Title: Saving Sebastian (Custos Securities: Book Three)
Author: Luna David
Length: 525 Pages
Category: Contemporary, BDSM
At a Glance: I loved this story. I loved the BDSM elements to it, which were treated with respect and accuracy. Sebastian and Gideon were perfect for each other.
Reviewed By: Carrie
Blurb: Gideon McCade–weighed down by memories of his previous life as a Navy SEAL and a CIA agent–has blood on his hands. He turns to his BDSM club, Catharsis, and Dominating submissives to get him through the daily grind of civilian life. Knowing his past is too much to inflict on a life partner, he keeps his connections brief and superficial. When his former life comes back to haunt him, his desire for revenge pulls him back into the shadows, darkening his hopes for a future in the light.
Temporarily sidelining his career as a tattoo artist, Sebastian Phillips works as a composite artist for the local police department. To alleviate the inescapable burden of a congenital medical condition, he immerses himself in his art and seeks the catharsis of submission. But with life weighing heavily on his shoulders and darkness encroaching, he yearns for a contract with a Dominant that sees past the protective barriers he’s erected to the vulnerable submissive within.
When happenstance brings Gideon and Sebastian together, their connection is undeniable. The knowledge that they are both too damaged to form permanent bonds of love causes them to rely on an impersonal contract to fulfil their physical needs. But staying emotionally detached becomes impossible, and breaking their contract seems the only option. Will Gideon’s need for vengeance and Sebastian’s declining health destroy what’s grown between them, or will they help each other find their way back into the light?
Author’s Note: If you prefer warnings, there are strong trigger warnings for this book.
Review: Each of the books in this series are standalones, but David’s characters do overlap. Books one and two were about Braden and Zavier, and since Gideon is Zavier’s brother, he had cameo appearances in those books. Sebastian also, as a member of a mutual club, was introduced in a previous book. That being said, you do not have to read books one and two, but doing so will give you a greater sense of time and place, and will enhance your reading experience of Saving Sebastian.
Sebastian is a submissive through and through. He also has a debilitating degenerative disease. Sebastian has lived with the knowledge, and the symptoms of his epilepsy for years, and he’s done his best to prepare for the eventualities to come. He’s learned to tattoo ambidextrously. He’s prepared for the blindness. He’s prepared for everything. Except for Gideon.
Sebastian broke my heart. The strength that David put into this character is astounding. We learn about all the facets of Sebastian’s illness and what he has done to cope with it, all without it spiraling into a depressive state. The care that David took in creating Sebastian’s character comes through in the writing. He knows that he isn’t a long-term bet. As a rule, he keeps people at a distance. He has learned to exist within a carefully constructed world; it’s how he copes with his issues. He loves his job as a police sketch artist, but his part-time passion of tattooing over other people’s scars feeds his soul. As a submissive, he joined an exclusive club, and while it isn’t ideal, and no one has ever wanted him for anything more than a scene, that’s ok with him. Getting attached to people isn’t his forte, anyway. Oh, but the way that Gideon wraps him in his ropes makes Sebastian feel safe in a way that hasn’t ever happened before, and it makes him long for things he has long felt just weren’t for him.
Gideon has done many things he’s not proud of. Doing wet work for the CIA has eaten away at his soul and left a black smudge on his conscience. He no longer sees himself as worthy of being a partner to another man. Sure, he’ll write a contract with a submissive, but it will state right up front that it is a business transaction and that there will be NO emotional involvement whatsoever. Trying to free himself from the last of his commitments to himself and the CIA is difficult. Gideon’s story is gritty; it’s a redemption story, and David writes Gideon as a compassionate but ruthless alpha male. He’s justice personified. When a submissive is attacked in the BDSM club he owns, he finds himself drawn to the man, not just to protect the submissive but also for the reputation of pure submission that the submissive has. He’s still determined to keep it no-strings-attached, but he wants, and does, write a contract with Sebastian to be his Dom.
There are several storylines within this book. Sebastian and his illness is one. Gideon and his work with the club and the CIA is another. Then there is the story of these two men coming together. David handles them all quite well and brings a unity to the story, joining her characters in believable ways, and creating secondary characters who help propel the two men toward their HEA.
I loved this story. I loved the BDSM elements to it, which were treated with respect and accuracy. Sebastian and Gideon were perfect for each other. Gideon sees Sebastian’s inner strength, and Sebastian brings light to Gideon’s darkness. This book is a journey for these men, both separately and together. They are haunted by illness, past choices, and circumstances beyond their control, but their chemistry together is off the freaking charts. I absolutely recommend this book and this series. It’s long but it’s worth it.
You can buy Saving Sebastian here: