Author ~ Joseph Lance Tonlet
Publisher ~ JLT Publishing
Published ~ 1 September 2016
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance, BDSM
Wes has spent his life looking for that one special guy who will understand and love him—all of him. From his tender vanilla side, to his darker debauched side.
Throughout high school, his successful career in the Marines, and as a BDSM Dom, he’s remained confident his partner is out there waiting to be found.
However, several events shake his normally unflappable self–assurance.
And, even after he finds Grif, will his past catch up with him and possibly drive his soul mate away?
Tags: GAY, EROTICA, BDSM, D/s, DEGRADATION, SPH, BITTERSWEET
Initially dropping the reader into Wes’s past for a shocking opening chapter, the story quickly picks up where Grif’s Toy left off (and you really must read that before this one). Wes’ Denial is similar in style to the first book, taking us back in forth in time to tell Wes’ story and continue moving his relationship with Grif forward, but there is more of a darkness to this tale. We already knew that there were a few secrets Wes wasn't ready to share with Grif and he struggles with trying to keep them hidden throughout the story. There are two events in particular that have haunted him for years and have shaped the D/s relationship he shares with Grif and the way Wes views himself as both a Dom and a man.
From the start of the story we get a glimpse of a different Wes. Not completely the confident Wes we came to know in Grif’s Toy, but a Wes that harbors uncertainties, who is guilt ridden and pained by the secrets he is keeping and his past actions. This Wes is prominent in the book, but we still do get plenty of the dominant, loving and fun partner that Grif brings out. These two are like yin and yang; just the perfect match. It is, in fact, Grif’s desire to give Wes more that leads to his fears coming out.
The chapters showing us a younger Wes discovering his kink for control helped me to understand that particular need of his a bit better. We see him as a teenager getting ready to enter the Marines and just starting to practice his kink, during boot camp and his early Marine days where couple of events start to rock his foundation, and as a Dom looking to better understand the whys behind both his need and the needs of subs he encounters. The references made in Grif’s Toy to the two times he may have been in love are played out here and I’ll just say neither ends well. These events that are haunting Wes are severe and it is no wonder he is so torn up.
Grif knows that Wes is keeping things from him but he does everything to assure Wes that he loves and trusts him implicitly. Their relationship moves forward in both the Vanilla and Chocolate areas of their lives and while Wes may be having trouble trusting and forgiving himself, Grif has no such doubts and once again shows his strength when he decides to take matters into his own hands in a way I never would have seen coming and absolutely adored.
The kink is heavy in this one yet again. Their Chocolate sessions get more intense and evolve along with the couple. Both Grif and Wes seek to add new elements, some of which go incredibly well and others …. not so much. The bond that they share continues to grow and there is never any doubt of their love and commitment. I laughed, I cringed and got a bit hot at their escapades.
The secondary characters that are introduced are all there for a reason. From Wes’ high school lovers Phillip and Conrad, to Thomas and Henrik the Dom and his sub who took him on to train and the Marines who touched his life in different ways. They are all characters that are as complex as Grif and Wes and add layers to the man that Wes became. I can only hope for a Tease and Denial Book 3 that focuses on Quinn and Gage. Although we meet them only briefly, they made quite an impression, Gage especially, and I can only imagine the story JLT could tell about them.
As heavy as the book can get, Grif’s light and the absolute devotion Wes has to him and their life together is staggeringly beautiful. It’s an emotional journey that leads to the bittersweet Epilogue. Yes, there will be tears, but I bet you will also manage a smile at the absolutely perfect last few sentences.
Grif’s Toy: Tease and Denial Book One by Joseph Lance Tonlet
Grif believes he’ll live his life as a virgin. After all, who would want him? How could anyone find him, a guy who came with less than man-sized equipment, worthy of their love?
What he hadn’t counted on were the two amazing men who would change his life. After entering college, he meets Tate, his fun-loving, wealthy roommate. While years later, with Tate now just a memory, Wes, a handsome, rugged ex-marine who runs his own security firm enters his life.
Both men force him to see his value, despite his size and insecurities.
Meet Joseph Lance Tonlet
JOSEPH is a born and raised Southern Californian—with a twenty-year stint of living in the Midwest. He loves the laid-back lifestyle of San Diego and considers himself lucky to live where people dream of vacationing.
A lifelong reader of m/m fiction, he began his writing career one night sitting at his MacBook and has never looked back. He writes to bring the characters he dreams about to life.