Author ~ Z. Allora
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Published ~ 15 July 2016
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance, BDSM
Rejected. Heartbroken. Devastated.
Zack Davis wanted to serve only one man, Andrew Nikeman. He was denied because Andrew thought he was too young and because their brothers were together. So Zack crushed his submissive tendencies and focused on being the perfect Dom, giving every sub he played with something he couldn’t have.
After years of denying his submissive side, Entwined’s charity auction “Are you Dom Enough to be a sub?” gives Zack an excuse to get a little of what he’s always craved.
Andrew doesn’t know when his infatuation turned into more, but it kills him to see Zack with a constant parade of submissives. He’d refused to jeopardize his brother’s relationship or become Zack’s regret; however, Zack isn’t a kid anymore, and his brother’s relationship is unbreakable. Now Zack’s popularity and success as a Dom might ruin Andrew’s dreams of collaring him, but he can’t wait any longer to confess his feelings or he risks losing the man he loves forever.
When we meet 18 year old Zack, he’s just started working as a roadie for his brother’s band. He likes to disappear and remain unnoticed, but when he meets Andrew he’s immediately a goner and he wants nothing more than to be noticed by the sexy man who trips all his submissive desires. From the start Andrew sees two strikes against getting together with the beautiful Zack; the fact that Zack is seven years younger, but more importantly Andrew won’t do anything that could jeopardize his brother Justin’s relationship with Zack’s brother Dusty.
A few months later, Zack has finally saved enough money to become a member at Entwined, a BDSM club where he hopes to learn about and explore the submissive desires he’s had for years, when who should stroll through the club but his dream man Andrew. Zack is determined to become the best submissive Andrew could want. Zack and Andrew wind up forming a close friendship that stokes their desire for each other, but when Zack puts it all out there and tells Andrew about his feelings and desire to submit to him, Andrew shuts him down. Humiliated, Zack pushes his submissive tendencies down and over the next two years becomes a Dom all the subs at Entwined want to play with. Zack and Andrew’s desire for each other has never gone away. In fact they want each other more than ever, but deep hurt, misunderstandings and fear keep them apart. When Zack has the opportunity to sell himself as a sub for a weekend at the club’s charity event, he only hopes that Andrew will finally step up and buy his contract. Even one weekend with the man would be better than nothing at all.
Wow! The tension between Andrew and Zack! There is a long, slow build up in this story with so many awkward moments between the two as they work on tour together, are linked by their families and occasionally run into the other at Entwined. After having seen them build a friendship, it was really sad watching them deny what they wanted from each other even as their friends and family try to push them to get together. Then when it looks like they will finally get their act together, the hurt that lingers with Zack over Andrew’s rejection is a huge bump in the road.
Putting it plainly, these guys have huge communication issues everywhere but in the bedroom. Having both their points of view, I got the very clear sense of how much they mean to each other and how, once they finally are at a point to have all their sexy dreams come true, they are both so afraid to say or do the wrong thing that could cause their relationship to crumble.
BDSM is a big part of the story, but there is nothing too hardcore here. Zack’s biggest desires are to serve Andrew and to be tied down, but he and Andrew also dabble in orgasm delay and impact play. What was an interesting twist for me was seeing Zack operating as a Dom when deep down he knew he was really meant to be a sub. Knowing what it feels like on both sides of the collar makes Zack extremely sensitive to the needs of the subs he plays with and turns him into a proficient Dom-sub matchmaker. The author definitely shows respect for the varied ways people find what they need in the individuality of each BDSM relationship. When Zack and Andrew get together it’s all they hoped for and more. There is the beauty of Zack finally submitting the only man for him and Andrew determined to give Zack what he knows he wants. Seriously hot!
I’m new to Z. Allora’s writing and had no idea when I picked up the story that it was a spin off to her Dark Angels series. Although a lot of people are quickly introduced in the first chapter and there is obvious history between the all the characters, enough information was provided so I wasn’t lost and Andrew and Zack’s story plays out fully from the day they meet. I imagine fans of that prior series will find a deeper connection and understanding to the events referenced. The band and their friends seem like quite the interesting crew and I look forward to going back and reading all their stories.
Zack and Andrew were both engaging characters (especially sweet Zack) who were put through quite a bit of emotional turmoil and needed to grow before finally finding happiness. There were one or two times where I felt the pace of the story slowed, namely the BDSM 101 and contract negotiations, but it was nothing that kept me from enjoying the rest of the story. I’m hoping there will be more to come from this world as Zack’s younger brother Jordon is one of the more delightful and interesting of the group and there are a few scenes that felt like set ups for more.