The Dom, the Switch and the Sub is Club Libertine book 5. It also marks a milestone for me. It was the first MMF book I have ever written. I didn’t start out to make it that way. I knew I wanted to tell Serena and Zack’s stories. Both had had small roles in earlier books. Her sister Michelle found love in book 1, “Changing the Rules” and his brothers starred in book 4, “Cin’s Secret”.
It also marked the first time that I visited the theme of PTSD. Luke’s a former soldier who is dealing with so much more than he wants Serena and Zack to know about. He doesn’t want them to feel sorry for him. He’s supposed to be strong for them. He’s not used to asking for help either as a man, a soldier or a Dom.
Zack also has some thinking to do. He always thought of himself as a Dom. Is he really a switch? And what will his brothers think if he submits to a man?
Zack O’Hara is a young Dom at Club Libertine and in love with part-time club receptionist Serena Edwards but she has him firmly in the Friends with Benefits zone. Zack has been wooing her slowly, but now he realizes he is running out of time when he discovers that Luke Davis, the new Dom in town and army vet, has set his sights on her too.
But Zack has misread Luke’s intentions. Luke isn’t looking to steal Serena away. He wants both of them and will mount whatever type of campaign it takes to win them over. And Zack is shocked to realize that Luke doesn’t just want to share Serena. He also expects Zack to submit to him as well.
Zack has always thought of himself as a Dom. But is he really a Switch? Can he share the woman he loves with another man? Can he be with another man?
5 STARS: “Zach and Luke are Doms at Club Libertine. Luke is recently out of the service, with PTSD demons still chasing him. Zach’s older brothers are Doms at the club also, and Zach has never thought of himself as anything else. Serena loves him and their life is just beginning together. However, Luke makes it clear he wants both Zach and Serena as his subs. Can Zach learn to switch and like it? What will his Dom brothers think of him if he switches? Can Zach and Serena help Luke overcome his fears, or will he ultimately leave them? I like all the Club Libertine books, but some more than others. The Dom, the Switch, the Sub had a different type of story from the rest, which involved both men’s heroes’ journeys which are epic. Once again, it’s a hot read, so have the cold drinks and air conditioning on!” — Alberta, Manic Readers
5 BLUE RIBBONS: “Diane Leyne takes readers on an unexpected emotionally laden (yet exciting) journey with THE DOM, THE SWITCH, AND THE SUB. Serena, Zack and Luke have their individual issues, concerns and fears but you get the impression that with each other’s support they could overcome anything. I loved the buildup to the moment when the three of them finally come together and the obvious indecision and nervous energy Serena and Zack display. What I especially enjoyed about this story is how Ms. Leyne incorporates Luke’s military background into this storyline – and how he’s still affected and involved in helping his comrades adjust to ‘normal’ life. It’s not easy and doesn’t always work, and I really appreciated that Serena and Zack don’t give up on him even when he tries to pull away. This is a beautifully written story.” — Chrissy Dionne, Romance Junkies Reviews
4.5 KISSES: “The Dom, The Switch, and The Sub by Diana Leyne is the fifth book in the Club Libertine series. This story can be read as a standalone book. Zach is a dominant male but he is hiding that fact from Serena. She has expressed in interest in the lifestyle and even works at a BDSM club, but Zach doesn’t want to scare her off with his sexual needs. Little does he know that Serena knows more than she lets on. She has been quietly topping from below and Zach hasn’t noticed, but Luke has. Luke has survived somewhat intact from four tours of duty. He was a dom before he served and his dominant tendencies have done nothing but strengthened since his return. He is also willing to fight for what he wants even if it is unconventional. And what he wants is both Serena and Zach. I enjoyed this tale by Ms. Leyne. She gave us a tale that touched on many issues which added to the overall story of love and acceptance. Luke was a strong character and the obvious head of the house but he needed to learn that submissive did not mean pushover. Both Zach and Serena were willing to fight for the love they had for their budding family even if they had to fight their Dom. This was my first time reading this author but it will not be the last.” — Tangie, TwoLips Reviews
4 STARS: “THE DOM, THE SWITCH AND THE SUB was a surprising and enjoyable read where the usually clear defined roles within the D/s community get blurred. You have the Dominant and you have the submissive. And most people know what those roles are. But occasionally there are those who are called switches. They dominate subs but also submit to stronger Doms. This is also a story about going and getting what you want and communication. Zack wanted to be Serena’s Dom for as long as they’ve lived together. But he figures a slow approach is the best. Serena has wanted Zack to be her Dom for the same length of time. And the fact that they both work at a BDSM club should have told Zack she didn’t need or want the kid glove, slow approach. I love how the author has them bantering back and forth and at cross purposes with each other. And what is it going to take to get them together? Luke, a Dom’s Dominant in every meaning of the word. Ex-military, he’s still dealing with issues from his service and trying to help members from his old squad with PTSD. He’s been watching both Serena and Zack, and he knows that Zack wants Serena, but from some of Zack’s action, maybe he’s a switch. And that’s just fine in his books, because he wants them both. But will Zack accept submitting to him? What happens when his past comes back to haunt them? The author did a sensitive job with writing about Luke’s dealing with his buddy’s PTSD, and that not all of those dealing with it can be saved. But that you still have to try and you can’t give up. She also did a wonderful job with the fun characters of Zack and Serena versus the serious nature of Luke. This is a very well-written story that is both fun and heartbreaking. I will be reading more by this author.” — Laurie P, The Romance Reviews
Finally her shift was over. She was in the lounge reading her textbook while Zack finished up, checking for stragglers before locking up, waiting for him to drive her home. But she couldn’t concentrate. Her mind kept going back to Luke. She sighed. She knew Zack was jealous of Luke because he thought she was interested in Luke, and she was, in a way. There was something about his natural air of command, honed, she was sure, by his years in the military, that called to her naturally submissive side.
But it didn’t mean she wanted him instead of Zack. In fact, she found her mind drifting, fantasizing about being with the both of them. Her sister had two men who shared her. They were both Doms who liked nothing better than whipping her ass with a riding crop before fucking her together, or so she’d told Serena one girls’ night out when they’d all been drinking, but then she got all embarrassed and wouldn’t say more when Serena tried to ask questions. Cindy, too, was with two men, Zack’s brothers Liam and Connor.
She sighed again. That really would be the best of both worlds, having both her very hot and sexy best friend and the very hot and sexy Luke.
Just then, the door opened, and it was Zack coming through from the public area. He hurried to the staff changing room. He didn’t wear his leathers home. He’d leave them for the club laundry service. Serena wished he’d wear them at home, just once.
Knowing he wouldn’t dawdle, she packed up her books and grabbed her purse, yawning widely, so she could be waiting by the door. It was almost 2:30, and she was ready for bed. She pressed the button to call the elevator.
The dinging sound that signalled the arrival of the elevator coincided with Zack bursting out through the door. They entered the elevator car and had just pressed the down button when they heard a voice calling out.
“Hold that elevator.”
* * * *
Zack looked up at the sound of the voice. It was Luke, of course, the only other person in the club, thought Zack grumpily. Of course it was. Luke hadn’t bothered to change. He was wearing his standard work uniform of military-looking khakis and black boots. On top, he wore a khaki vest. He had his Aviator shades tucked into a pocket. He sometimes wore them on the floor, which added to his air of mystery and command.
And when he was upset, he slid them down and stared down the miscreant over the reflective lenses, and Zack had never ever seen anyone fail to back down when confronted with an angry Luke. He could only hope that one day he’d be that authoritative a Dom.
In the meantime, he wished Luke would get lost. But no, he was stuck with him in the tight elevator. He’d slid in, taking a position behind them for some reason, standing so close that Zack could feel his body heat. He didn’t say anything in the main elevator, but once they got to the main floor and entered the parking elevator, he put his right hand on Serena’s right side and his left hand on Zack’s left side and drew them close.
“Say, Serena,” he began silkily. Zack’s hackles rose. “About that project you were talking about earlier. I’ve got an idea.”
“Let me hear it.”
“Well, I’m sure that there will be lots of students doing BDSM projects. It’s ‘cool’ right now, ever since those books came out.”
“True. I’ve been trying to think of a fresh angle, but it isn’t easy.”
“How about this, then. How about studying life in a BDSM ménage?” Luke turned his head, speaking almost directly into Zack’s ear. “Are you game? Shall we teach this little kitten about the joys of submitting to two dominant men? And in return, we’ll let her show her claws and school us.” He turned back to Serena. “What do you think?”
Then he leaned over and kissed her. It wasn’t a quick peck. It was long and hard and involved tongue. Zack opened his mouth to object, but before he could say anything, Luke turned his head and kissed him hard on the mouth, his tongue invading, demanding a response. The kiss was hard and sexy, and in spite of himself, Zack found himself aroused.
