Title: Boundaries (Imago: Book One)
Author: Anna Hedley
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 260 Pages
At a Glance: A well-written, if at times frustrating, BDSM novel.
Reviewed By: Jennifer
Blurb: Ben Dean is afraid and ashamed of his tendencies. But after the end of a disastrous relationship, he decides to explore his outer limits, the part of himself that he’s never dared to examine too closely. The part that’s interested in dominating a willing sub.
Jacob Peers is an accomplished sculptor and lifelong switch. Growing jaded with the incessant issues of macho pretend doms, he needs someone who knows when and where to treat him like a sub. In Ben, he sees the perfect raw material.
Review: If you’ve read my previous reviews before, you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of BDSM novels, and I’m always looking for something new to try. I got that in this book, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out it is the first in a series, because I look forward to what comes next. That’s not to say the book is without its faults, as there are numerous frustrating moments throughout the book, but I’m not sure if it was just really good writing or what.
When Jacob, a switch, meets Ben, a newly minted Dom, the two strike up a bargain. Ben will move in with Jacob, who will train him as the perfect Dom for him. Ben gets to live with not one gorgeous sub but two. Karl is living with Jacob as his sub and a friend. What follows is a boat load of misunderstandings, characters who refuse to talk to each other, heartache, and maybe second chances.
Overall, the writing of the story is fantastic. It’s written really well and I enjoyed it. The characters, however, were frustrating. Karl is gruff at first, but as you learn his back story, he really starts to grow on you, and I ended up liking him the most at the end. Ben is a new Dom and he falls for Jacob, and that’s a big no-no to the switch. He doesn’t want a relationship. He wants sex, and he wants it with whoever he wants, when he wants it. To be fair to him, he is open about that, but Ben is young and naïve, and, I don’t know, maybe thinks he can change the older man. It doesn’t help that he’s hung up on his ex, Toby, who had something terrible happen in his past that he refused to discuss. And Ben just can’t get beyond that.
I’d say the ending of this book is happy for now. Will they work out in the long run? I’m not sure they will. But does it seem like they’re at least happy with the arrangements they make? Yes. It was incredibly frustrating watching them dance around each other when I just wanted to shove them in a room and force them to talk. Not possible, though.
Will I read the next book in the series? Yes, because I did come to care for the characters and I would like to know what happens to them or even Karl. Heck, I actually wish things had turned out more towards the Karl spectrum, as he really grew on me and I wanted him to have his happy ending. I wish I could reveal more of the nuances in the book, but it would take a lot away from the reading. Just know if you want to give this book a chance, and you like BDSM, there are some hints of non-con and dub-con sprinkled throughout, even if they occur off the pages.
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