Since the death of his submissive lover two years ago, Leo hasn’t been living–merely existing. He focuses on making Collars & Cuffs, a BDSM club in Manchester’s gay village, successful. That changes the night he and his business partner have their weekly meeting at Severinos. Leo can’t keep his eyes off the new server. The shy man seems determined to avoid Leo’s gaze, but that’s like a red rag to a bull. Leo loves a challenge.
Alex Daniels works at Severinos to scrape together the money to move out on his own. He struggles with coming out, but he’s drawn to Leo, the gorgeous guy with the icy-blue eyes who’s been eating in his area nearly every night.
Leo won’t let Alex’s hesitance get in the way. He even keeps him away from the club so as not to scare him. And as for telling Alex that Leo is a dom? Not a good idea. One date becomes two, but date two leads to Leo’s bedroom…and Alex discovers things about himself he never realized and never wanted anyone to see.
Leo has been neglecting his own desires since the loss of his last submissive. When his friends ask him to help with Alex’s training, he realizes he needs something more in his life than just running the club.
Alex is still a virgin (!) and closeted and very shy. It takes Leo to make him admit his own desires and have the strength to come out to his ultra-conservative family. At first he balks at the domination but then finds it really suits him.
For people who are new to BDSM or like it on the “light” side this is a good book as it isn’t too… extreme. If BDSM is definitely NOT your thing, then skip this series.
The relationship is definitely highlighted along with the sex so there is a good balance. The angst is fair, sometimes a bit contrived in my opinion, but mostly appropriate.
Nick J Russo is one of my favorite narrators. He has this amazing deep and penetrating voice that tends to give me shivers.
Unfortunately his voice just didn’t work in this story. I didn’t like his “Leo”. I thought the voice his chose was too feminine and not nearly hard-ass enough to be the Dom that he was. I also thought a few of his other voices – the cop, Alex’s dad, and some others were a little too over the top and they were distracting.
Usually I just gush about him but I didn’t think this story was a good fit for him.
World Building/Characterizations 4
Overall 3.3 out of 5 hearts