And then the elevator dinged, and the moment ended. Luke broke the kiss and slid between them, exiting the elevator. He turned and looked at Zack and Serena standing in the elevator, stunned at this turn of events. The doors started to close, and he grabbed the nearest one.
“You two better get out before you end up riding back up to the club.”
Zack found his feet responding to the command in Luke’s voice. Apparently Serena was inspired by the same command as she exited, too.
Luke grinned. “Think about it. Both of you. I noticed on the schedule that we are all working Thursday, starting at eight. I’d like to suggest that we meet for an early dinner at six thirty on Thursday at the Summerside Grill. We can talk more there.”
Serena and Zack were sitting in the staff lounge, waiting. Luke had just popped in for a second, nodded approvingly, and demanded that they “stay.” Serena bristled, but also welcomed the reprieve. She was excited and scared, although at this point, it seemed like scared was winning out. She looked at Zack. He tried to smile reassuringly, but it came out tentative. He reached across the table and covered her hand with his own.
She tried to smile back, but she knew her own smile was wobbly at best and checked the clock. It seemed like hours, but when she checked the clock, it had only been about ten minutes and it was barely four thirty.
She jumped at the sound of the door opening. Luke held the door open and gestured for them to join him. Luke led them to the playroom she’d seen him in before. He stopped in front of the door and turned to them, speaking for the first time other than the single word earlier.
“If you choose to enter, you are making a commitment to me, voluntarily agreeing to submit to my authority, giving me control over you. Once you are inside, you will strip naked and place your clothes on the counter where you will find two pairs of Velcro wrist cuffs and two pairs of Velcro ankle cuffs. And you will find two training collars. You may help each other put them on. Make sure they are properly fitting but not too tight.
“I’ll be back in a few minutes. When I enter, I’ll expect you to address me as Master any time you are wearing my collar. If we are playing and you are not wearing the collar, you may call me Luke.
“Serena, when we play, I’ll expect you to call Zack ‘Sir’ as he is also your top. Do you understand?”
“And I’ll expect your complete obedience. Both of you. I will not allow any challenge to my instructions or any hesitations. Any infractions will be punished. Any delays will be punished. I am the absolute authority in the playroom. Zack, when we are outside the playroom, you will also be a Dom, my equal. But inside the playroom, I expect you to be a good submissive. Can you do that?”
“Very good.” Luke leaned over and kissed Zack on the cheek and then Serena. “Now go in there and get yourselves ready. I’ll be back shortly. I’ll expect to find you naked except your cuffs and collars, kneeling on the cushions I’ve provided. You’ll have your knees spread and your hands laced behind your necks so you are ready for my inspection. And no chitter chatter. Now get going.”
He held the door open, and they scurried inside.
The door closed behind them, and she could hear his footsteps echoing in the hallway as he walked away. Or maybe it was just the sound of her heart beating. Serena had to consciously slow her breathing down so she didn’t hyperventilate.
Slowly she walked to the counter. Without looking at Zack, she quickly undressed, placing her shoes neatly on the floor and folding her clothes and placing them on the counter. Then she picked up the first cuff. Her fingers felt numb. She wasn’t sure what to do with it.
“I’ve got that,” said Zack quietly. “Let me.” He carefully fastened the cuff around her wrist, checking to make sure it was secure, but was loose enough not to cut off her circulation. And then he made quick work of the other three cuffs. He then held out his wrists for Serena to do his cuffs.
Finally, it was time for the collars. Serena lifted the hair off her neck so Zack could fasten it around her neck. He had to squat down so she could fasten his.
And then it was time. They walked over to the two thin cushions and knelt down and took up the submissive pose as their new Master had instructed. It was finally real. They were submitting themselves to Luke’s authority, and there was no turning back.
It seemed like forever, but it was probably just a few minutes until the door opened and Luke returned. She noticed that he had changed. He wasn’t wearing his usual Dom uniform of khakis. He’d changed and was dressed more like a traditional Dom in leather pants, but he still wore his standard combat boots. He’d chosen to forego his usual sunglasses, and she wasn’t sure if that was a good or a bad thing. Those light-gray eyes saw everything, and every time she looked into them, she felt almost hypnotized.
And he was carrying a riding crop, which he smacked against the palm of his hand.
“Time for me to inspect my property.”