by K.C. Wells & Parker Williams
Published January 10th 2014 by Dreamspinner Press
Formats Available: mobi, epub, pdf, zip/html, Paperback
My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
A Collars and Cuffs Novel
Eighteen-year-old Scott Keating knows a whole world exists beyond his parents’ strict control, but until he gains access to the World Wide Web, he really has no idea what’s out there. In a chat room, Scott meets “JeffUK.” Jeff loves and understands him, and when he offers to bring Scott to the UK, Scott seizes his chance to escape his humdrum life and see the world. But when his plane touches down and Jeff isn’t there, panic sets in.
Collars & Cuffs favorite barman and Dom-in-training, Ben Winters, drops his sister off at the airport and finds a lost, anxious Scott. Hearing Scott’s story sets off alarm bells, along with his protective instincts. Taking pity on the naïve boy, Ben offers him a place to crash and invites him to Collars & Cuffs, hoping his bosses will know how to help. Scott dreams of belonging to someone, heart and soul. Ben longs for a sub of his own. And neither man sees what’s right under his nose.
A naive eighteen-year-old with the emotional or societal maturity of a ten year old meets up with an unknown chat mate and ends up running off to England and getting stranded. This situation is obviously very stupid for all those who have the maturity and experience of the world, but is not for someone like one Scott Keating who had been literally unexposed to the world until his Nook opened it for him via the wi-fi.
The good news is, he is rescued by one Ben Winters, a bartender working for BDSM club, Collars and Cuffs. This club is familiar to all of us who follow this series as we have met some unforgetable doms here. Doms with hearts and a passion for their boys, their beloveds, their partners. Ben is just like these men, but he has a handicap - or so he thinks - he is not wealthy.
When Scott enters Ben's life first as a charity case then as a trainee sub, their world opens wide and they both meet challenges they never thought to encounter. They each learn through each other and they cope, they familiarize. The romance comes in later, but all the while, it is Scott who does all things just to gain Ben's attention, and when he finally does, it was almost too late.
Oh dear, it is unfortunate to see for myself that I actually dropped a star for this one. Not because of the writing, it is still that light and easy read which endeared this writer to me. It still tells the story of one of the Collars and Cuffs men. And, there is a sub who came into his life unexpectedly. Leo and Thomas are there with their partners Alex and Patrick so the flow of the whole arc is practically seamless.
Thing is, what I personally do not like, and I have said this before, is public exhibitionism. That scene coming in just made me stop for a long while. Any scene of this type for that matter will make me stop reading, no matter the author, no matter the genre. That is my personal angst affecting me here, not the work itself - let me make that clear if it was not clear enough.
However, the one redeeming factor that made me continue reading is the manner in which this scene was written. It was not included for the sake of it. It was not included to make an otherwise tame but romantic book into a full blown erotica. Truth is, it was a necessary scene as this was needed by both Ben and Scott. It was Scott's decision and this decision was handled with finesse. It was these things that made me realize that should I stop reading, I would miss out on an otherwise great story of love, romance and perseverance.
For this really is a great story of romance. True, this is quite unreal for some readers especially the predicament both Scott and Ben found themselves in. But then again, this is fiction and I just love the way all things fell into place and the men finally got their own happily ever after. Their vows at the end really was most romantically written and honestly, I almost forgot that one scene I was not comfortable with. Almost.
So yes, this was a deliciously nice read I really enjoyed.