“Surrender is a powerful force.” ― P.C. Cast
Brayden Clare is a very confused young man. He was bullied all throughout high school. First for the fact his father died and he was very emotional about it, also because he was slightly built and more pretty than handsome. Lastly, his mother just up and left him after his father died, leaving the town questioning her sanity.
After high school Brayden took off to Miami and started living his life on his terms; well, as much as he could. His roommate Andre starts to open his eyes to needs Brayden never knew he had. Just as the two are starting to explore this revelation, Brayden’s grandmother calls—she needs his help with raising his cousin. So, with Brayden on the cusp of finding out who he really is, he heads back to his hometown. He doesn’t know what’s in store for him in the place where he never seemed to fit in, but family comes first, so off he goes.
Next we meet Jenner Parrish. While at the gym with one of his very few friends, Jenner notices the most beautiful man he has ever seen. Lithe and tan are not the only words to enter Jenner’s mind. This moment is when Jenner’s stalking of Brayden starts. Jenner realizes that the object of his obsession lives on his street, and he spends way too much time thinking of Brayden.
Not long after seeing Brayden at the gym, Jenner believes all his prayers have been answered when Brayden walks into his bar looking for a job. Even though Jenner believes the man is straight, at least he can watch him up close every day. It doesn’t take long for the close contact between the two men to put Jenner on edge, so he goes to the BDSM club for the masquerade ball. He never expected to see Brayden there….in a KILT! Jenner quickly scoops Brayden up, thanking all that is holy that it is a masked party so his secret isn’t out once Brayden runs from the room after he and Jenner share a hot time together. Unfortunately for Jenner, his disguise is given away when Brayden sees him without his shirt at work.
Once Jenner and Brayden both admit to the feelings they are having for one another, they start to navigate a Master/slave relationship. Jenner has trained with one of the top Dominants in the city for five years and Brayden has had a total of three physical encounters with a man, none with a woman. Needless to say there are many roadblocks to overcome before these men get anywhere close to a HEA. Neither man is “out” in their small Pennsylvania town. Jenner’s friends, Maxine and Art, take a liking to Brayden very quickly. When they see marks on his body and overhear some… not so innocent conversations, they stick their noses in where they aren’t needed, and it causes some major tension and some bruises and cracked ribs for Jenner. Not only do they have to overcome Jenner’s friends, but Brayden has some friends from Miami that need some convincing that Brayden is safe.
Finally, they get on the right track and their relationship is progressing nicely. They decide together to come out soon, but on Halloween the decision is made for them. There are some wonderful surprises on who supports them and some bullies are put in their place. Brayden overcomes some inner demons that have plagued him since childhood and Jenner finally finds freedom in the control Brayden hands over to him.
I loved this book!!! It took me a couple days after I finished reading it to get my thoughts somewhat together. This story was so striking and romantic. The power dynamic played out so well that it just seemed natural, like these two men were made for each other. Jenner is a very powerful Dom and Brayden is a wonderful sub who just blossoms under Jenner’s guidance. Watching the two men grow and learn together was a beautiful thing.
I highly recommend this book to anyone that likes to read about strong men, especially when one of them gives all his power over to the other.
Reviewed by: Jackie