Title: The Deeper He Hurts (Kick #2)
Author: Lynda Aicher
Release Date: September 6, 2016
Page Count: 224
Reviewed by: Vallie
Heat Level: 5 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
In this wild and sensual Kick novel from the RITA Award–nominated author of The Harder He Falls, a sizzling affair tempts the tech guru of a popular outdoor-adventure-sports company to come out of the closet and embrace his desires.
Asher Ruggiero, a partner at Adrenaline Kick Adventures, is living a lie. As a control freak whose big Italian family thinks he’s straight, Asher likes his encounters concise, dirty, and discreet—until his company’s new rafting guide walks into work, dripping with brooding, intense sexuality. Sawyer Stevens is a mystery man with secrets and rough edges, and he makes Asher want to get to know him inside and out.
Ever since the tragic death of his parents, Sawyer has dedicated himself to the rush of adrenaline that comes from pleasure and pain. Moving from one guy to another, hiding when life gets too complicated—that’s all he can handle. So why does Asher make him long for something lasting and honest, when the gorgeous geek can’t even be true to himself? Sawyer wants to give Asher his heart, but he just doesn’t know how. After all, a life without integrity is a life without passion—and that’s the one thing Sawyer craves.
The Deeper He Hurts is intended for mature audiences. This ebook includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.
Hmm, this is a hard one to review.
I am a big fan of BDSM and I’ve liked this author’s work before, so this seemed like a slam dunk. I was unpleasantly surprised to find that wasn’t the case.
While it’s the second book in the series and I haven’t read the first one, I felt like it could be read as a standalone just fine. I don’t know how realistic having a group of gay Doms go into business together is, but okay. So, Asher is very business-oriented. He’s the suit of the group. He does the books, sort of speak, and has an app-developing business on the side. Oh, and he’s a sadist. Sawyer is hired as a rafting guide for the summer. That scene when he enters Asher’s office is boss.
Sawyer’s laugh burst free in a quick flight before he dug in to play. “And your knowledge is?”
Asher leaned forward, clasping his hands on the desk. “Vast.”
Asher’s lips twitched, a spark lighting his eyes, obliterating the stern formality. “And still growing.”
See how fun? They’re flirting, they have chemistry, and the sexual tension is swirling around them. Well, that’s just about where the fun ends. Because Sawyer has a tragic past which has led him to seek out pain in its most vicious form and Asher is more than happy to provide it. Sawyer does not mix pain with pleasure. He is just a hardcore pain slut. Asher tries to infuse their play scenes with sexual pleasure, to combine the two, but Sawyer meets him with resistance. They do have a very steamy sex life, eventually, but there is a disconnect in the formal scenes –they want it for different reasons.
And that’s where my problem was. I am going to echo Dani’s review because I had many of the same issues. Their scenes were borderline torture, with Sawyer refusing to declare any hard limits. And while there is no cure by magic dick, Asher ends up being the catalyst for Sawyer to address his issues. I am not comfortable with BDSM being a way for people to cope with their distress. It was very clear that Sawyer sought out this extreme pain because he wanted to punish himself and suffer. And that’s not sexy –regardless of whether the scene ends with orgasms.
This was a very angsty, heavy book that was mostly challenging to read, if I’m honest. The HEA was good but it did not make up for pages and pages of hurt/comfort and Sawyer turning Asher away. I just wanted more romance.
Read with caution.