SJD Peterson does not write books where it takes you a couple of chapters to start connecting with the characters, what she does so well, and quite frankly excels at is engaging you instantly. I was totally hooked right from the start with the gut wrenching prologue to Tag Team, I just sat back and thought WOW! Because from the very first page my heart was bleeding… the impact took my breath away and I wasn’t putting my book down for anything. What I love about Jo’s writing is that she not only hits the right note with raw emotion but also gives us a sprinkling of humour and blends them perfectly. Throughout this book I laughed, proper belly laughs, cried ugly tears, felt an inner peace and happiness that all was right in their world with the kind of pride one would normally reserve for family, because my big burly bears Rig and Bobby did right by Mason… such was my connection to these characters.
Mason’s Dom’s are both killed in a tragic car accident and we meet him at the funeral of Charles, ostracised from the family, ignored as the dirty little secret not to be acknowledged, bearing his sorrow alone. Having been disowned by his parents and suffering from panic attacks, Gregory and Charles had been his haven only now he is overwhelmed by grief, a fragile and broken man and needy sub engulfed in the blanket of sorrow the surrounds him.
Meanwhile Bobby and Rig are living the life of retirement, holidaying in the Florida heat and the pair of them had me in hysterics.
“There is a reason Florida doesn’t have bears, Rig. It’s too hot and we have too much fur”
Folsom, the Club and the lifestyle had been Bobby and Rig’s life… it was where they had met and where they had enjoyed their life together with Stephen, their sub, who they also tragically lost to a car accident seven years prior and although they were happy to let the club go, there was still something missing, both Bobby and Rig were Dom’s and as much as they loved each other, they needed a third, a sub to complete them.
Mason’s need to be cared for went soul deep, without his Dom’s he was adrift with no purpose and unable to cope with the grief, he needed to focus, only he was alone with no one to guide him, living in a constant loop of of nightmares, and with his social anxiety disorder he was completely isolated… his only thought was of oblivion, to be with his Dom’s and no longer have the gapping hole in his heart. Unable to function properly without sleep and food he thought he was losing his mind.
My heart was singing that in some way, call it what you may, destiny, fate or other forces at work, had a hand in bringing these men together. (yes, I know it’s only a story, but these characters are living in my head!) Seeing the sadness in Mason’s eyes brought back Bobby and Rigs own memories of their loss and devastation at losing Stephen, only they had had each other for support …and Mason was alone. They had all shared that dark place where you feel you may drown in the burden of grief and sorrow and watching these two men in full Dom mode caring for Mason was beautiful, they maybe two big growly bears, but inside they were teddy bears and Mason was their baby bear and they were going to pull out all the stops to get him the help he needed, something his previous Dom’s had failed him in. Normally I want to jump right in there myself with hugs and comfort, but with Mason, I wanted it to be Bobby and Rig, I wanted them to make it all better… and when Max (OMG! I can’t wait for his book… just delicious!) volunteers to make the flight to Florida, well, damn, good friends are worth their weight in gold and I was happy that Mason was getting the support system he needed.
Mason couldn’t remember the last time he’d seen or felt anything so beautiful. Once again, Mason was struck dumb by how these two men had come into his life, put his needs above all other things, and asked for nothing in return.
For Mason, somehow the trust he had in these two men was there from the start, he felt at ease and for someone with a phobia of being with strangers, it was something he couldn’t quite fathom himself but the care and compassion as well as the knowledge that they understood his grief put him at ease and watching him let go of that emotion and finally sharing in the somewhat unconventional humour and snarky banter, just made my insides smile.
This is only a BDSM novel in that the characters are into the lifestyle and the series revolves around the Folsom BDSM Club, because in Tag Team if you are looking for a kink fix you will get mild spanking and that is it, the sex between them however is just smouldering, my heart was pounding in anticipation and the build up intense… and, oh boy, was it good!
This book is more about the healing process of these three men and watching the characters grow together seeing how Mason had such a profound effect on what had always been an inherent part of Bobby and Rigs nature, Rig the growly papa bear and protector and Bobby the soothing mama bear and nurturer, how they had always been a perfect fit, shifted and changed to accommodate Mason and it brought a different aspect not only to their relationship but to the three of them together. In return they were giving Mason what he needed, not more of what he had shared with Gregory and Charles but something new and that was what I loved, they morphed into this unit that together was beautiful… complimenting each other perfectly.
The silence that followed wasn’t uncomfortable. It was peaceful. He had no doubt that whatever barrier or obstacle they had just crossed, Rig and Bobby were feeling it too. Mason could feel it in their touch, had seen it in their eyes, and it was as if none of them wanted to speak and break the delicate bubble that surrounded them in this perfect little world.
I didn’t want this book to end, don’t get me wrong, it came to a satisfying conclusion, but as with Pup I just don’t want to let go of the characters. If only I could tap into the mind of Ms. Peterson so I too could live in their world because already Pony cannot come soon enough!
I could wax lyrical for pages and tell you all about the wonderful writing and how the characters touched me and how Jo Peterson is just one of those authors that I connect with, but it’s all a given… I love this author and she never ceases to amaze me and continues to give me everything I want from a book and… I will quite happily shout it from the roof tops without the slightest apology for my over enthusiastic behaviour.
EXCELLENT!!! Highly recommended and if you haven’t read Pup… get a wriggle on as this series and characters are not to be missed!
Click the link and enter the Rafflecopter for your chance to win a copy of Tag Team... giveaway open until midnight(GMT) Monday 7th Oct.