This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: BDSM Romance, Erotic Romance
Published by Berkley
Released on January 6, 2015
I have been anticipating this story from the moment I started feeling sorry for the poor Dom who kept ending up as the third wheel or the extra in everyone else’s happily ever after stories. He was a nice, fun guy and I just wanted him to get his own turn and…wish granted. I was a little tentative because I do tend to have some soft limits and hard limits in my erotic romance reading and one of those is S&M scenes and another is voyeurism and exhibitionism and yet a third is some ménage relationships. But, as I keep saying each time I read this series and get a bit reluctant, I was in good hands and had nothing to worry about.
Though this is part of a series and there are characters from previous books that drift through a few scenes, this one can work as a standalone. The bonus novella in the back however, is a follow up story to book four so doesn’t work so well as a standalone, but the reader can get by if they want to jump in there.
The story opens with a lady writer who suffers from an anxiety disorder that won’t allow her to leave her house much further than her own yard without her strong meds. Georgia sees the world beyond through her windows and that world includes a view into the bedroom window and backyard of her hot, kinky neighbor. She is ashamed of her actions, but not enough to put aside her binoculars and close the curtains while Colby is entertaining. Getting turned on by Colby’s exploits in the bedroom as he dominates both male and female lovers and sometimes more than one at a time are the highlight of her pathetic life right now. She has a book to write and a life to get back together. She needs to be able to get on a plane and fly back to Chicago to testify against her ex-boyfriend who pushed her into this fear-filled existence with his crazed and truly scary behavior. He’ll walk free for serious crimes and continue to terrify her if she doesn’t work through her issues.
Colby loves his job as high school counselor and just wants to make a difference in the lives of the kids. He is concerned about a socially awkward boy who is being bullied and talks to him when the boy’s regular counselor isn’t available. That one act of kindness backfires in his face and is like the past repeating itself when the boy tries to take his own life. The parents are looking to place blame and Colby is the target. He is put on suspension pending an investigation and he knows what that investigation will find. That incident in his early days when he was a music teacher when he tried to befriend one of his students who was confused, scared and being bullied by his own parent. Colby hadn’t had training then and the boy ended up disappearing with his dad’s gun after leaving a note. Colby felt he deserved being blamed and left on his own. Now here he was again. But suspension isn’t as bad as he thought as he finally starts to make headway with his skittish neighbor who has more to her than meets the eye when he starts testing her limits.
Into the mix, lands a face from Colby’s past that leaves Colby, Georgia and the new arrival Keats confused, excited and scared all at once. They all know whatever it is they are doing has an expiration date and it’s just fun and exploration or is it? Meanwhile Georgia’s stalker and her fears, Colby’s suspended job and Keat’s young age and uncertain future keep them grounded. They’ll need each other if they are to keep what they have and find their happiness.
The story is told in shifting perspectives with all three of the main players taking turns narrating. This story grabbed me from the beginning as I learned to feel sympathy with Georgia’s debilitating issues brought on by a fiend of an ex-boyfriend and I watched as she grew bolder and stronger under first Colby’s care and then the attention and affection of both men.
[quote]Her secrets were like bars on a cage, keeping everyone at a distance while simultaneously holding her hostage. With secrets, she was only a character playing a role, a fake. So throwing back the curtain and putting it all out there had taken some of the power out of the memories and had brought her closer to the two men she’d confided in. p. 247 Georgia from Nothing Between Us[/quote]
Keats had gone through some abuse of his own that left him battered, but still standing when Colby finds him. It was fascinating watching Keats work through all his confused thinking and feelings under Colby’s guidance and Georgia’s encouragement. Then there was Colby. He’s been a bit player in the other books, but now I got his background and got to know him. Colby is a prince among men- a lusty prince, but a prince nonetheless. He is honest about himself and others, he is dominant to the core, but he is also a caring, tenderhearted lonely man. He wants a relationship and a family, but doesn’t think he’ll ever get one of those because of his bi-sexualism and sadistic needs. I just loved watching these three tentatively come together (oh, and yes, all three are into each other equally in case that is an issue for some) with stops and starts and had to watch with horrified feeling as it unraveled too making that hard fought for ending all the more poignant.
[quote]She lifted her head and brought her face close to Keats. “I think we’re done with the movie night.”
“Yeah?” Keats asked, his voice strained.
“Yeah.” She stroked him gently through his pants and put her mouth to his, letting the pent-up desire she’d been feeling for him from the very start pour into a slow, rolling kiss.
Colby’s mouth touched the back of her neck, his hands sliding over her waist, and it was done. The three of them.
No more lines in the sand. No more pretending.
They were all tumbling into the churning ocean together. Not a life raft in sight. p. 261 Georgia, Keats, and Colby from Nothing Between Us [/quote]
The additional story finally finishes off a loose thread of a side plot from book four, Wyatt and Kelsey’s story. The young masochistic submissive football player, Hawk, that was under Kelsey’s care and had to out his needs to his vanilla innocent girlfriend, Chris, and watch her work through the shock and truths about him. Now in this story, it is Hawk’s turn to work through some truths about Chris not being as vanilla as he assumed. I enjoyed the follow up story even though they both had to go through a bit more trouble to find their way.
To wrap it up, Colby’s story was riveting and it was everything I hoped for and I loved the two he was given to warm his kinky, sadistic, dominant heart. I seriously could have just kept reading a few more chapters about these three and the novella was a nice extra too. Can’t wait for Pike’s book. This is a great series for Erotic Romance lovers who enjoy their heat and passion to have heart, character and story development too.
My thanks to Penguin Group and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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