Book Review: Painting Fire on the Air by J. P. Barnaby

Posted: September 29, 2013 by sidlove in 4.5 Star Reviews, Book Reviews, Jennifer B's reviews
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Reviewed by Jen B.

Painting Fire on the AirTITLE: Painting Fire On the Air
SERIES: Survivor Stories
AUTHOR: J.P. Barnaby
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner
LENGTH: 200 Pages
BLURB: A Survivor Story

From her perch on a shelf above my bed, the doll accuses me with lifeless eyes of failing Juliette in the most heinous way imaginable, forcing me to crave the bite of his whip and the steel in his voice to drown out the ache in my chest.

For his entire life, Benjamin Martin’s parents drilled into his head that he must watch out for his little sister, but one horrific night, he failed. Now, the bite of a whip, cuffs digging into his wrists, his arms and legs stretched beyond endurance, these things give him what he needs to forget his sister’s violent death, at least for a while.

When Ben’s latest Dom casts him aside like a broken toy, he manipulates his best friend, Jude Archer, into picking up the pieces. Jude has been in love with Ben for years, but his fantasies about his friend never included whipping him. He doesn’t understand why Ben needs BDSM and he worries about Ben’s addiction. Most of all, he fears losing his humanity because he’s already lost himself in Ben. When he’s forced to trade the marks upon his soul for the pain that ravages Ben, Jude learns the real definition of submission.


Ben is suffering from heavy guilt and the loss of his younger sister for which he feels responsible.  He has tried different ways to cope with his suffering, but has found the best thing to keep the bad feelings and dreams at bay are somewhat hardcore BDSM session.

Ben lives with his friend, Jude.  Despite one night of crazy sex, the two have remained best friends, neither wanting to give up or lose the friendship by taking things further.  Things have been working fairly well until, due to certain circumstances, Ben’s Dom, Kage, breaks their contract, leaving Ben floundering.

The real struggle here is between Ben and Jude, who decide to take things further but find out that there are other factors involved that could prevent them from making thing work.  Jude has wanted and been in love with Ben for a while, and now he finally has him.  Unfortunately, Ben’s issues are still front and center, with Jude trying hard to understand and contemplate his own capabilities of being able to provide what Ben needs.

First, it was extremely refreshing to see a different aspect to BDSM than I have ever seen before.  The scenes were, by far, my favorite part of this story, and I really wish they were longer or that there were more of them.  They feel so real and paint such a vivid picture that I almost feel as if I’m in the room watching from the sidelines (or maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part).

I wasn’t too sure how I felt about Jude trying to be a Dom for Ben’s sake, as he was pretty uncomfortable with the end results the majority of the time, even if he got off on actually doing it.  But, in the end, he finds ways to give Ben what he needs in ways that he is able to cope with himself.  At the same time, I could genuinely feel his confidence growing as time went on.

I initially liked Kage a lot, but that quickly changed with his actions right up to the end.  Giovanni (or Gio), however, the Dom he recommended Jude contact for assistance and guidance, his hot stuff.  I would love to see a story about him and/or Sal, Inferno’s owner.  They both seem to be the real deal.

You can easily tell the research and/or experience has been done when reading Barnaby’s stories, and it’s a joy to feel that way when reading them.  I couldn’t get my greedy hands on this story fast enough, and I’ll feel the same when the next book comes out.

Jen rates it – 

BUY LINK: Dreamspinner Press

Jen B. is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: JENNIFER B’S REVIEWS

  1. J.p. Barnaby says:

    Giovanni is based on a friend – Tony Buff. He’s the managing director of Fetish Force, and an amazing Dom. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review Painting Fire. Drake Jaden was a beautiful inspiration for Ben and I really loved writing this book. 🙂

  2. JustJen says:

    I recognized Drake right away! Does this mean Gio will get his own story some day?

  3. JustJen says:

    Now you’re talking! 😀

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