on m/m romance, baking, knitting, and occasional smut

Category Archives: BDSM / Kink

His Roommate's Pleasure - Lana McGregorTitle: His Roommate’s Pleasure
Author: Lana McGregor
Publisher: Carina
Length: 30k words
Genre: m/m Contemporary BDSM Erotic Romance
Heat: 5 – Off the Charts!
Sex Frequency: 4 – Very Often
Keywords/Tags: College, Jocks/Nerds, Nerds/Geeks, Roommates, Opposites Attract, Closeted, Coming Out, First Times
Rating: Pretty Good

BLURB

It started with an accidental click…but where will it end?

Desperate to turn in a paper, Adam borrows his roommate’s computer and mistakenly opens a folder that contains Josh’s collection of porn. Adam had no idea that his jock roommate was gay–and into leashes, paddles and domination. And Adam, an inexperienced virgin who’s only ever kissed one guy, is surprised to find himself curious about submitting…

Josh can’t believe that his roommate discovered his spank bank–and he can’t believe that Adam is so turned on by the thought of giving up control to someone. Taking a chance, he offers to look through the photos with Adam…and maybe try acting some of them out.

Night after night, the boys delve into their darkest fantasies of domination and submission. And as lust and experimentation grow into the promise of something deeper, Adam must decide if he’s brave enough to tell Josh how he feels.

REVIEW

I’ve been looking forward to reading and reviewing this book for months now, and I hate that I had to keep pushing back my review, especially after hearing so many of you talk about it in such a tantalizing way. And even though I think I may not have loved it in the way that some of you did, I can’t deny that it was a seriously sexy piece of story that I had to put down a few times just to take a breather.

It’s a pretty simple and embarrassing premise that leads to oh so much of something more. Adam’s computer is pretty crappy and he only has twenty minutes to log onto the university’s server online and turn in his paper. But his computer is once again crapping out on him. So, in order not to be marked down for his tardiness, he sneaks onto his roommate’s computer to send it in. But when he starts to shut down and erase all his work with a series of quick closing clicks before his roommate is due back to their room he stumbles upon something he never would have expected from his supposedly straight jock roommate — a gay porn folder full of guys in leather and an array of erotica BDSM regalia.

Then the worst comes. Adam’s roommate Josh opens the door before Adam can get his hand out of his pants — because he was obviously turned on and out of his mind — leading to a rather embarrassing situation for Adam. But Josh surprises him. They don’t know each other very well, even though they’ve shared the same room for six months of their freshman year. Adam took one look at all of Josh’s sports gear and assumed he was the same kind of jock who used to shove him in lockers in high school. College is supposed to be a chance to get away from all of that, to start over. He never knew that not only was Josh gay and apparently in the closet, but that they do have some things in common after all, because Adam is seriously turned on by the pictures of submissive men, skinny like him, tied up and dominated.

What might tear their relationship apart forever very soon crosses a line to bring them together. Instead of accusing Adam of violating his privacy, Josh starts to open up and ask Adam all sorts of naughty questions about what he likes in the pictures.

This story is rather short and had a different sort of dynamic than what we usually read, especially with characters this young. This could easy be in the New Adult set, but with so much sexual debauchery between the two, for pretty much the whole book, it really is very firmly an erotic novel, but also a romance. The dynamic is at once explicitly sexual, frank almost and at times for me riding the edge of uncomfortable. Told from Adam’s point of view, he quickly learns that what he wants is not just to be dominated by Josh, but also to be debased. And it isn’t the actions themselves that provide the intensity between them but their discussions. They talk out almost every scene before and during and they’re both very open to the other about what they like and want, but at the same time the newness of it all is uncomfortable. For most of the story they’re working around each other, feeling out their limits and their feelings about one another, and the frank openness with which they go about doing that was at times, almost a little embarrassing for me to read, lol.

On the other hand, I really liked the smooth transition between their frank business of sex setup and the intimacy that grows between them to a real relationship. In many ways, this is a very sweet story, because both of them are so refreshingly new to not only BDSM but also to sex that their scenes ride a line between extremely explicit and endearing. I admit that it did take me about half the story to really understand and get in the groove, but after that the story was cute.

