"I love you, Phil, Sir, all of the yous."
Phil chuckled against the side of his neck then inhaled as if taking some of Terry inside of him. "I love all of the yous too."
Trigger warning: the title refers to a consensual rape scene between a master and his sub!
Well, wasn't this a nice little find. Of course, the premise was more than a little silly: three years ago, Phil abruptly left Terry because of a job. He basically dumped him without a proper explanation or good-bye. Now, Phil is back and tries to rekindle things with Terry. They agree to go out for lunch, where Phil confesses to Terry that during his absence he discovered that he's a Dom and into the BDSM lifestyle. And while Terry had never wasted much thought on BDSM at all, he immediately jumps head first into the role of Phil's sub only a few hours later. Um, sure. Ok. Whatevs.
But once I accepted that premise (or better: once I've put on my pink glasses) and decided to just roll with the story, it turned out to be actually really good.
The writing was more than just a little decent, it was actually surprisingly good and fresh. That and the author did a really nice job explaining the BDSM 101 basics.
The final chapter, which culminates in the title's role play scene, was really well explained and executed. While Terry's dark rape fantasy didn't bother me (probably because I saw how much effort Phil has put into it to make it satisfying for both Terry AND himself), it might still be a little too much for some readers, maybe even upsetting. So mind my trigger warning!
I recommend this book to people who never read a BDSM story before and want to dip their toes into this genre. You'll be rewarded with two flawed, but likable MCs, a respectful D/s relationship, and a second chance story with a lot of love. Oh, and did I mention that it was also HAWT?
"She shook her head. "He seems like he's the opposite of simple."
I snorted. He's completely complicated. And lost. And frustrating. But we do something for each other." I intertwined my fingers. "We fit. We need each other."
The first book in this series, Strong Signal, was already close to perfection for me. But this? THIS WAS GODDAMNED EVERYTHING. I really don't think you can write a better story about imperfect characters with realistic problems and reasonable motivations and actions.
This book reminded again why the "fuck buddies-to-lovers" trope is such a favorite of mine. I just LOVE the concept of "lust first, feelings later". When what was supposed to be just a casual hookup with no strings attached becomes a regular arrangement, then feelings (oh, those damn feelings) are beginning to sneak their way in, slowly but unavoidably. With jealousy, possessiveness and all. Ugh, so good.
Usually, once the MCs got together in my books, I lose interest. Very quickly, very thoroughly. Sure, it's nice to see how they manage their everyday life (family, friends, work) now that they're in a new relationship, but I already know that life is hard and complicated and I don't want to read about it. It unnerves me.
But that wasn't the case here. Not at all. I loved the first part of the story (the "getting together" part) just as much as the second part (the "handling RL together" part). The sex scenes in the first half were nothing but smoking HAWT (not really a big shocker if you're familiar with these authors' other works), and the (multiple) family dramas in the second half were realistic and believable. And thankfully not too angsty.
I can't really say anything more or add anything else that hasn't been said already in other reviews. This was a solid 5 star-book for me, it goes onto my "favorites" shelf and I can't recommend it highly enough.
"Named a Best Romance of the Year by The Washington Post"? Well, consider me NOT surprised. Absolutely rightful and deserved.
Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell, I salute you.
"You can't just... have sex with patients!"
"I can." Groves slid to his feet like a panther and circled Adam's desk. "And I'm going to have sex with you, Adam."
Yep, I'm giving a PWP four and half stars. Not because the writing or the plot (*snorts*) were such a revelation, but for what this was, - and let's say it together: "FILTHY PORN!" - it was perfectly fine.
Scarlet Cox managed to squeeze so much kink into only 26 pages that it was a true pleasure to read:
And one my favorite tropes: THE AGE-GAP, with one of the MCs being in his early 30s whereas his boss (!!!) was a 57-year-old. *insert record scratch*
Another point: this was shockingly good writing for a PWP:
"He was so used to being in a position of authority that having someone strip him of his dignity and reduce him to a fuck toy was astoundingly, shamefully hedonistic."
Also kudos for the use of "fuck stick" as a euphemism for cock. Never heard that one before and I immediately fell in love with it.
So yeah, I was in fap heaven. FAP, I SAY.
This was honestly entertaining as fuck, so pulpy and fun.
And HAWT. You can only read this book while sitting alone and listening to Prince.