1. For Real by Alexis Hall
Paperback: 362 pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (February 15, 2015)
Amazon: For Real: A Spires Story
Amazon Kindle: For Real: A Spires Story
Laurence Dalziel, a thirty-seven year old trauma surgeon, is worn down and washed up. And for him the BDSM scene especially is all played out. He’s tired of pantomiming submission, and he’s long since given up looking for more than hollow release.
Then he meets Toby Finch. Nineteen years old. Fearless, fierce, and vulnerable. Everything Laurie can’t remember being.
Toby doesn’t know who he wants to be or what he wants to do. He doesn’t know how he ended up where he is or where he’s meant to be going. But he knows, with all the terrible certainty of youth, that he wants Laurie.
He wants Laurie on his knees. He wants to make him hurt, he wants to make him beg, he wants to make him fall in love. But while Laurie will surrender his body to Toby’s desires, he won’t surrender his heart. Because whatever they have, however right it feels, he knows it can’t last. Toby has to live his own life, and Laurie has to let him.
It can’t be for real.
Oh my dog!!!! . . I was a bit let down when I saw it was BDSM. That usually does very little for me. But this book made me a believer. I have loved Alexis’s other books because they are clever, funny, and hot. I love this one because I was forced to, much like Laurie, the jaded BDSMer was forced to love Toby but not in a stilted set-up. They were so perfect together. There were bits that felt slightly holier-than-thou about BDSM (eg the conversation about safe-words) but who cares. The book has so much heart to go along with Alexis’s usual cleverness I’m thoroughly charmed and wowed by it. The BDSM was never forced or silly—except in the one scene when it was supposed to be, and even that wasn’t cheapened into being a mere plot device because Dom, the secondary character, is more than a stereotype (and he made sure we and Laurie knows it) . The heroes are fabulous and I get snuffly just thinking of them – and I NEVER get snuffly about books. I feel sorry for whoever dropped the ball on reading this. S/he missed an absolute treat. It’s one of the best books I’ve read this year. And now I have to recover and get some sleep because Hall made me stay up way past my bedtime, reading.
The emotionality, the depth and the sheer brilliance of the writing took my breath away. An awesome read and a wonderful, poignant romance.
BDSM, but with much more focus on the psychology, the needs of the two men and the balance of the relationship, than any mechanics of the physical side. Not that there aren't excellent sexual episodes in it, but there are no formal scenes here, no careful planning and stylized progression. Just two men, one older, one younger; one experienced in the scene, one completely new to it; one broken by losing love through no fault of his own, one urgently seeking something he's never had... and the young, inexperienced guy is the Dom. This worked for me on so many levels. The writing is excellent. (If you haven't tried this author yet, and were daunted by the accent or the steampunk of other stories, try this one.) The men are imperfect, physically as well as in their very human emotions and psychology. The progression through the relationship is organic, not formalized, moving in very believable fits and starts. There are wonderful moments and painful moments and I read it in one breathless evening, then went back to the beginning.
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