This is definitely something that BDSM readers will like, but it makes it difficult for me to recommend in a way. It’s such a cute romance on the one hand, but the BDSM in other parts is intense. It isn’t intense in a play sort of way. There aren’t a lot of strange toys or play that crosses boundaries, but Adam finds that he very much likes the debasement aspect of submitting, to be embarrassed and made to feel dirty, and that might be a line for some readers. Honestly, with so many people liking this one already (and it’s a pretty cheap price), I’d say go for it and try it if you haven’t yet and at least see what you think of it 😉


safewordTitle: Safeword
Author: AJ Rose
Publisher: Voodoo Lilly Press
Length: 110,000 words
Genre: m/m Contemporary BDSM Mystery Romance
Heat: 3 – Sexy & Mild
Sex Frequency: 3 – Average Sexy to Story
Keywords/Tags: Series, Sequel, Cops, Psychologists, PTSD, Serial Killer, Family, Child Abduction & Abuse, Obsession, Paparazzi!, HEA
Rating: Loved It!

Reviewed by Sadonna

****Spoiler alert****

This is a sequel to Power Exchange and as such contains quite a few spoilers for that book.  It is NOT recommended to read these books out of sequence.

BLURB

Everywhere Detective Gavin DeGrassi looks he’s reminded of his attack by the Breath Play Killer. It’s in the house he lives in with his partner and Dom, Ben Haverson. It’s in the sympathetic yet pitying looks he receives from his fellow detectives when he returns to the force after a year-long hiatus. It’s in the suffocating coddling of his entire family, and the relentless reporter demanding an exclusive of his ordeal.



Most of all, it’s in his lack of submission to Ben, who isn’t convinced Gavin’s recovered enough to trust the power exchange between them.



The miraculous recovery of two teen boys from a twisted kidnapper gives him heart, and Gavin’s determined to prove he can handle anything despite increasing strain between him and Ben, painful nightmares, and panic when anyone touches him.



But his next case is too close for comfort: a friend and colleague found raped and murdered in a fate chillingly similar to what could have been his own, and this killer isn’t stopping with one cop. As the body count rises and taunting souvenirs are being hand-delivered to Gavin, he faces a frustrating lack of leads, a crushing need to prove himself, and a sinking suspicion the imprisoned kidnapper’s reach is further than originally thought. A miasma of uncertainty and fear threaten to suffocate him when he asks a question with which he’s overwhelmingly familiar: what happens when a victim is pushed too far?

REVIEW

Safeword begins about a year after the events of Power Exchange.  Gavin and Ben are still together and Gavin has just returned to work after a year’s disability leave.  He’s been through intensive therapy with Ben’s partner Laura and he and Ben are also seeing her as a couple.  Things seem to be going OK with his return to work and his partner, Myah, who is now engaged to his brother Cole.  While Gavin is still dealing with some residual anxiety, he is able to work effectively even when his first case back turns out to be the murder of a fellow police officer.  And it’s not just any officer, but a colleague of Gavin and Myah’s who broke a big case involving two abducted teens and the man who was holding them hostage – one for a number of years.  This case may or may not be related to his murder.

As Gavin and Myah are investigating the case, there doesn’t seem to be any real motive or potential suspects but Gavin can’t help feeling there is some connection between the murder and the victim’s last big case.  While there are no real leads in the case, another cop is murdered and there are some potentially disturbing similarities between the murders and some coincidences that can’t be ignored.  This of course brings more stress to Myah and particularly Gavin who is still dealing with his own recovery and anxiety.  The other annoying issue is the reappearance of Gavin’s former partner Trent, who it turns out is still with Gavin’s ex-wife.  Trent has done nothing but bad-mouth Gavin since he was run out of their precinct after being caught in bed with Victoria, Gavin’s ex.  He’s a complete pain in the ass, but it turns out that he has a really disgusting skeleton in his closet that he doesn’t want public, so he tows the line – at least being civil.  And only for a little while.

