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review 2017-11-04 19:39
Saving Sebastian
Saving Sebastian - Luna David

“You don’t have to prove yourself worthy of me. You are worthy of me, just as I’m worthy of you."

 

 

For me this was not simply about the acts of a BDSM relationship but was the complete development of a true D/s relationship and one that was done so with such depth, attention and patience.  The character development, including their doubts, hesitancy and questions revolving around their worth to their partner was beautifully captured.

 

While I have read several BDSM books, I have not always been comfortable reading about these types of relationships.  Perhaps it has been more about the acts before, or what I feel can be overly aggressive Dominates and quite weak submissives.  And that is awful to say and certainly is not meant in any way as demeaning but it was just not always something I understood.  There have been a few books however that explain better the power that the submissive holds…that they ultimately hold all the power with one simple word.  And out of all the books I have read involving BDSM, it is this one that I feel has captured the true nature of these relationships best.

 

This is not a quick read.  This is not a read in which involves only the acts, as the majority of the book is not about scenes but about the interactions, the trust building, and the dynamics and ultimate ability to know your partner, their needs and their desires. 

 

I also honestly never before got the level of worshipping that a Dom can have toward their sub.  But this aspect made all the difference for me.  Gideon, while Dominate, is so enthralled by His Boy, so utterly devoted to him, that it was seeing his sheer love expressed in a look, in a gesture or in his thoughts and actions that made me all the more captivated by him.  And it was these moments which made their dynamic stronger for me as partners.

 

“You keep getting on your knees for me.” He sighed and glanced back down at the box. “It feels wrong.”

“Why? Because you’re convinced that as my sub you should always be below me?”

Sebastian shrugged. “Yeah. I mean, I’m serving you, not the other way around.”

“You don’t think I do the same for you?”

 Sebastian tilted his head in confusion and shook his head. “You should never serve me.”

Gideon chuckled at that and said, “Of course I should. We’re serving each other. We just do it in different ways. You’re offering your service to me as my submissive. But I’m also offering my service to you as your Dominant. We’re equals in this, Sebastian.”

“You really believe that?”

“Fuck yes! I absolutely do. I can do nothing with you, to you, unless you have given your express permission. That power is in your hands. You know this.”

Sebastian nodded. “Yeah. I mean, I guess. I just never thought of it that way. That doesn’t seem right.”

“I’m giving you what you need, just as you are doing for me. If that isn’t service, I don’t know what is.”

 

While this book is long, it is not without reason.  Every scene in some way has a point, shows the true character of our main MCs and therefore nothing ever seemed pointless.  Even the scene with Boone and Connell had value and was so damn perfect at capturing the nurturing aspect of Gideon.    

 

 

 

The rope scenes for me were so intricate in their descriptions that I longed to have the imagery from Khaleo’s camera…not only in scene but in aftercare as well.  The images of the marks and indentions left in the skin, just beautiful crafted.

 

“Look at the lines on your body caused by the ropes. They’re beautiful. You’re beautiful."

 

Luna David, I have to say, not only impressed me with her in depth exploration into BDSM but into the health conditions that our sweet Sebastian lives with.  I felt this part of the story to be well researched and thoughtful.  While I am not a physician, it all felt quite accurate and ultimately personal. 

 

 

The story telling aspect of this also worked well for me.  While much of the story is a back and forth POV, there are several key scenes which are told from both POV and it was those that became the most touching of the story.  The New Year’s Eve scene being the most heartbreaking of them all.  I also enjoyed that while at times, it seemed certain scenes were skipped, we later got these told in memories, which I loved.  I am not sure this book would have worked had only one POV been described.  This was a couple and therefore their thoughts, actions and love for the other were of utmost importance in making this successful.

 

Now, I did not read the first 2 books in this series…honestly after hearing the praises surrounding this book and in seeing the cover, there was just no way I could wait.  And while a standalone, part of me does wish I had read the others first.  I was a little confused during the first hospital scene, feeling as though I walked into a family dinner not knowing who was there or what their relationships entailed.  I also feel like I may have gotten some inkling into what Sebastian looked like, having perhaps gotten other's perspectives on this man in previous books.  So again, while it really didn’t matter as this couple goes, it kinda mattered to me.  I will go back and read the others if for no other reason than to see sweet Braden’s story.  He was such a loving spirit and friend and I need more of him.

 

I do hope we eventually get Killian’s story.  He popped on page only briefly but there is no doubt a story behind this intriguing man.  And while I am no longer a big reader of M/F, I would read Finn and Zoe’s story.  How this doctor came to embrace this lifestyle to be what he needed for the woman he loves. I am on board.

 

There are so many aspects of this story that I have failed to even acknowledge, from their backgrounds, to their families, to the tattoos and Sebastian's love of art, and pets, every aspect was so beautifully and amazingly crafted.  I guess I will just have to reread this at some point and expand on those elements as well.  Until then, I cannot recommend this journey enough.

