Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Review: The Difference Between by Blake Moreno

thedifference-between-thumbnailTitle ~ The Difference Between

Author ~ Blake Moreno 

Publisher ~ Dark Ink

Published ~ 10th January 2017

Genre ~ Dark, Erotic M/M Romance





"You're the strongest person I know."
Wade Maguire and Russ Paulson are in love. After a year of passion and happiness, they're buying a home and moving in together. Everything is rosy for them--until a jealous and insane ex from Wade's past puts all of that to the test.
"I need to figure out if there's a way to move past this. For both of us."
After being kidnapped and tortured by his deranged former lover, Wade loses his ability to engage with his own sexuality or with Russ. With the help of a psychologist, EMDR therapy, and a sex plan, they work together to overcome the damage inflicted. In the process, they discover wells of love they've never known before.
"You never deserved what happened to you. No matter what you've told yourself. You only deserved love."
As passion is reborn and their sex life reignited, Wade realizes a need to re-experience certain events in Russ's loving arms. For Wade, the difference between pain and pleasure is love, and the difference between rape and rough sex is consent.
Dark, and yet ultimately hopeful, this story of true love and rape recovery contains many emotional and graphic scenes of two men making love, as well as some intense scenes of torture. Proceed with care.
The Difference Between is a 78,000 word steamy, graphic, intensely emotional novel with a strong happy ending. No cheating and no cliffhangers, just two men who fight for their love. STAND-ALONE


Jane’s Review

This is a darker kind of book. It has trigger warnings that you must read and adhere to before embarking upon the story. Most of the really dark stuff, the kidnap and torture are told in chapters two and three, so you can potentially read chapter one and skip to chapter four. However, there are slightly less graphic flashbacks throughout the story so proceed with caution if any of these events can potentially trigger you. That said, if like me, you like the darker, angstier books then this is going to be right up your street.

Russ Paulson is a hot shot lawyer and Wade Maguire is a manny for his friend’s children. The pair have been together happily for a year until Wade is kidnapped by a jealous, mentally ill ex lover. The scenes of torture are extremely graphic and make for some tough reading, but if you can get through them you will be rewarded by the rest of the story. This is ultimately a story about hope and recovery and the power of love and support and the influence that can have on the outcome of trauma recovery.

Wade is in intensive therapy and with his therapist Dr. Salinas, he embarks on a course of EMDR therapy. This essentially has you reliving the memories over and over until the impact lessens on your mind. You can distance yourself from the memory or can change what happens or watch it happen rather than live through it again. This is a very effective technique and is used a lot with PTSD survivors and with severe trauma survivors. We see the impact that the ordeal has had on Wade and also on Russ and their friends. Wade zones out a lot, cannot drive and loses his job. His sex life which was once all encompassing, is no longer and he worries about the impact of this on his and Russ’s long term relationship. He suffers with anxiety and panic attacks. All real outcomes for someone coping with such an ordeal.

As the therapy progresses, Wade comes to realise he could apply some of what he has learnt to take back control of his sexuality and his and Russ’s sex life. They form a plan to act out scenes, much like in a BDSM relationship, with expectations fully outlined and safewords in place etc. They begin to work through, in incremental steps to regain some of what has been taken from Wade. By reliving some of the stuff he experienced at the hands of his kidnapper, Wade wants to own the memory or change it so it lessens the impact it has on him. It was quite emotional to read at times, but I loved just how supportive Russ was with what Wade wanted to do. Even when he felt it was something he couldn’t do, he spoke with Dr. Salinas to make sure he was safeguarding Wade and not doing further damage. The love and support Russ displayed was beautiful and I think it was one of the main influences on Wade’s recovery.

I really enjoyed this book, watching Wade come back from what happened to him was immensely satisfying, however, the one thing I would say that might have elevated this above 4* for me, was the need for more back story before the kidnap. I think if I had more of that I would have been much more emotionally invested in them as a couple. I just felt I probably could have cared much more than I did. That said, I did enjoy the therapy aspect of this book and the loving relationship between Russ and Wade. If you like darker stories with an element of hope and love then this is certainly a book you should read.

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