"One thing that they don't tell you is that fires can't burn bright forever."
All the reviews for this book are like "OMG, I'm a blubbering mess." and "OMG, don't read any spoilers.".
So yeah, you REALLY shouldn't read any spoilers and just go along for the ride.
But there are two things that I just want to point out anyway:
1. TJ Klune has always been a great writer, but he outdid himself with this one. The writing quality is excellent, and given the heaviness of the story, it was beautiful, tasteful and one of the best-written books I've ever read.
2. Since everyone is recommending to avoid spoilers at any costs and go in blindly, I still feel like this book could have used a trigger warning, given the main target of M/M readers:
READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!
Trigger warning: abduction of a family member, with no final conclusion or explanation to the disappearance or the whereabouts
So while a romance this is NOT, the writing and the revelation of bits of information a little at a time totally worked for me. This has been one of the darkest and most depressing books I've ever read. But I'm glad that I did, because not everything in life is just rainbows, kittens and sunshine.
Oh, and just to be clear: there's a tentative HFN, so this can still be considered as a romance. Though just barely.
Thanks to Elsbeth and Cinna MMon for the BR.
"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?