Than you're probably dying to read this one. If you're like me and you haven't read Z. Allora's Dark Angels series you can still read this one without any problem. However, I will admit that for the sake of the background info on the secondary characters I do wish I had read 'Dark Angels'. But done is done so let's carry on with this review...
Zack is young too young for Andrew but he knows what he wants and that's to be Andrew's submissive and to serve him and only him. Unfortunately, Andrew says 'no' he not only feels that Zack is too young for him but their brothers are in a relationship and there's no way that Andrew would do anything to spoil that. He wants nothing more than for his brother to be happy, even if it means sacrificing his own happiness for it to happen.
Devastated by Andrew's rejection Zack decides if he can't serve Andrew, he will serve no one and he puts all his energy into becoming the best damned Dom there is. Which ok, I have to admit confused me a little that he could go from one extreme to the other so easily...ok, maybe not quite so easily after all I did attend BDSM 101 with him and I have to say I never would have pegged that for being a boring class but it was, 5 minutes into class and I was looking around for a way out of the room. I'm just grateful that I didn't get dragged back for the second half of the class the following week because if that happened I was totally going to skip class or skim as the case may be.
While I liked the overall storyline and for the most part the characters worked for me. There were times when things became too bogged down with details that for me just weren't necessary or didn't seem to enhance the story in a constructive manner, the BDSM 101 scene is a perfect example of this for me.
I liked Andrew and Zack as a couple, but, I have to admit that Zack was also a bit of a conundrum for me as well because I found it hard to visualize someone who seems to so clearly recognize his submissive needs, being able to not only suppress them but essentially go against them by becoming a Dom and apparently a really good one.
However, as someone who does not exist in the BDSM lifestyle and really knows very little about it, I'm also not in a position to determine whether or not this scenario would realistically happen so for the sake of argument I chose to suspend any disbelief that I had and assume that this is as likely possible as it is improbable.
I was intrigued initially by the authors method or sharing or reinforcing Zacks thoughts/feelings by randomly adding italicized, 3 word phrases such as...
"Kneel. Serve. His." or "Kneel, Serve, Not His."
or some varied combination of words always italicized and usually in groups of three words. at first I found it to be an interesting way of reinforcing the characters thoughts and mindset. Unfortunately when used excessively this became a little irritating and started to feel more neanderthal-ish than anything else.
My favorite part of the story was when Zack and Andrew's relationship first started as friends and they would share lunches and were just getting to know each other...as friends. There were other parts of the story that I liked and little glimmers here and there but I just didn't get enough from this to make me 'over the moon' in love with the story or really with any of the characters. I'm still not sure what to make of Jordon at times I liked him and in the next breath I wanted to shake him and tell him to grow the F@*k-up because he was irritating me so much. Ironically I was also intrigued enough that if Jordon has a story coming I'd definitely give it serious consideration.
Overall neither a win nor a loss on this one because while I didn't find it bad enough to be truly bad neither was it good enough to be truly good either. Maybe I'll re-read it once I've read the Dark Angels series and see if that makes a difference for me.
An ARC of Lock and Key was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.