My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Wow! This was intense!
From the outside Rase Illion has it all. He is a multimillionaire business tycoon with a private jet, chauffeur driven limousines, a beautiful trophy wife and people at his beck and call twentyfour seven. From the inside however, Rase is a mess!
He has spent a lifetime repressing everything that he is in order to please his father – a challenge he never won. Now in his late forties he really is nothing but an empty shell. His shame about what he really wants and needs runs so deep that he cant even masturbate and he despises everything about himself.
A chance encounter with a stock boy with a chip on his shoulder, Gabriel, leaves Rase with a bloodied lip, a raging hard on and an obsession with said stock boy and his handcuffs. And this is where the story really builds up steam!
This is hard core! Readers beware! There are no safe words, no polite negotiations. Rase needs to be hurt, he is a full blown masochist and Gabriel is a true sadist. The sex scenes between the two are brutal.
But this is where the author shows her exceptional skill as a writer. Because this is way out of my comfort zone, but ms Crow not only manages to make me understand and accept both of her MCs needs, she makes it hot! How? I don’t know. I really don’t. But it was. Intense, painful, rough but also hot as hell!
Probably not a book for everyone, but if you read it with an open mind, I am sure ms Crow will make you understand – that this is not violence, it is need!
In its essence though, this is a book about finding and accepting yourself and everything that you are. And Rases’ journey from automaton to human being is wonderful. His first forays into friendship, being a father to his adult son, mending bridges with his first ex-wife as well as coming out as gay this late in life are just fantastic. It made me go all warm and fuzzy inside!
So hard core kink aside, this is a beautiful romance between two flawed men, both with their own insecurities and demons to battle, as well as a late-in-life coming of age story really…
The book looses half a star due to too many editing errors: typos, missing words, wrong words, extra words etc. They were annoying, but luckily not so bad to make you loose your place in the story.