Title: Combine (A Hammer Novel)
Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Press
Pages/Word Count: 169 Pages
At a Glance: Combine is a fitting addition to the Hammer series.
Reviewed By: Carrie
Blurb: Dom and sub couples Peter and Devon, and Max and Swan, are joining their lives together. After a week at The Briar Rose, they know there’s a lot of work to do, and they’re all committed to making sure what they have together succeeds.
Peter is the easygoing sub, while Max needs discipline and rules to keep from falling back into bad habits, so both Masters worry about making sure that each boy gets what he needs without making either sub feel neglected. It’s a balancing act that winds up taking some fancy footwork and the stress takes its toll.
As they learn to live and bond together, they discover things about each other that makes them fall more deeply in love, helping to cement their relationships.
Then an unexpected attack on Peter and Max threatens to upset the balance they’ve created, and Swan and Devon must join forces to give their subs what they need to push through and thrive. Will this stumbling block break apart their hard-won new family, or will it forge a stronger foursome?
Review: Peter and Max have always been best friends, sometimes lovers, until they each met their respective Masters. They have loved each other for years, so their Masters, Devon and Swan, know that to keep the boys truly happy means ensuring the friends stay together. They have all spent a week at the Briar Rose B&B, training and testing to see if they can make a blended family work. There are lots of things to consider in this relationship: how do the boys work with two Masters now, and can those Masters become more than friends themselves without it being awkward? I have to say, I thought the greatest sex scenes were the ones between the two Doms!
The premise of Combine is the affirming of a family dynamic between two established D/s couples. Attempting to do this, though, is tricky for the couples involved, as the Doms are very different, and so are the subs and how they react inside their own D/s paradigm. Attempting to be “more” together sometimes felt too complex to accomplish. However, in the end you get a picture of four men who are committed to being together, broadening their boundaries, and accepting love in a new and wonderful way. They learn to respect what each individual likes/dislikes and embrace the quirks that make them fit together. Of course, there is plenty of smoking hot sex in this book—both with a D/s dynamic and without. I found myself really rooting for these four to make it work, and wouldn’t mind another glimpse into their lives a few years down the road to see how it all comes together for them.
This book stands alone, sort of, but it’s really better if you read Blended Family, book three in the Briar Rose Series, first, which is where we meet these men, get to know them as individuals and how they all come together in the first place. Combine brings them full circle with how they go from being two independent D/s couples to one family. It’s a fitting addition to the Hammer series.
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