Things have not gotten back to normal between Ben and Gavin in their sex life and while they haven’t given up getting back to their Dom/Sub relationship, things are moving much more slowly than Gavin would like. However, Ben is unwilling to risk Gavin’s psyche any more than it already has been compromised.  They are continuing to work on their relationship and Gavin’s limits, but he has to push Ben to get any forward movement. This is further complicated by a third cop murder and the murderer’s fixation on Gavin. Regardless of what precautions Gavin and Ben and the force take to protect him, there continue to be breaches in Gavin’s security. Needless to say, Gavin once again being in the crosshairs of a killer takes a toll on him and Ben.

If you read my review of the previous book, Power Exchange, you know that I was somewhat disappointed in the mystery and particularly with the resolution of the case and the identification of the murderer.  No such complaints with this book.  The murder mystery is really well done with some surprising twists and turns and some good police work by Gavin and Myah along with another nail biter of a climax.  There are plenty of villains to hate in this one and some pretty good payback as well, which really did give me some perverse satisfaction unlike the end of the first book 😉

The other central story of this book is the ongoing love story of Gavin and Ben.  I though the first book was incredible in describing the progression of their relationship.  It was incredibly intimate and intense and hot and so well written.  This part of the story in this book does not have that same level of intensity, but it is still really well written and very intimate.  Ben and Gavin are still trying to find their way back to themselves and each other in the aftermath of their ordeal in Power Exchange.  They are working through all of the issues together and they are incredibly committed to making things better and getting back to where they were before.  There are some really hard moments for them in this story but the one fundamental factor that prevails over everything else is their love for each other and what they are willing to do to fight for that love.

I really loved this book – so much so that I went back and reread Power Exchange again because I couldn’t get enough of Gavin and Ben.  I don’t know if A.J. Rose is planning to write more about these two, but I’d definitely read it!


FindingMasterRight_500x750Title: Finding Master Right
Author: LA Witt
Publisher: Riptide
Length: 45,700 words
Genre: m/m Contemporary BDSM Romance
Heat: 4 – Spicy & Smutty
Sex Frequency: 3 – Average Story to Sex
Keywords/Tags: Friends to Lovers, Nasty Exes, On Vacation, Conventions, Leather, Toys, Multiple Partners, Kink, Just Talk to Each Other Already!
Rating: Pretty Good

BLURB

It’s all fun and games until somebody falls in love.

Chase has just arrived at a much anticipated leather convention, and he’s about to lose his mind. Not only is his ex attending, but Chase is also rooming with Derek, a submissive he’s been dying to top. Although Derek is in search of a Dom, he made it painfully clear when the two of them hooked up for a very hot—but very vanilla—night just before the convention that he wasn’t interested in submitting to Chase.

Derek isn’t stupid. No matter how desperate he is to submit to Chase, he wants no part of a rebound relationship. As long as Chase is still pining after the sub who broke his heart a few months ago, Derek’s keeping him at arm’s length. Besides, there’s another Dom at this convention, the gorgeous Master Raul, who Derek is determined to attract.

But when Chase and Derek are confronted with all their kinks, from ropes to leather, bondage to flogging—not to mention each other—they can only ignore their mutual attraction for so long.

REVIEW

I decided to pick this up to read and review on a whim. It’s actually been quite a while since I’ve read any BDSM, I just haven’t been in the mood a much this year. And it’s been a while since I’ve read a standalone LA Witt book, so I was excited to dig in and see what I thought of it. I really like the BDSM stories that are set at Leather conventions. I think it all comes down to my curiosity as to what going to one would really be like. Plus, now that I’ve been to a convention I sortof get the atmosphere there, and though it fluctuates wildly from one event to another, there is an excitement inherent in coming together with other people who share a common interest. Because of that, it means that a character can be whoever they want to be during their vacation, especially at a place where role-play and scene play offer a possible diversion from one’s typical personality.

Chase and Derek have been friends for a long time. They’re traveling to the convention together and sharing a room, and their unspoken attraction to one another has gone… well, unspoken up to this point. That is, until they sleep together their first night. But right when the clothes start flying and Chase is gearing up to put on his Dom voice, Derek asks if they just play vanilla. It’s a good idea (most likely) and a slap in the face at the same time to Chase, who has always admired Derek and his mind-blowing ability to sub so beautifully for different Doms. Why won’t he sub for Chase? And does it have anything to do with the fact that Derek is set to meet his longtime crush and internet friend, the popular Master Raul?

Meanwhile, Chase is going through his own problems. His three year relationship with Ian recently bit the dust. And even though their last year together was terrible, complete with Ian cheating and lying and finally walking out on him, facing the end of what was originally a perfect relationship and Dom/sub connection and trying to move on are much harder in practice. The problem is compounded by the fact that Ian is at the convention and seems to be eager to speak to Chase and sort things through.

Neither of them expected how difficult it would be to deal with their crush and admiration of the other while having to spend so much time together in close quarters. And it isn’t just their room situation. Watching the other participate in scenes with other Doms and subs leads them both to the conclusion that the one they really want is right next to them, and that they’ve already decided to put their valued friendship above all else.

One thing that I know about LA Witt is that as far as the Spectrum of Angst goes, any one of her books could be anywhere. She’s good at writing really angsty books and sometimes she writes books where the level of angst could be through the roof but because of the characters, who don’t wallow or have a lot of internal dialogue, there isn’t anyway. This fell somewhere in the middle for me, and it was a bit frustrating. No matter how much I liked the setup and most of the characters, a lot of that internal waffling back and forth was just a little much for me. It’s one of those books where you just want to lock the characters in a room together, slowly filling with… water, or a biological agent, or something to get them to freaking talk to each other! It isn’t as if I misunderstood or judged the characters. It’s hard to think about having feelings for a friend, I’ve been there. But, I also have a hard time dealing with that in the fiction I read. It’s personal taste. And that is my main disclaimer about this book. I think LA Witt is a good enough writer to draw the connections needed to help the reader understand why the characters make the decisions they make. That doesn’t mean, however, that readers will be all that pleased with it. It is just my opinion and my own understanding of fellow readers, but I think that there will be some readers who find the back and forth annoying. And they’ll probably be a lot less nice about it than me, lol. At least, that’s how it usual goes.

On the other hand, I enjoyed reading the story. Including my feelings about the characters’ lack of communication, I still liked this book even though I had one other problem with it. I liked both Chase and Derek for the most part through the whole books, but I did find Derek to be somewhat hypocritical at times, which bothered me. Plusses to the author for including scenes with other men. Even though it causes a fair amount of angst and Derek and Chase aren’t technically together (like how you usually get in those situations, with an open and healthy relationship), I still enjoyed those parts of the book. I would have looked forward to them anyway, because it’s something that I like in my m/m romance (where it fits), but I actually enjoyed those scenes for themselves as well. They all included secondary characters I really liked, especially the two bears and even Master Raul, who I was unsure of at first and firmly expecting to hate purely for Chase’s sake 😉

This is a solid offering from LA Witt, but still has many elements that I think will turn off some readers. Perhaps, though, we’ll see that the parameters for m/m BDSM readers are a little more open…


OnceABrat_500x750Title: Once a Brat (Kinky Cupids #1)
Author: Kim Dare
Publisher: Riptide
Length: 22,600 words
Genre: m/m BDSM Contemporary Romance
Heat: 4 – Spicy & Smutty
Sex Frequency: 5 – Over and Over
Keywords/Tags: Series, May/December, Public, HEA, Spanking
Rating: Pretty Good

BLURB

Experienced dominant Marcus Tremayne has a stalker. On the plus side, the boy following him around his local leather club is gorgeous and a self-professed submissive. Unfortunately, he’s also inexperienced, bratty, and liable to drive Marcus insane within his incessant chatter and questions.

Bret Daniels fell head over heels with Marcus the moment he first saw him. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to get Marcus’s attention and prove his worth as a submissive. He might not be a traditional sub, but he knows he has a lot to offer a dom who can handle his quirks.

When Marcus gives in and agrees to do a scene with Bret, sparks fly. One scene quickly becomes another, and another. But will it be a case of once a brat, always a brat? Bret intends to prove to Marcus that—expectations and experiences aside—he deserves his master’s collar.

REVIEW

It’s been a while since I’ve read anything by Ms. Dare, and though I usually know what to expect with her novellas, I was interested to see what she’d publish with Riptide. It was an enjoyable read, not much different than what I’m used to reading by her — a short D/s novella, extra sexy with a solid and rather sweet HEA — but I found the addition of unexpected humor made this a surprisingly fresh read.

Marcus is an experienced Dom who has a stalker. His Dom buddies tease him about his shadow every night they see each other at the Spread Eagle, a rather pretty but bratty and seemingly completely inexperienced submissive. And the boy is very persistent. It’s obvious he’s inexperienced, he doesn’t seem to understand any of the typical rules of conduct of the club and the BDSM scene, which leads to his friends joking about how bratty he is. But despite Marcus’ outward reactions to his friends and his stalwart disregard of the kid, he feels excited by his persistence. When he can no longer disregard the red-hot stare into his back, Marcus confronts him and leads him through a public spanking scene at the club. He can’t seem to forget Bret, though, and he is saddened by his expectation that Bret will have had enough now that his curiosity is sated. Bret, however, made up his mind the moment he saw Marcus on his first exploration into the club, and one scene won’t discourage him from making his true feelings known to the Dom — that he’s the man meant to collar him.

To be honest, I was nervous about reading this story because even with the added benefit of really great editing at Riptide and knowing this would be solidly written, I was nervous that it would be just another of the same, tired BDSM club story. I’ve read enough of those from Ms. Dare, and though they’re enjoyable, I was hoping for something different. I think this story works well with that same pattern and typical plot, but I found the characters in this story rather refreshing. Marcus is a typical Dom, but the duality of the point of view in this novella allows us to see Marcus and his real reactions to Bret, which paints a picture past the respectful and trustworthy Dom and of a rather lonely man full of self-doubt. More emphasis is placed on Marcus’ doubts while projecting a calm, steady and built-of-stone facade than on his sexual mastery (though we get that as well… in spades). Likewise, Bret is a rather unique submissive. Usually, we see one of two types of subs — the shy, needy and inexperienced sub, or the sassy sub that has been around the block a few times and the Dom just loves because they pose more of a challenge. Sometimes those two archetypes are intertwined just a bit. What I and Marcus really liked about Bret, however, is his earnestness combined with is inexperience. He’s green and not just fresh to the scene, but his sincerity and impassioned belief that Marcus is the only Dom for him means that he cares little for rules that don’t directly come from Marcus himself. I really loved watching Marcus’ Dom friends rendered speechless when he gave them cheek, because the whole point is that he doesn’t even care that he’s talking back to them, he doesn’t even mean to, he just doesn’t care. The two together made for a rather refreshing combination.

So I would definitely recommend this one to readers. It has a little bit for everyone who is a BDSM fan and likes a sweet story just in time for Valentine’s Day. Not only is the plot comfortably familiar as the two get to know one another through scenes at the club and in private, but the characters come through strongly and in just enough of a fashion to give the reader something a little bit new. On the other hand, I would have felt a bit more assured by the Happily Ever After if we knew a little more about Marcus’ history. He’s at first sincerely afraid to collar a sub, or at least Bret specifically, and we never really learn why or if there was something in his past that made him commitment-shy. Still, the tone of the story is perfectly themed to Valentine’s Day, on the sweet and sexy side without too much angsty interference in the feel-good mood.


FCS2_Episode3_500x750Title: The Flesh Cartel #3: Choices
Author: Heidi Belleau & Rachel Haimowitz
Publisher: Riptide
Length: 18,800 words
Genre: m/m, Contemporary, BDSM/Kink, Erotica, Poly, Horror
Heat: 4 – Spicy & Smutty
Sex Frequency: 4 – Very Often
Keywords/Tags: Angst, Captive/Slave, Cliffhanger, Dark, Dub/Non-Con, Emotionally/Physically Damaged, Family, Humiliation, Non-Romance, Physical Abuse, Serial, Sexual Abuse/Assault, Short Story, Watersports
Rating: Pretty Good

Reviewed by Nikyta

**This review contains possibly major spoilers so read at your own risk!**

BLURB

The Flesh Cartel returns for a compelling second season with “Choices.” Brothers Mat and Dougie Carmichael thought nothing could be worse than being snatched from their home and brutally dehumanized in preparation for sale as sex slaves. But they learn their suffering has only just begun when they’re shipped to their new master’s home.

