3 1/2 - 4 Hearts
Review written for MM Good Book Reviews
Marcus is a soap actor and part time rancher, he knows better than to get involved but one night he comes to the rescue of Malcom in a bar. Malcom has been abused in the foster homes he grew up in and when Marcus offers him a helping hand he is suspicious of his motives. Marcus has problems of his own when his convenient relationship begins to take a brutal turn, and he isn’t strong enough to walk away without help. Marcus and Malcolm support each other as they both try to weather the scandal and violent threats. Malcolm must come to terms with Marcus’ needs and understand the truth of BDSM.
This story of gay love in the eighties during a time when BDSM was misunderstood and fear of HIV/AIDS was rampant. Marcus is a sub who has fallen into an abusive ‘relationship’, he knows his Dom is going too far but he doesn’t feel like he can stop him. Malcom knows abuse when he sees it and the man who has offered him a job and a place to stay is being abused, he might not understand BDSM or why a person would want to be hit but he offers his support to Marcus. When Marcus’ Dom reacts badly to Marcus walking away from him it causes Marcus huge problems but Malcolm is by his side every step of the way, now Malcolm has to do something he never thought he would, he has to learn how to be a Dom.
I did enjoy this story and I thought that the setting was brilliant, but what I loved the most was the brief look at BDSM and AIDS in 1986. Malcolm has a lot to come to terms with when it comes to BDSM because he has been beaten enough in his life, so for him to try to understand what BDSM was really about makes you love him, also the fact that he stood by Marcus as his life went down the toilet was brilliant. Marcus was such a sweetheart who just wants someone to love him and give him what he needs, in Malcolm he finds someone who wants to try. There isn’t much sex because of the fears surrounding AIDS at that time, Marcus refuses to risk Malcolm until they are sure they are both clean, because back then they didn’t know how it was spread or how to protect against it. This is more of an emotionally supportive story, with love developing between Malcolm and Marcus, there are no real BDSM scenes, maybe just one or two D/s scenes.
I have to recommend this to those who love early eighties gay difficulties, finding support and love, fighting for the right thing against the odds and developing a love that will stand against time.