A guest review by Leslie
When Adam Reeve is drawn into the world of D/s he couldn’t be happier—until his old lover returns, shocked to see Adam collared and vowing to win him back.
Adam Reeve can’t keep his eyes, or his hands, off the sexy new stud working out at Full Throttle Fitness. Adam’s policy is not to jeopardise his job by having flings with clients, but tall and gorgeous Nick is too hard to resist. Plus, it’s been a serious dry spell since Adam’s long-time love, Mitch Silver, callously walked out on him.
Nicolas Fontana is instantly captivated by the handsome personal trainer, sweet talking his way into Adam’s bed and his heart. He doesn’t tell his new love about his desire to dominate. Instead, he takes things slow, leading the less experienced man down the D/s path Nick craves.
Mitch returns with thoughts of reclaiming Adam. He’s amazed and surprised by the changes in his old lover’s life. Sure, Nick is handsome and definitely hot. But Mitch would never let anyone dominate him. Never.
The cover of this book caught my eye, so I requested a review copy.
I should have stopped at the cover.
As noted in the blurb, Nick and Adam met at the gym where Adam works as a personal trainer. They have been “dating” for a few weeks, which is a euphemism for having lots of sex. Nick has begun to pepper his language with comments like, “If you don’t behave, I’ll have to punish you,” and forbidding Adam to touch himself except to “wash and pee.” Adam isn’t quite sure where this is going but finds the rough talk arousing. Shortly thereafter, Nick shows Adam a studded leather collar and leash and announces that he is a sexual Dominant and he believes that Adam is a natural submissive. Adam is a little leery but because he is crazy about Nick, he’s willing to give “the lifestyle” a try. Nick buckles the collar around Adam’s neck and off they go. Within three weeks, Adam is crawling around on his hands and knees, calling Nick “Master” and “Sir,” and doing everything he can to ensure that his Dominant is pleased for which he, in turn, receives the most mind blowing orgasms of his life—night after night after night.
Reading this is like reading a “BDSM for Dummies” manual. All the buzzwords are there: “safe, sane, and consensual sex,” “total power exchange,” “safe words,” and so on. Nick, in the guise of teaching Adam, teaches us too. Trouble is, I didn’t want a tutorial, I wanted a story. There is a plot but it was so fake and contrived it made me sigh in frustration.
Little things niggled at me. Early in the story, Adam notices he has a couple of hickeys on his neck and worries that someone at the gym will make a comment about them (high schoolish, much?). But a few weeks later when he is wearing a thick silver chain with a padlock on it, does he worry about comments then? Not at all. The author also uses the term “regular sex” which is not what Nick and Adam (and eventually Mitch) are doing. That begs the question: is BDSM irregular? Abnormal? Um, I don’t think so. And frankly, what they are doing is pretty regular, at least in my book. Adam wears a collar and gets spanked a few times. That’s it. Nick mentions whips and handcuffs, but never produces them. Plain vanilla BDSM is the name of the game.
Someone commented recently that in women-authored books there seems to be a preponderance of cleaning. I had never noticed this before but it was certainly true in Never Say Never. These guys are constantly tidying up, wiping down counters, spreading towels over the sheets and furniture, and washing dishes. My favorite: when they go to the local BDSM club, the Rose & Thorn, Nick helpfully explains,
“This is a very hygienic place…The furniture covers are changed between guests. Under them are plastic covers that can easily be sanitised. So don’t worry about anything in here.”
As they leave, after Mitch has “straightened up and made sure the room was in decent shape,” they hang a placard on the door notifying housekeeping that the room is ready for their services. I couldn’t help but chuckle.
All in all, not much here to recommend. I note that the author has several other books that have been published. If you are a fan of her writing, you might enjoy this. But for me, Jenna Byrnes is not going on my auto-buy list.
I did like the cover, though.