Author ~ Sue Brown
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Published ~ 25 November 2015
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
A Novella in Frankie's Series
Eight months after the assault in which his sub and lover was killed, Jordan Nicholls isn’t making much progress in his recovery. Marchant and Ed, Jordan’s friends from the BDSM club, stage an intervention.
They employ a carer to look after Jordan. Rhys may be a sub, but he’s forceful, making Jordan eat and exercise rather than live on coffee and cigarettes. Despite Jordan’s protests, Rhys slowly forces him back to life.
But Rhys wants to be Jordan’s sub, and despite being protective of Rhys, Jordan’s not sure he can ever return to the BDSM lifestyle. In order for their relationship to continue, they’ll need to find a compromise that meets both their needs.
Jordan is still suffering the physical effects from the bashing eight months prior that left him seriously injured and killed his sub, Mike. More than the physical, it is the emotional pain that is holding him back. Jordan has dreams and flashbacks of the attack, he feels enormous guilt about surviving and he has lost interest in the most basic aspects of his life, holing up in his home.
His friends’ concern has led Marchant to hire Rhys, a new sub at the club, to be Jordan’s caretaker. While Rhys is a sub and Jordan Dom, those roles are pushed aside to start as Rhys takes his job seriously and is determined to get Jordan to start living again. He understands the pain Jordan feels at what happened to Mike more than Jordan expects. Rhys is just the right mix of bossy and nurturing and as he moves in with Jordan and takes over his life as a carer. As the two begin to form a trust in each other, Jordan realizes that Rhys wants more from him, but Jordan isn’t ready and isn’t sure he ever will be.
Although the story could work as a standalone, all the characters from the prior books are back, and the events in Anthony & Leo have a lot to do with this story as well. Jordan is feeling like he missed out on pursuing more with his best friend Tony who is happy with Leo as his lover and Dom. While Jordan did everything he could to bring Tony and Leo together and he would never do anything to mess with Tony’s relationship, it is just one more thing on his mind. Tony is fiercely protective of Jordan as well and is a bit unsure of what he sees as Rhys’ agenda.
I enjoyed the way Jordan having Rhys in his house started to naturally bring back out the Dom in him, especially when he realizes Rhys is looking for scenes and is not necessarily going about finding it in the best way. The fact that Jordan, as a Dom, is all about control and Rhys just swoops in and takes over shows just how low Jordan has sunk. The story builds slowly and it takes a while for the two men to move towards a relationship or even consider trying scenes together, which was perfectly fitting for the situation. I really appreciated that Sue Brown stayed away from the “magic sex cure” and Jordan really had to work to get his life back together. There were some time jumps in the story that resulted in telling as opposed to showing the men get closer and I did feel that took a little bit away from the story.
Although the series is set around the BDSM club and all the players are involved in the lifestyle, this story is light on that aspect, focusing more on the developing friendship between Jordan and Rhys as they get to know each other and Jordan’s continued healing. There was a bit more serious tone to this story, but still plenty of lighter times, especially when all the friends got together to help Jordan out.
Jordan and Rhys were both strong, likeable characters and the epilogue left me feeling that Jordan had finally found his way back to being comfortable with all aspects of his life. This was a good addition to the series.