 14, Tim seeks to use BDSM to reclaim the acts that were done to him as a helpless child, so that they are associated with love and care, instead of pain and helplessness.
The story is written from the point of view of the Dom, who wrestles a great deal with his conscience, and asks for a lot of advice (including the boy's primary caregiver) about taking on a 14-year old. In the end he only does so because he believes Tim will seek D/s somewhere else if he doesn't, and this is likely to be with someone less experienced, less careful, and less caring. David also is aware of the minefield he faces dealing with the fallout from Tim's sexual abuse; Tim's ability to discuss this articulately is another reason the story is pure fantasy, but also why it is interesting above the PWP level.
The story is written like a reminisence of how this couple started their journey together, as if from many years in the future, and continually reinforces how much David loves Tim, how good they are together, and how it's a permanant relationship.
The author states outright that they have no real world experience with BDSM, and the story is a fantasy. This rings true for me with most of the pain play aspects, which are glamourised and seem altogether delicious. However the most flawed part is the writing of a heirarchy of high-placed, politically powerful Dom/mes who check to make sure Tim and David's relationship is not itself abusive. This sense of an organised, secret D/s world falls flat, in contrast to the engagement between Tim and David, which, while still clearly fantasy, explores some interesting ideas about the nature of power-exchange relationships. Tim is clearly smarter and more mature than David, and is defintitely the one in control of the relationship. Tim choses to hand power over to David in order to gain something he's looking for. Tim is shown using both his safeword and slow-word, and David is shown as planning scenes carefully in order to achieve what Tim needs, rather than for what will get his own rocks off.
A reader looking for quick hot sex will be disappointed; it takes quite a whole to get there, and there's only about four scenes of penetrative sex, one whipping, one spanking, an ear piercing, some forced chastity.
In a way, it's a shame the author chose to make Tim 14. I'm assuming, for a Nifty reader, the whole underage thing is the main selling-point (so to speak)of the story. However if Tim was assumed to be 18-25 absolutely nothing about the way the character is written would change (except for having a discussion of changing universities instead schools), and it would make more internal sense, in that Tim could also address his inability to forge an intimate relationship with another man with the spectre of his abuse hanging over him. Removing the underage aspect would open the story up to a wider range of readers. It definitely doesn't come across as fare for the typical Nifty reader: the writing is good, with actual punctuation, line breaks, and deeper thought than is usually encountered in Nifty fiction.
So overall, a good free read for those who enjoy their fantasy m/m BDSM on the more thoughtful side.