Title ~ Stroke Rate
Author ~ L.M. Somerton
Publisher ~ Pride Publishing
Published ~ 23rd February 2016
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Erotic Romance, BDSM
Lucien Thorne likes to be in control, but the boy he wants to own may take some convincing.
Gorgeous but shy, Benedict Astor does his best to keep a low profile at the rowing club where he works. However, unbeknown to Benedict, he has attracted the attention of Lucien Thorne, rowing aristocracy, an Olympic medalist and a lord.
Whilst looking for a new rowing partner, Lucien believes he has found what he needs in Ben. He pushes him to his limits on the water and it becomes clear that rowing with the pretty young man is not his only interest. Ben is attracted to Lucien but confused about his feelings. Lucien is demanding, arrogant and dominant—which Benedict responds to even though he feels he should resist.
Fighting emotions he doesn’t understand, Ben has to contend with the bullying rowing club president and a humiliating auction of promises.
Lucien recognizes Ben’s hidden submissive streak and makes his own need for control very clear. He bids for Ben’s time, then forces Ben to admit to his own desire to test the ground between them.
When the deeds to the boat club are gambled away, Lucien and Ben must work together to save it. Will their growing love survive the pressure, Ben’s uncertainty and Lucien’s desire to own him completely?
Publisher's Note: This book has been previously published by Pride Publishing. It has been revised and re-edited for release in 2016.
Freya’s Book Brief
Ben is a university student, surviving on a shoestring and is a person who has an inner need to row. He's the equivalent of the towel boy/water boy in American Football – the job sucks, and he’s at the mercy of the wealthy. But it has its perks. Seb is the quintessential leering bastard, and Lucien Thorne is rowing aristocracy and real life Lord.
When I saw the title Stroke Rate, many things flew through my imaginative mind, and as I read, I wasn’t wrong to think that way. But, in this case, it is also, a cleverly titled book, considering the story also centres around a British rowing club. As well as rowing, the story also delves into the genre of BDSM - though not hardcore - which isn’t a realm I have found myself reading much of before. So, please forgive me if I have misunderstood any dynamics.
I found this story deliciously engaging. However, although I know men are sexual beings, it got a little irritating that, no matter what Lucien did, every few sentences or so, Ben’s cock hardened. Lucien could be doing something naughty, and Ben could be panicking, but at the end of it, Ben’s cock hardened. Is it like that in the BDSM world? If it is, I apologise and consider myself educated.
A Sub or a Dom is something I don’t think I’ll ever be, but I can see the allure. There is no doubt that this story is arousing.
Much like Ben in the story, I found myself conflicted; only my dilemma was between the reader and reviewer/beta in me. The reviewer could see repetitive phrases and often, thoughts of the characters were opposite to actions. But the reader in me enjoyed the story to the point where I started and finished the story in one day, eventually closing down well past midnight. I have to say - my absolute favourite line was – He had all the charm of a great white shark with an empty stomach.
Like always I’m not going to reveal spoilers, they’re in the blurb. I found the development of the BDSM relationship was the primary arc, and if I had to sum up this story in a few words they would be, enjoyable, erotically arousing, and memorable.