 

 

Spoilerish Bonus Quote…read at own risk…but it is absolutely beautiful.

 

Gideon leaned down and kissed his head, over and over, everywhere he could reach, paying particular attention to the raised, bumpy edges of his scar. His boy’s sobs were wracking his whole body at that point and Gideon’s heart was breaking.

“You’re so good, baby. So strong. Let it out. I’m so fucking proud of you. So proud. You’re the bravest man I know.”

Gideon touched and stroked Sebastian’s face, his head, his shoulders, and his neck, telling him how beautiful he was, how he’d never been more attracted to anyone in his life, how proud he was to be with him, and finally how lucky he knew he was that Sebastian had chosen him.

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review 2017-10-02 18:28
Review: "Axios: A Spartan Tale" by Jaclyn Osborn
Axios: A Spartan Tale - Jaclyn Osborn

 

~ 1 star ~

 

 

This was a 3.5 star, maybe even a 4 star read for me, until the last chapter.

 

MASSIVE SPOILER!

 

Apart from the never-ending discussion about whether a love story that doesn’t have "an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending", or in other words: a happy ending (HEA or HFN) can be labelled as a "romance" or not (personally, I think: NOPE), I prefer my MCs at least to be ALIVE at the end of my books. I DON'T want to witness them being slaughtered on the battlefield, historically accurate wartime romance or not.

 

IF IT DOESN’T HAVE AN HEA (OR HFN), IT’S NOT ROMANCE!

 

 

You also might want to check out this blog post, which perfectly sums up my feelings regarding this issue.

 

Update: Just to clarify (because I feel awful to give such a low rating to such a nice author):

 

- as a "romance" novel: 1 star

- as a "(tragic) gay love story": 3.5 - 4 stars

 

The writing was good, the research was well-done, and the MCs and secondary characters were all very likable.

 

But I finished this book today with a heavy heart and it left me sad, and that's not what I am looking for when I choose to read a romance novel. 

 

(spoiler show)

 

 

 

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review 2017-09-23 16:14
Review: "The Pillar" by Kim Fielding
The Pillar - Kim Fielding

 

~ 5 STARS ~

 

 

*********************************

First read: March 1st, 2015

1st reread: September 23rd, 2017

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review 2017-09-06 19:45
Tate
Tate (The Temptation Series) - Ella Frank

To Tate,

From the very beginning I had a plan for my life.

But it wasn’t until we met that I knew it was you.

~Logan

 

Another book and another emersion into the love between Logan and Tate.  Who would have thought that Ella could continue to grow and expand on this couple so beautifully and so successfully.  I am in awe.

 

First off, no one should read any review that has spoilers and should honestly avoid even reading non-spoiler reviews...and yet here I am writing one.  So shut this off and go read this book and enjoy it for yourself…I seriously doubt anyone who loves Logan and Tate would be disappointed.

 

This next chapter continues to explore these men, their backgrounds, history, fears, doubts and unwavering love for the other.  The glimpses and nuggets of times past, especially from Try, are woven beautifully into the story and simply give new meaning and insight into the love between these two men. 

 

I have always said that for me this is Logan’s story.  His character development for me is just unmatched and his love for Tate continues to be heartfelt and heartbreaking.  I simply adore him.  And this one only solidifies my thoughts on this.  I will say however that Tate seemed to realize that perhaps Logan is just as much his Truth as Tate is to Logan. And that discovery was rather breathtaking.

 

There, in a bathroom that was built for sin, the passion eased and the fever simmered until the deeper, scarier feelings began to consume the two of them. Tate opened himself up to the onslaught as Logan wove his fingers through his hair and cradled his head, seeking more. Tate gave it without any conscious thought, just handed it over as he would his last breath, should Logan require it, and then he was falling all over again. Falling for the charm of the silver-tongued lawyer who’d picked him to sit down opposite that first night. Falling into a relationship he’d always wanted but never dreamed he would have. But most of all, he was falling in love with Logan all over again, just as he’d done every day since he’d known him.

 

Now, as for secondary characters, Will has stepped up to become one of my favorite characters in this series.  Such a huge heart this man has and someone who has quickly become the father that these boys desperately need. 

 

I am honestly sad to know there is only one more installment left.  I hate to see this come to closure but given how book 4 and 5 have gone, I can honestly say that the rereads could only get better and better as we view these early moments between them with all new eyes, knowing now what the future has in store. 

 

So much love for this couple.

 

*An ARC was received from the Author in exchange for an honest review.*

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review 2017-06-22 18:00
Review: "Rock N Soul" by Lauren Sattersby
Rock N Soul - Lauren Sattersby

 

~ 5 stars ~

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