Author: Kris Ripper
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Length: 232 Pages
Category: Contemporary, BDSM
At a Glance: Get this book. Take this journey with Emerson and Obie. I think you’ll be so glad you did.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: Emerson Robinette only leaves his apartment to get laid and go to work. Having MS—and trying to pretend he doesn’t—makes everything more complicated, especially his fantasies of coming on strong and holding a guy down. Finding a partner who’ll explore that with him isn’t Emerson’s idea of a realistic goal.
Until a chance meeting with a hipster on a bus makes him reconsider. Obie is happy, open-hearted, and warm; what’s more, he gets his kicks being physically dominated, spanked, and teased until he’s begging. It would be perfect, except for one thing: Emerson isn’t made for happiness, and he doesn’t see how a guy like Obie would settle for a cynic like him.
But as far as Obie’s concerned, the only thing keeping them apart is Emerson. Can Emerson handle a boyfriend who’s more invested in his future than he is? Emerson’s barely convinced he has a future. But when Obie’s smiling at him, anything seems possible.
This book can be read on its own, or enjoyed as the first book in the Queers of La Vista series.
Review: I feel like I frequently begin a review by mentioning how I was drawn in by a cover or a title—and I hate to sound like a broken record—but how gorgeous and eye-catching are these covers?!?! So vibrant and amazing. Paired with the fun and clever titles, I couldn’t resist the Queers of La Vista series by Kris Ripper. Gays of Our Lives, the first book in that series, was my first read by this author, and I absolutely loved it. Ripper has a new fan in this girl right here!
The entire book is written in Emerson’s POV, and the opening paragraph gets us immediately into his head. Even before we know anything else about him, it’s clear that he isn’t entirely happy with himself as he is, and that he wants to be seen as a dominant presence. His recent diagnosis of MS was a game changer, however, and Emerson finds himself sticking his head in the sand and hiding more and more of himself away. On a couple of occasions, he refers to himself as “a bitter cripple” or rather, that he doesn’t want to come off like that, but sometimes he can’t help it. He is extremely reluctant to ask for or accept help from others, and is basically ignoring medical advice and denying himself some pretty basic self-care and helpful home items. That is, until Obie enters the picture.
Obie. *siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh* You guys, Obie is everything. I would say that he is almost too good to be true, except…he isn’t. Ripper has made him so likeable, so sexy, so just…solid. Yet, he’s also one hundred percent real and believable. Obie is a beautiful, bearded hipster, who, for some reason unbeknownst to Emerson, completely digs him. He lives with his best friend, Mildred, in her aunt’s farmhouse, works nights at a big box store, and by day has a photography-slash-party-planning business with her. Oh—and he also makes ties. Fabulous ties. I loved this reaction from Emerson the first time Obie showed him his projects:
“And I’m not a tie kind of guy, really, not even before my nerves and fine motor skills got sketchy, but looking at Obie’s ties made me wish I wore them. Every day. Even to the grocery store.”
I liked Emerson. A lot. Even when he was being a pain-in-the ass, self-loathing wallower. I always got where he was coming from. But, Obie coming into his life was monumental for him. Simply by slowly showing Emerson that he wasn’t going to take any of his shit, and that he wasn’t going anywhere, even when Emerson was being a total douche, Obie was able to break down Emerson’s walls and show him that he was worth taking care of.
I also really liked the chemistry and dynamic between these characters. Emerson wants to hurt and dominate his lovers, and Obie gets off on that, but the way the author tackled the BDSM aspect—basically how they were ‘figuring things out’ and what worked between them—was refreshing and honest, and truly just fun at times. All of their reactions felt completely organic and truthful—whether it was Emerson exerting his power, or him being limited or humiliated by his MS and being made vulnerable—I loved watching their relationship grow.
In closing, I have to tell you that the last paragraph, particularly the last two lines, is PERFECTION. You have to read them. So, go! Get this book. Take this journey with Emerson and Obie. I think you’ll be so glad you did. And, I’m so looking forward to the rest of this series!
You can buy Gays of Our Lives here: