This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Contemporary Romance, M/M Romance, New Adult Romance
Published by Riptide
Released on March 30, 2016
Length: 7 hours 34 minutes
A few years back, I was introduced to something that I considered quite innovative and unique- the Tucker Springs series My first time to read through a series of book written by a team of authors only loosely connected by the characters all residing and working in the same small mountain community. This particular story was the one that introduced me to the series (they can be easily read out of order). Gentle, slightly spicy, small town feel it is not (though the rest of the series is), but it was a surprising story that was deep, and meaningful beneath it’s heat. Self-respect, self-knowledge, compatibility, healing, and care for another all rolled in to a moderate BDSM romance.
My, my, my, the difference an audio can make. I read this one a few years back and I remember that it had kink, opposites attract heroes with their own vulnerabilities. It was hot and had me squirmy. But my lands, either I didn’t remember well or getting it in audio amped all that dirty talk up exponentially. Whew, my man Denver could dish it out and his boy Adam ate that stuff right up.
Iggy Toma, the narrator, had the job of bringing this story to life. I enjoy his storytelling and particularly the way each voice is distinct. He really did well with Adam’s internal monologues. My only niggle was that his Denver accent sounded older to me though the ‘cowboy’ accent was great.
Adam and Denver met under unusual circumstances when Denver rescued Adam from some drunken frat bullies at the laundromat. Adam is attracted to Denver and shocks them both when he puts himself out there as available to Denver. Denver gives Adam the most incredible experience of his life that at the same time stirs Denver to even consider a relationship instead of a one and done. Denver gives Adam his phone number and the two virtual strangers part ways.
Adam has severe OCD, depression, and anxiety. He considers himself an absolute mess that no one would want to tie themselves to. He is still bruised and smarting from his recent break-up even if for the first time in his life he is living independently. The experience with Denver is never far from his thoughts because he remembers that with Denver for once he felt no fear, but only safety. He wants that again.
Denver is attracted to the tentative Adam and when they finally do get together he is thrilled to the soles of his boots when Adam accepts and takes all of Denver’s more intense needs. But that being said, Denver is aware that Adam is hiding something and it’s big, but then Denver is hiding things about himself too.
This plot was very much character-driven so it moves along at a gentle pace. The relationship forms from a quick lustful attraction, but it then slowly builds with a basis in friendship and growing mutual trust. Both men have needs in the bedroom and issues that make this pace necessary.
Denver is a Dominant and very knowledgeable in the BDSM lifestyle. His past has given him a need to be in charge and to take responsibility for another’s care. Adam is new to it, but discovers that it meets his needs to feel safe, to be pleasing to someone and to be cared for by someone. And yes, that means there are scenes of play and punishment and I share that in case it touches a comfort issue for you.
The characters were written in such a way that it was easy to believe that both had the issues that they did (not that I’m an expert when it comes to mental illness or disability and how it affects those who live with it). Like I said, seeing them struggle and triumph was a great part of the story for me.
It’s an easy thing to recommend this story to those who enjoy character-driven M/M Contemporary Romance with moderate BDSM elements and heroes with disabilities.
My thanks to Riptide publishing for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.
Romance Roundabout #148 NA
Audio # 19