My rating: 4 of 5 stars
First time reading a Quinn Ward book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This is NOT a hardcore BDSM book, this is more about domination and submission, a Dom being the caretaker and his boy being the one receiving all the care. And it was thoroughly enjoyable.
Frankie was sort of forced into taking over his family restaurant - it was the gift he didn't want. It leaves him feeling out of control and out of sorts, being responsible for his family legacy, and so he finds release in less than legal means in order to be able to give up the control his real life forces him to have. That and he's from an Italian Catholic family and he's gay so... coming out just hasn't been an option for him, and yet one more stressor to add to his life.
Calvin is Frankie's older, divorced roommate with a teenage son. Cal wasn't in the closet but when he was still trying to figure out his sexuality he got his girlfriend pregnant. They married and Calvin was a faithful husband and a good father. He and his ex are still close friends and they still love each other, they just both realized that their marriage wasn't giving either of them what they truly wanted out of life.
Now that he's single again, Calvin is ready to embrace being gay and ready to dip his toes into the BDSM lifestyle that has always fascinated him. So when he finds Frankie on his knees, sucking off a John, in the back of his friend's bar, a few things snap into place for Cal. One - he wants Frankie. Two - he likes seeing Frankie on his knees. Three - he wants to take care of Frankie, to be the one to give him orders to eat and to sleep and to take care of himself because he can see how frayed around the edges Frankie really is.
But Frankie's knowledge of the Dom/sub lifestyle comes completely from badly written books and titillating conversations his wait staff have, oh and maybe some late night porn perusal. So to say Frankie is nervous is an understatement. Frankie and Cal learn to navigate the lifestyle together, as well as balancing the needs of family, both their families, until a situation develops that makes them both realize that they don't want to hide who they are and who they love anymore.
I really liked this slower, gentler style of bdsm book, one that shows another aspect of the lifestyle that doesn't require tools and toys but emotional involvement, intimacy and trust.
Definitely an enjoyable read.
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