Author ~ Grace R. Duncan
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Published ~ 20 November 2015
Genre ~ M/M Contemporary BDSM Romance
Malcolm Tate hung up his flogger when his submissive sought out another Dom and landed in the hands of a serial killer. Convinced his lack of dominance sent his sub away, Mal has spent two years blaming himself for what happened. But when his best friend finally convinces him to go back to the local dungeon, Mal’s grateful. Especially when he wins beautiful, submissive, firmly closeted Kyle Bingham in a charity slave auction.
College grad Kyle hasn’t earned enough to move out of the loft his conservative, homophobic parents bought, much less to buy any of the other things still in their name. When he’s won at auction by the hot, amazing Mal, he’s shocked that anyone would want him. No one else seemed to—not his parents, his former Doms, or any of his disastrous dates.
But Mal does want him and Kyle lets his guard down, only to be outed to his parents. With his world crashing down, he must find a way to trust Mal—and their developing relationship—or risk losing everything.
Mal is still struggling two years after the death of his best friend and sub at the hands of a killer. Mal harbors a lot of guilt and has not let himself move forward. When his friends finally drag him out of his self-imposed exile to their club Mal can’t believe his luck to find the beautiful boy participating in their charity slave auction. Mal is instantly taken by the younger man, so different than the subs he usually goes for. He is immediately drawn to the boy and buys his services for the evening.
Kyle is a well-trained sub, but not very experienced, having only been out for a few years. He has trained with a straight Dom and his few scenes with Doms at the club have never resulted in anyone wanting him back. Kyle has trust issues and horribly low self-esteem from growing up with cold parents who only used him to help them look good in their social circle, but gave him no love or affection. He knows his parents will not accept him when they find out he is gay and since they own his apartment and his car, the fear of them disowning him before he can stand on his own two feet has kept him in the closet. Putting himself up for the auction is a big step for him and he couldn’t be happier to have the gorgeous, dominant Mal contract with him for the night.
Their intense scene at the club turns into a weekend neither of them wants to see end. Both are looking for more and they find themselves almost effortlessly slipping into a nearly 24/7 D/s relationship. Kyle finds it hard to believe that Mal would want to keep him around, even as he knows they are quickly falling for each other. Mal desperately wants Kyle and wants him to realize just how beautiful he is inside and out. When the actions of Kyle’s parents exceed all his worst expectations, his trust in Mal and the strength of their new bond is tested.
This story grabbed me from page one. Mal immediately knows he wants Kyle as both a sub and a lover. Kyle only hopes that Mal wants to see him more than once and doesn’t want to appear needy. The attraction between the two is instant and strong and their relationship moves forward very quickly. They discover that they complement each other well, not just as far as D/s play goes, but both work in the tech industry and are proud geeks. When they are not having sex, which is quite often, they are playing chess, World of Warcraft or watching Lord of the Rings.
The BDSM scenes were fantastic and intense, exploring a variety of kinks including edging and denial, wax play, bondage and lots of pain. Mal is a sadist and Kyle loves it. It wasn’t just the kink though; there were other vanilla love scenes that cemented the difference in the “Kyle and Mal” relationship versus the “Master and boy”. I thought both aspects of their relationship were very well written. One scene in particular that represents a major moment in the relationship, begins firmly in the Master and boy camp and seamlessly transitions to a tender, loving moment between Mal and Kyle.
Mal is fiercely protective of Kyle and also will do anything he can to help him believe in himself, including setting rules and showing those who rejected Kyle just what they lost out on. Kyle’s submission to Mal was a thing of beauty. I really adored these two men together.
Building the relationship is the focus of the book, with very little outside influences, other than Kyle’s parents. It worked well as far as making me comfortable with the fast pace of their bonding, but I would have liked to had a little more of a feel for Kyle’s life outside of Mal. Other than that small issue I thought Grace R. Duncan created a beautiful and loving relationship and I enjoyed every moment I spent with Mal and Kyle.
This was my first book by Grace R. Duncan but it definitely won’t be my last.