If this book is the result of Ms. Witt visiting a Leather convention, well, I think she should go every year!
This is a friends to lovers story, pretty much full of angst, with the major issue being communication, so if it's not something you enjoy then this book is a not for you as it does become a tad frustrating, but I got the reasons why and I love me some angst so it worked for me in the most part.
Chase and Derek …Oh. My. God… I just wanted to knock their heads together!!! As readers we get both characters points of view and we can clearly see that these two really like each other, as in REALLY like each other, the only problem being, that neither are prepared to open up and tell the other just how they feel for fear of ruining their friendship. I can understand this from Derek as he’s a sub… but Chase, he is a Dom, although with all his introspective musings and insecurities I wasn't feeling it initially, in fact it was Derek that seemed the stronger of the two and Chase just seemed to be shrouded in melancholy and a little on the grumpy side… and both men were guilty of internally analysing the hell out of things and getting it all wrong!
Chase had recently split up with Ian who had been his sub and worn his collar for three years, only Chase had been played for a fool and all of that had put a huge dent in his confidence. Derek has the hots for Chase big time and he is the constant focus of his fantasies, desperate to be topped by him, so when the opportunity came up to attend the Leather convention with the man of his dreams he was all kinds of excited… that was until it all went wrong, with a night of vanilla sex neither had anticipated and now leaves them both confused… Chase because he thinks Derek doesn't want to be topped by him as a sub and Derek because he is scared of being a rebound fling.
I loved Derek, he is a pain slut and a masochist and plays the bratty, feisty sub perfectly, his inner sarcasm was hilarious, but deep down all he wants is to love and be loved in return, he wants the comfort of knowing he belongs and most of all he wants to feel proud to wear the collar of his master… There was a scene in this book where Chase and another Dom were playing with a sub… and DAMN… IT WAS HOT!!! Talk about seeing it played out in my own head, Ms Witt's writing put me right there watching it unfold through the eyes of Derek, wishing it was him looking into the eyes of his Dom. At that point my heart went out to Derek as he had a moment of clarity seeing Chase with another sub and realising in his heart, that, was what he wanted… to be all and everything to Chase… and it was that point that we actually got to see the very dominating and the sadistic side of Chase that had so far been missing. The other BDSM scene was Derek with two other Dom's and again, I think I needed a fire hose… Lori Witt certainly gets the tummy flutters going! That particular scene although hot was also beautiful in it’s own way as it felt as though there were only Chase and Derek in the room even though he was not involved in the scene his presence alone enabled Derek to trust and be at ease with the play. Usually I don't like my two MC’s playing with others in a BDSM scene, but seeing as these two didn't actually get together until the end of the book, and what transpired was necessary for them both to have an epiphany of what it was that they really wanted… it didn't feel uncomfortable, and when they did get together… Holy Hotness… I was in a puddle of lust!!!
L.A. Witt gives her characters life and personality with their voices expressing their moods perfectly and the result was a deep understanding of the characters make up and emotions… fabulous! The Leather convention was a perfect setting and I really enjoyed watching the events through the eyes of our two MC’s, all I would like now, is a short with a BDSM scene between Chase and Derek as that was one thing I felt I missed out on… a little playtime with our boys.
A copy of this book was provided by Riptide Publishing through NetGalley for a fair and honest review