Professional trainer Nikolai Petrovic is a master of his trade. His ultra-rich clientele pay him to create perfectly tailored playthings, and Mat and Dougie are the latest in a long line of men who have walked into his remote mountain home as terrified victims and left it permanently altered: subdued and obedient, ready and even eager for a life of service.

To achieve this, Nikolai must take a drastically different tack with each brother. Dougie, manipulated with affection and denial. Mat, controlled by pain and fear. The one thread in common for both men is choice. Nikolai prides himself on never forcing, but will Mat and Dougie submit willingly to his vision, or will they first need to learn the price of disobedience?

REVIEW

Choices, the start of season two of The Flesh Cartel, starts off right where Auction left off. Mat and Dougie have been bought and are being moved to their new master. First, Dougie is stripped of almost all his senses, forced into sensory deprivation, he slowly starts to go mad, fearing he’ll lose his mind and they’ll break him. Mat is now the only one subjected to constant torture, abuse and rape while Mat and Dougie wait days before they can finally leave the Madame’s facility. Unfortunately for Mat, their new master, Nikolai, is almost as bad when he forces Mat to endure endless pain throughout his body brought on by drugs. Dougie is given a reprieve when Nikolai treats him like a precious toy. Treating each brother differently – Mat with pain and Dougie with care – he’s training them by giving them choices. But they must remember, choices come with consequences and it’s up to the brothers to decide what type of consequence they’ll receive.

One thing can be said about these authors, they sure know how to weave a captivating tale! Whereas the previous two stories were gruesome and intense, this story was not as bad. It still provided some moments of cruelty and abuse but most of the damage is told rather than shown and all of it through Mat’s perspective and only briefly. It seemed like most of the story is told from Nikolai’s POV and his reactions to the brothers. Whereas he must train Mat for his client, he wants Dougie, covets him it seems like. He’s under the impression when he’s done training the brothers, he’ll sell them and give them a life of contentment, something that they’ll be eager to embrace and take great pleasure in. The brothers obviously disagree but Nikolai is firm in his opinion.

Nikolai is actually a creepy person. He’s adamant he’s not a sadist or even enjoys the work he does, yet he does take great pleasure in seeing the brothers submit, especially Dougie. I find him worse than the Madame, which I didn’t realize was possible until Dougie and Mat arrived at Nikolai’s home, where Nikolai’s true colors are shown and the brothers must make their choices on how they’ll proceed. Mat fights as much as he can, as is his nature, but he’s not very successful. Dougie grows a bit of a spine but then realizes he’s in for pain and quickly reevaluates his situation.

One thing that sucks about this serial is that they literally pick up right where the last one left off. Unfortunately, because of the weeks/months in between each reading and the lack of a recap before the story starts, I was pretty much confused on what was happening in the beginning and why because I couldn’t really remember how it ended. There’s a brief mention of the auction but that didn’t help in reminding me or what exactly Dougie had done to Mat. It took a bit before I was able to recall at least the major pieces (I do have a horrible memory though lol). I won’t deny it’s still a captivating story. I was drawn into it and no matter how much I wanted to stop, I had this compulsion to keep reading. Unfortunately, that compulsion was quickly followed by disappointed when the story actually ended leaving me extremely dissatisfied. I didn’t feel like there was much progress with this segment as there possibly should have been. Considering how much weight episode one and two held, I was expecting something a bit more.

Overall, I liked the story. It’s an alluring read, well-written to the point I didn’t want to stop reading. However, with the way each story is ending, and with this one not feeling like it progressed much, I feel like I’m left with more questions and a slow sense of frustration. With that said, for those who are brave enough and have liked the first season, they’ll enjoy this one as well.


FallingintoPlaceLGTitle: Falling Into Place
Author: Tia Fielding
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 69k words, 214 pages
Genre: m/m BDSM/Kink Contemporary Romance
Heat: 3 – Sexy & Mild
Sex Frequency: 2 – Few and Far Between
Keywords/Tags: Angst-alicious, Co-workers, Emotionally Damaged, Friends to Lovers, GFY, Grieving, Heartwarming, Kids, HEA
Rating: LOVED IT!

Reviewed by Nikyta

BLURB

Following an amicable divorce, former stay-at-home dad Scott Mitchell needs to get a job—and a new lifestyle to help him manage his depression, since he lost his Domme along with his marriage. At least one of his problems is solved when finds work at Wilde Publishing. Fulfilling his boss’s needs at the office gives him a productive focus and pays the bills, but becoming a PA to publishing wunderkind Milo Brock isn’t without its trials.

After an injury put an end to his dreams of the NHL, Milo got an education and pursued other interests. At work, he runs Wilde’s sports division. At play, he’s always thought of himself as straight, but his attraction to his new PA casts that into doubt. Luckily a hard life has taught Milo to take things in stride.

Scott and Milo are battling separate lives, ghosts from their pasts, a sister dying of cancer, and a clash of preferences in the bedroom. Scott needs to submit to keep himself balanced; Milo prefers vanilla sex. If they can’t find some middle ground, they’ll lose the support they both desperately need.

REVIEW

First, I just want to say how beautiful the cover is. I found it fascinating and once I saw it, I had to know if the serenity of the cover and on the man’s face would be portrayed as such in the book and, to my greatest relief, it was.

The blurb does a pretty good job of explaining the situations within the story so I don’t think it’s necessary to reiterate it especially without giving away too many spoilers. With that said, the author did a great job of conveying the theory that no matter what you think, in the end, it’s your heart that will decide on who you love and that we should accept that fact, be open to that fact and embrace that fact. This story proved to be an incredible journey about self-discovery and healing, courage and acceptance.

One thing I really loved about this book was how different Milo and Scott were. Milo wasn’t a closeted gay Dom like some characters turn out to be in BDSM, and in fact he felt uncomfortable at just thinking of hurting Scott in any way, so the fact he couldn’t satisfy Scott like he wanted was an extreme conflict. His pleasure was derived from Scott’s pleasure but overall, Milo was such a sweet, loving individual for someone so young. He was there to help Scott, to cherish him but he wasn’t there to solve Scott’s problems for him… he was there to solve Scott’s problems with him. Scott was just the right amount of emotionally damaged to make it believable. Being a submissive, he needs a firm hand, someone to guide him when he can’t do it himself but more than that, he loves to please someone in the most simplest of ways even if it’s by just knowing how much they’d appreciate their morning coffee when they get into work. It was heartbreaking seeing him fall apart but it was heartwarming to see Milo catch him and know exactly what Scott needed at any given time but what made this story especially great for me was how well I connected with the characters. I felt what they felt, experienced what they experienced and that right there made the book very special to me.

The story deals with a lot of conflicts from divorce to loss to discovery to compromise. While a lot happens, it doesn’t seem rushed. The author did a great job of incorporating just the right amount of emotions to make the scene feel real but without making them seem abrupt or rushed. I think one of the main messages within the story is that love is built on compromise and the heart wants what it wants. Neither Scott nor Milo were gay nor liked the same sex level but they both compromised and met in the middle to find a successful way of living that was satisfying to both of them. I won’t go on and say this book was perfect because it’s not. In some aspects, the acceptance level was too unrealistic to be believable especially put into context with the problems some people had originally but beyond that, this story was a captivatingly beautiful read.

In the end, I truly loved the book, warts and all. I’m already planning to order it in paperback because I loved it so much. It’s angsty but not too angsty. Sweet but not overly so. It’s a fascinating story that covers multiple issues but a story the author handled with grace where the friendship and subsequent love showed through the pages. An exceptional read based on my subjective opinion, of course 😉