"Sadism wasn't about taking people too far. It was about taking them ALMOST too far. It was about not asking for but assuming control. It was about being strong and sure, a huge wall of absolute his sub crumbled against. It was about getting another human being to voluntarily submit to his will, knowing they could trust him with it. It was about, for an hour or two, playing God."
Well, it looks like I found my hard limits with this book, reading-wise.
While I do enjoy me some BDSM in my stories every now and then, clearly I am not cut out for the heavy BDSM. Meaning sadism and pain play.
The warning in the blurb should be taken seriously! There's a lot to stomach in here, and not just the mentioned watersports.
Maybe I would have liked this book better if I would have been more connected to Chenco and Steve. But somehow I never really cared about them as much as I did about Sam & Mitch or Randy & Ethan.
I also wasn't really able to relate to Chenco's transition from being a complete BDSM virgin to being a sub for a sadist like Steve. How he went from
"If anyone was this cruel to me, this humiliating, I’d kick them in the face."
"Please pierce me, Papi."
Yes, you read that right. There's some serious needle play at the end of the book and it made me want to throw up a little bit in my mouth.
"They went back and forth for hours, one needle, two, three into Steve, then as many or more into Chenco, until their bodies were pincushions."
And of course this very scene had to end with
a fucking proposal!
“I need to take care of you,” Chenco slurred, gesturing to the needles between them, all around them in Steve’s skin.
“In a minute. I want to wear you a little longer.” Steve kissed his brow. “I love you. I love you more than anything in the world, anything or anyone I ever thought I could love. Stay with me, please. Marry me, live with me—here, Texas, on the moon, wherever you want.”
As much as I love Heidi Cullinan, I don't know why she has to end all her books with a proposal and under the most awkward circumstances at that.
So as much as it pains me (see what I did there?) to give a Heidi Cullinan book such a low rating, this really wasn't for me. At all.
Not even Sam, Mitch, Randy or Ethan could save this book for me.