Author ~ Nicole Colville
Publisher ~ Hidden Pleasures
Published ~ 23 October 2015
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance, BDSM
What does it cost to sell yourself? Your body? Your heart? Your soul?
At eighteen, with no job, no money, and a young sister to care for, becoming an escort seemed the perfect answer, but by the age of twenty four, Dominque is left wondering how he can break free of his ‘short term’ solution.
Jacob is at the top of his profession, leaving him with no time or desire for a relationship. Caring for another person full time isn’t on his agenda, but that soon changes when fate steps in and offers him the chance of something more.
Unable to forget the intriguing brunette after their first date, Jacob is enticed to spend more time with Dominque, seeking to put the pain of the past behind them, and bring peace to the wounded bird who captivated him so easily, but the fear in Dominque keeps them separated. Only through gaining his trust can Jacob hope to set him free.
It’s not just the clients who pay.
*Dominque is a standalone book included in the Knights to Remember series and can be read at any point*
From the blurb I expected a story with heavy angst and drama, but it turned out to be more of a sweet romance between two men who, on paper, should have nothing in common, but in reality are pretty much made for each other. Once I adjusted my preconceptions I enjoyed the story.
Dominque has worked as a high priced, in demand escort for the past six years since his mother died leaving him, at 18, to care for his 12 year old sister. With his sister now just months away from going off on her own to college, he is planning to work as much as he can and then leave his life as an escort behind. In addition to banking as much cash as possible, he realizes he also needs to use these months to rediscover himself and what he wants from his future. After hiding for so long behind meaningless sex and the characters he uses with his clients he is not sure who he really is anymore. There is also something in his past that has left him unwilling to trust and pulling away from any friends he had in the past with connections to his old life.
Jacob is a successful doctor and Dom and at 34 years old, still waiting for the perfect man to come along to not only fulfill his need for a sub, but his need for a partner who can be an equal outside of the bedroom. He has a picture of the perfect man in his mind and believes he will know him when he sees him. For now, he's too busy with work for a relationship so he plays at the club, but doesn’t really share himself with anyone. The moment he sees Dominque’s picture he knows that physically he is perfect for him, a risk he doesn’t want to take so he is adamant about hiring a different escort. It’s a rocky start to the relationship when Dominque winds up filling in after a last minute emergency with Jacob’s promised date. When he discovers Dominque’s submissive nature and prior experience in the BDSM scene, all bets are off and Jacob is a goner!
Dominque is instantly attracted to Jacob’s dominant manner but also senses how much he cares. Jacob sees Dominque’s need to submit but also his fear and mistrust. A week away as Jacob’s date to his sister’s wedding leads to a whirlwind romance and despite all their initial misgivings things move very quickly in the “vanilla” aspects of the relationship. Getting Dominque to trust Jacob when it comes to fully submitting and rediscovering what he once loved about the BDSM lifestyle doesn’t come as easy.
“You're mine. You’ve always been mine, and you always will be. You just don’t know it yet.” Jacob smiled softly, running his thumb over Dominque’s mouth. “I'm going to have fun showing you how much you belong to me. You’re never leaving. You won't want to.”
There were things that worked well for me and things that didn’t. This is a long book and we got to know both characters well before they actually got together, getting both of their POVs, but at some points I did feel the story dragging there. I really liked Jacob’s growly, alpha nature considering we are privy to how much Dominque owns him from the moment they meet, but while his declarations of want and love towards Dominque were sweetly sexy and heart melting, they sometimes were a bit too flowery.
In some ways Dominque has lived more in 24 years than he should have, but he has also missed out on a lot as well. He has really cut himself off from feeling anything partially out of the necessity of doing his job. It was wonderful watching him overcome his fears and rediscover his feelings of self-worth and confidence in his ability to have the relationship he never thought he could.
“From the first moment I saw you standing in the middle of the hotel bar while I knelt before you, looking up at you from the ground as you stared down at me, I felt this. I felt the urge to give you everything. I wanted to be yours. I knew it was right. It was only fear which held me back, and I refuse to let fear control me anymore.”
While the BDSM theme is strong, I would classify it as BDSM light as there are no really hardcore scenes. This is the aspect of the relationship that Dominque had the hardest time with after having had a horrible experience in the past. I would have liked to have had some on-page time devoted to Jacob and Dominque working on their trust in a scene or two before the BDSM scene in the epilogue after a brief time jump.
Another plus in the story was Jacob’s older brother Krane. His life is also turned upside down during the course of the week long wedding festivities and his story, which is up next, should make for some interesting reading.