This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Contemporary Romance, BDSM Romance
Published by Intermix
Released on February 19, 2019
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
It’s another book in a series I have adored since book one! With overly dominant men, women who give them a run for their money and ropes, and a collars only these people can clasp. Friends to lovers to enemies, we get to find out what these two were bickering about when they were best friends once upon a time.
We met Dex and Grant in Master in Shining Armor, where Grant’s brother Will found his submissive. Will and Grant have a pretty bad childhood that leads to them being estranged from their father, but close as brothers who started their own BDSM Club. Dex isn’t part of their business, but is their best friend. She has a past that neither brother really knows what has happened, they just know she was hurt in some way that makes a permanent Dom not her thing. Grant for his part has never felt like he was lovable. We come into the story knowing they were once best friends, but not barely tolerating each other. We find out why.
We join Dex as she is gazing at Grant doing a scene with a submissive and lamenting the fact that they are no longer best friends after their night of passion, kink and mastery. In fact Grant mastered Dex’s bratiness so well, she hasn’t been able to sleep with another other dominant since. That doesn’t mean she is going to let him collar her and there in lies all the problems. To Grant, this was just another example of how he is worthy of love. He offers her a collar she refuses and he won’t accept less than her being his submissive in more than a hook up. Both are longing to recapture their friendship, but neither can agree on what they want in the bedroom.
While I have loved this series, this is the one book that I had a hard time enjoying. There is a lot of angry, hate sex and domination. It is never violent or un-consensual, just not healthy how each are hurt by what they want and can’t have. Dex wants to be dominated, have sex and just not commit to anything more than being best friends. Grant wants more commitment, a collar, exclusiveness, and someone to call his own. He isn’t giving in to a casual relationship and his puts a strain on them being friends let alone lovers. There is one scene I so wanted to shout a safe word as a reader that was a hard limit….no lube when it really is needed.
The two skate each other, but also hurt each other like they need to one up what the other has done. Grant tries to pull back and a platonic relationship that they are best friends while Dex tries to get what she wants even though she knows it isn’t what Grant wants. In fact I got so irritated I had to put this book down and move onto another for a while.
To add to all of this, Grant feels like a fuck up. He doesn’t feel like he has much that his own now that his brother has moved onto marriage with a kid. He knows he wants to branch out to something that is just his and he does do that, but it felt very irresponsible how he goes about it sight unseen. This is when they start to talk and find out what drives each other’s actions and feelings. Even if I disagreed with the first part of the story, this is what I felt they needed the entire time.
My biggest regret from this story was not meeting them before their beginning. Not seeing how they came together from their friendship. We jump right into the middle of the conflict and it sent a sour note on how I looked at these people. Grant I respected a lot. Dex I wanted to smack the shit out of. Seriously, she treated him like trash in the beginning and what else was he to think he was?
So here is some noteworthy experiences…
- The idea of a BDSM vacation resort was interesting, but felt underdeveloped.
- End of a series and end of a writing team. Sparrow Beckett finished up their series and now planning to start writing separate books 🙁
- Best friends to lovers….well this happens entirely before this story even begins and I felt left out on what happened.
- Dex was a strong woman who dealt with a betrayal no one should have too. Unfortunately this translated into someone I had a hard time respecting as she drove Grant to do things he didn’t want to. It was a gender reversal we wouldn’t tolerate in men, I don’t see why I should tolerate it in a woman.
While this was an end to a series, it was also an end to a writing team. Sparrow Beckett are going back to writing alone under their own names, Sorcha Black and Leia Shaw. It’s a sad day as I loved this series and this writing team. I wish them both the best as they continue their writing series, but catch me later crying that I won’t get any more of the stories I saw could be formed with the other characters we got hints about. I really wished I could send this series off with a big bang of a review, but unfortunately that just can’t happen 🙁
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