Title ~ Bound by Lies
Author ~ Lynn Kelling
Publisher ~ Fantastic Fiction Publishing
Published ~ 5th August 2013
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Erotic Romance, BDSM
Brayden Clare never wanted to return to small town life. Blond, athletic, and struggling with his sexual identity, a casual relationship on the beach in Florida suits him much better. When a family emergency calls him home, he is forced to trade his personal freedom for a job as a bartender in a town where everybody thinks they know who he is, and nobody has a clue—including Brayden.
Jenner Parrish is the owner and operator of Parrish Pub, the social hub of Robertsville, Pennsylvania. Jenner is charming, dominant, and popular since they were both in high school together. Brayden finds his new boss intimidating, and is daunted to find that turns him on. Jenner finds his new recruit intriguing but mustn’t dare to ask an employee to submit to him.
The two men find what they’re seeking at a masked BDSM ball in the next town over, and are startled to discover their desires rest much, much closer to home.
What can I say about Jenner and Brayden? Well apart from the fact that I fell head over heels for the pair of them, they're definite poster boys for denial and self doubt. On the surface coping as 'normally' as they can on a day to day basis, but underneath the facade, living their lives based on pretense as they're both constantly battling demons from their pasts; hiding the true nature of their sexuality from the people they're closest to and in both their cases the cracks are beginning to show!
Brayden struggles to get past the memories of his unfeeling, selfish mother who deserted him after losing his father to cancer. A dysfunctional background, made worse by the bullying and humiliation he suffered as a vulnerable youngster, from the popular jock clique that Jenner was part of. But deeply closeted Jenner's insecurities and guilt lie in his being a part of that crowd. Knowing that while he never physically participated in the cruelty his peers took pleasure in, he used that popularity as a mask to hide his true nature, obtusely choosing to just stand by and let those horrible things happen; choices that have haunted him ever since.
Family responsibilities he can't ignore, bring an already conflicted Brayden back to his old hometown, and into the sights of the one person who encompasses everything he hated about that time in his life. Desperately in need of a job, he inadvertently ends up working at Jenners bar, and from the beginning it's a complicated relationship that even though at times is frustrating and maddening, is also compellingly beautiful, emotionally heart stopping and off the charts HOT!!! Kinky fuckery that had me all of a tremble and totally in awe of Lynn Kellings ability to make the dynamics of their intense, no holds barred play, feel authentic and not just the formulaic 'bdsm 101' you generally find in m/m romance.
Complete opposites in looks, size and personality; Jenner is all man. Big, dark, intense and physically imposing, he indulges his proclivities at The Manse, an out of town private BDSM club, where, for the last five years he's been training under its charismatic owner, to become the strong, caring Dom he’ll need to be, for the submissive he's waiting to meet and claim as his own. The more reticent Brayden is slight, beautiful, blonde and because of his past, less grounded and more sensitive than the man, who, after a fortuitous meeting at The Manse—during a private masked event—brings his subservient tendencies to the surface. For Jenner the attraction to Brayden is instant. He’s besotted to the point of infatuation, but it takes a while to convince the skittish blonde to give Jenner a chance. Once he takes that step though, the dynamic between them changes and through their hard core pain exchange, Brayden finds a peace and feeling of safety in Jenner's domination that he's never had before. On the surface they might seem incongruous as a couple, but in private as master and slave, their fit is perfect and the love they feel for each other unquestionable!
An uncompromisingly erotic, visceral, hard core yet still heartfelt master/slave relationship that pulls no punches when these two complex personalities dance around each other; putting themselves, and their friends and family through the emotional mill, as they try to juggle their all consuming feelings for each other. Not just dealing with their own internal conflicts about how to make their unconventional love work, but also having to field the misguided (but sometimes understandable) reactions of the people closest to them.
A fantastic cast of supporting characters—some great, some not so— whose inclusion in the story and lives of the two MC's, both outside of and then during their relationship, is really important to the outcome of Jenner and Brayden ultimately finding acceptance and of course closure. Friends who because of the situation, and (granted) Jenner's stubbornness, only see what they want to see when the sadomasochistic, but completely consensual side of the relationship, shows itself in ways that has them questioning the validity of Jenner's true intentions towards his smaller, weaker, more emotionally susceptible employee.
Friendships and family relationships are tested, and there were times when I couldn't see how they were going to make it through, but I ended this awesome story with a huge sigh of relief and a big satisfied smile!
I LOVED this book! Loved Jenner and Brayden who despite their flaws (and they both have them) captured my heart completely and adored every heated, sensual, kinky, angst filled minute of their journey, from personal nonfulfillment to emotional completion together. But what enhanced my enjoyment even further, was jumping in straight after reading the newly published, short prequel Learning from the Master...really good insight into Jenner as a novice Dom but OMG!!! Talk about sexually induced heatstroke! David, has to be one of the most sensual Dom's I've ever come across! Damn! That man made me shiver!!! Can't wait for his and Shea's story.
I'm ashamed to say that Bound by Lies has been sitting in the TBR list, on my Kindle for a long time, and now having finally read it, I'm mentally slapping myself for not having picked it up sooner. WOW! When it comes to uncompromising BDSM and emotionally fucked up characters, Lynn Kelling can write up a storm! Now I just want to go wallow in everything she's written!
The Manse Series
Bound by Lies
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