*Note added to end of review re- the puppy play element of the story ~ for those that may be put off by that aspect.
5 Un-bloody-believably-brilliant and emotional stars… the first collaboration between Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock and I want more
I have been looking forward to this book for a few weeks now, loved the synopsis and had a whole load of cover lust going on, and after reading some pretty emotional books recently, this looked perfect. Most of my friends know I love the darker side of the m-m genre with plenty of kink and lots of smut… again this looked perfect! However this book was sooOoo not what I was expecting, it was gut wrenchingly emotional and tore my heart to shreds, the prose had me so absorbed and invested in not only the two MC’s but a whole cast of characters that had me both laughing and crying. I literally couldn’t put this book down, the underlying plot was excellent and very well developed to the point where I was ready to dish out some of my own brand of pain to such selfish, materialistic self centred parents… Grrr!!!
Landon Moredock is alone and lost with only $6.75 to his name, with no friends, his Mother arrested and his father on the run, he is thrown out of his family home by the FBI and is living in a dirty, cheap, ant infested motel and hounded by the press. The media portrays him as a rich playboy, the spoilt and over indulged son of security fraudsters, convinced that Lane knows where the money is, and is in fact hiding it in offshore accounts… but they couldn’t be further from the truth, Lane was as much a victim of his parents greed as all the others they had swindled out of their life savings and investments.
Turning to a family friend Acton Wagner for help he is coerced into making a terrible decision, Acton took advantage of his predicament and used Lane’s trust and vulnerability against him. Acton himself had been burned by Lane’s parents and all that anger and hate was focused on a boy that only wanted to be loved and cared for.
Derek Fields is a photographer yet another victim of the scam and has every reason to hate Landon, and he like everyone else is convinced the boy knows more than he is letting on. Only Derek starts to feel compassion towards Lane… and his innocence, demeanour, all the things that scream sub call to his inner Dom to care and look after him despite his reservations, but it was more than that, he wanted to protect him.
Derek is a lonely, slightly disillusioned with life and a Dom without a sub, not interested in the club scene and at 37 he really just wants someone to share his life with. Lane at 20 is young and badly damaged by not only his parents but also his experience with Acton. Growing up he was thrown into a world he was unable to cope with, the money and status were all his parents dreams and not his own, Lane was an introvert wanting to be inconspicuous, nervous and panicked at any attention. He was lost... never having the love and affection of his parents, he just wants to be loved and his body craves something his mind doesn’t fully understand.
The relationship between these two was incredibly beautiful, Lane just broke my heart and Derek was patent and understanding slowly coaxing him out of his shell, showing him what it is like to be loved, all endorsed by Derek’s amazing family and friends and slowly dispelling Lane’s misconceptions of BDSM. Involving Lane in his work, his sisters menagerie of shelter animals also helped as he could connect with the animals that were unwanted.
"I wish there was a way to tell him I'm not abandoning him" Lane said. "But he won't know. He'll miss me, and he'll wonder why I don't come back. Dogs don't know, do they? I remember reading this story when I was a kid, about a guy who went to war and got killed, and his dog waited for him at the railway station for years." His voice cracked. "Dogs don't understand"
This book is not a sex fest, in fact there is no sex until the last third of the book. There are some pretty brutal acts and although they are off page and a recollection, they still made me want to do some serious damage, also the BDSM is not an inherent part of the book, there is some spanking and mild puppy play but no club scenes or hard core BDSM play… Lane had been abused and Derek’s first and only concern was for Lane’s welfare and safety. This is more about trust, earning it and deserving it. It was about learning to accept and acknowledge a desire as a positive rather than something perverse and how forgiveness and understanding go a long way to help heal a boy that blamed himself for the deeds of others.
If this is the first collaboration from Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock then I am hoping they get their heads together like NOW and start writing some more. This is an excellent book and their writing skills are showcased to perfection, seamlessly woven together and I couldn’t tell you where one began and the other ended. I fell in love with them and the amazing characters they created.
I would just like to add if you are not a person that it happy about the puppy play in this book, which to me was more a therapeutic exercise than a sexual one please see Emma's review she describes it to perfection.
This ARC was provide courtesy of Loose Id for a fair and honest review
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