Roughing It, Holden Wells

Roughing ItRating: 4  Stars

Publisher: Hela Press

Genre:  Gay (Darker) Romance

Tags:  BDSM, Rough Sex, Kidnapping, Dub-con, Humiliation, Punishment, Contemporary Setting

Length:  134  Pages

Reviewer: Kazza K

Purchase At: ARe,



**Consider the review as containing spoilers**


Official Blurb:


Scott Thompson, guitarist for multi-platinum-selling metal band Flesh Hook, has always been addicted to the adrenaline rush: drag racing, motocross, big game hunts in the African floodplains. He’s broken bones, nearly died of exposure, and seared half his leg in a wreck. Nearing forty, he’s finding it harder to feed the thrill. Enter The Company, an organization specializing in custom adventure rides—the kind where you sign a waiver absolving them of everything short of death before you get on.

Company redneck Johnny Lee loves his job, and he’s damned good at it. He’s run rides for politicians, celebrities, CEOs and trust-fund kids and never broken character or had a complaint. He expects the Thompson ride to be more of the same—another rock star, this one so full of himself he’s signed up for 48 hours, an unprecedented amount of time on the Deliverance set. Rock stars break easily, though, especially the full-of-themselves kind.

Everyone breaks more easily than they expect.

Even Johnny Lee.


The Review:

Okay. I put the official blurb in because the book doesn’t spell out all of these things, particularly about Scott. So it helps going in having this bit of background. This was certainly an interesting novella. I liked the premise and I do like an edgier BDSM, kidnap, dub-con style of book in my reading. 

When Roughing It starts out, Scott is alone in the wilderness with a feeling that he is being followed. Pretty soon he is hijacked by three men, all rough around the edges types, fitting into something out of Deliverance. For a while in the book you are not quite sure whether this is part of the ride that Scott has booked for himself through a venture called the Company, or whether these three men are completely different. It does come out soon enough who they are and that they are the ones fulfilling Scott’s adventurous, masochistic  requirements.

Scott can give out ‘safe words’ to get himself out of the situation, he is certainly given an out once, but he is into the pain and the humiliation that gets meted out. The whole situation turns him on. No matter how hard they come at him, and they do, he is not going to give in, although he is shit-scared at times –

Dwayne appeared in the doorway, brandishing a hammer.
“Fuck,” Scott pulled at his chains. He drew his injured leg closer to his other leg, bringing jangles of live pain with it.
“So what’s it gonna be?” Dwayne said.
“You can’t do this.”
He lifted Scott’s leg and moved it back to the pillow, hand resting on Scott’s shin, the hammer cocked over his shoulder. “Ready?”

So, Scott is chained to radiators, has Tabasco sauce poured on his dick into his arse and he is fucked all kinds of ways and forced to suck dick –

“Get on your fucking knees and suck it off before I leave you on the floor bleeding from your goddamned skull.”

– but our MC likes it. He has his bad ankle given some nasty treatment and he is belted from pillar to post. He likes adrenaline fuelled adventure and he likes rough. I thought that the author, Holden Wells, did a good job of subtly letting the reader know that there are some psychological reasons why Scott likes to be punished. Why he won’t call quits on the ride when others don’t last a quarter of the time that he does at the hands of these seasoned, professional sadists –

The belt jangled, then whistled through the air, leaving only enough time for Scott to think that didn’t sound right –
He yelled as the buckle tore into his skin

The other side is that Johnny Lee, the leader of the trio, takes a liking to Scott and at times offers him some tenderness, which is good as it adds to the fucked-up feel. The three ‘kidnappers’ offer up different persona’s – Dwayne is very much into his role, Zeke the same, but on the moderate side, and Johnny Lee starts to feel something for Scott, but he is nothing if not a professional.

The book does wrap up, but things are left loose in regards to Scott and Johnny Lee. It appears to be an ongoing series of adventures or rough rides. However,  Holden Wells gives quite a large sneak-peek at the next book. It looks like what she has planned for Scott and Johnny Lee will be mighty interesting and carry the tradition of the rough sex and humiliation over into the next book in the series. I look forward to it.



I guess I would recommend this book for those not looking for sweet or traditional romance. Those who like themes of kidnapping, humiliation, rough sex and some nasty treatment dished out. I have read rougher… but I have read much milder too. It is an interesting series, it’s a good length, and I will definitely be reading the next one when it is out next year.


 This book was supplied by the author in return for an honest review


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This one looks like a wild ride. A damn good wild ride. I can see where some might be put off if they aren’t into the edgier stuff. I think I would absolutely love it.

Great review.