Title ~ Blended Family (The Briar Rose)
Author ~ Sean Michael
Publisher ~ Torquere Press
Published ~ 15th July 2015
Genre ~ Contemporary Romance, BDSM, Poly (MM/M/M)
Matt and Adam are back and this time they're welcoming two established Master/sub pairs who want to play together. Without ruining their friendship.
Subs Peter and Max have been best friends forever, since before they met their masters. They were lovers once, but both men needed the influence of a Dom to stay on an even keel. Happily in love with their masters, Devon and Swan, the boys nonetheless want more.
Devon and Swan care deeply for each other and are willing to give becoming something more a try and the Briar Rose seems like the perfect place to give it a go. As neutral ground, if things go wrong, they should be able to put the whole thing behind them and go back to their lives as simply friends.
Can Devon, Peter, Swan, and Max become the blended family they yearn to be?
Readers of Sean Michael's Hammer series will recognize Matt and Adam from there. This book is set in the BDSM home that Matt and Adam had set up - a place where couples could come and learn new techniques in safety and without judgment. Matt is worried because they have two D/s couples coming in who want to play together, in an effort to become a foursome. His place is more about techniques, than a relationship counseling set up.
Peter and Devon were in a relationship, as were Swan and Max. Peter and Max had played together before and were the best of friends, and Swan and Devon had been friends without benefits, apparently. Bringing all four men together would test the bounds of love and the relationships they have with each other.
This is an unusual situation. The four men don't want to just play together, they want to expand their relationships to include all four of them full time. Because they are in committed D/s relationships this means rules, expectations - because of course both Doms operate differently and both subs react in different ways. It was different, and complex at times, but actually totally fascinating. For example Max needed rules, got side tracked by electronics and had food issues. Peter was a lot more relaxed but he came with his own issues.
Reading between the sexy lines, and there were a lot of those, you get the picture of four men who are all committed to each other in different ways, and who want to make it work with each other. A four way relationship would be very difficult so the time spent setting the whole thing up, given the BDSM context, made sense. Although there weren't any scenes involving toys or other equipment, they were discussed, with everyone working out what their limits were and how they could handle the change - Max in particular. I was glad that things just didn't magically work out initially - that there were hiccups and some of the emotions expressed made real sense given the situation. Overall I have to say this is one of my favorite Sean Michael's books so far and catching up with Matt and Adam again was also really sweet.
Favorite Line: "The best relationships require the hardest work"