Title: When to Hold Them (Bluewater Bay #9)
Author: G.B. Gordon
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: August 17, 2015
Page Count: 221
Reviewed by: Gigi
Heat Level: 5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Doran Callaghan doesn’t know when to fold ’em. His gambling has landed him in debt and in jail, and now it’s got him stuck in the sticks in a reintegration program. He wants to turn his life around, but old habits come knocking, and some creditors are harder to shake than others.
Xavier Wagner cares more about the National Park he works in than the people around it, until a stranger awakens desires he didn’t know he had. Doran’s natural submissiveness turns Xavier’s ideas of how to treat a lover upside down. But Doran doesn’t seem to know about boundaries — or even to have any — and Xavier’s not sure that Doran will say no if he needs to. Which means someone’s going to get hurt.
While Xavier struggles with his principles, Doran’s past comes calling. Trusting each other is suddenly a matter of life or death, but Doran has to decide whether counting on Xavier — or himself — is a gamble he’s willing to take.
So, right off the bat, the author gives us a visual of what main character Park Ranger Xavier Wagner looks like. “The guy looked like Luther flipping West from Resident Evil. Or what West might have looked like if he wasn’t fighting zombies.” Well, I can tell you exactly what Luther West looks like when he’s not fighting zombies. He looks like actor Boris Kodjoe. jaw drops Now, there are beautiful men in this world, and then there is Boris Kodjoe. I’m kind of a fan, OK? And having that visual throughout this book just kept me warm and happy. (See photo on the right for another photo I came across while reading this book. dies I’m in M/M fiction heaven.)
Doran Callaghan is a 22 year old kid really down on his luck. He has a gambling addiction that landed him in jail and is working a menial job to pay off his large debt, all under the watchful eye of his probation officer. He does web design for the Bluewater Bay’s Tourist Information site and his office window is across the street from a gas station. Every Sunday afternoon, like clockwork, an overly handsome Park Ranger fills his tank and grabs some lunch. Doran has been pining over the man for weeks and has finally gotten up enough courage to go across the street and buy a sandwich while the Park Ranger is there. His tongue ties in knots and he finds himself ducking out of the store pretty quickly, but not before learning the man’s name.
Xavier Wagner is an avid outdoorsman who finds himself back in the closet after college. He moves back to his home town and gets a job helping to maintain his beloved National Park. His parents live nearby and are kind and supportive but he still feels like something is missing in his life. Even regular hook-ups with men are surprisingly unfulfilling.
When Xavier meets Doran, he realizes exactly what has been missing in his life. His need/want/desire to control someone is the bedroom. squeeeeee Doran is naturally submissive and really needs someone to help him get his shit together. Someone to take control.
Match made in heaven, right? Not just yet. These men are realistic is the expectations of one another and manage to find out what works and what doesn’t work with their respected kinks. (Between all the hot monkey sex that is)
I really enjoyed this story and the drama that eventually threw Doran and Xavier closer together. While Doran comes off as kind of a doormat at first, he proves to be anything but. And that is the sexiest thing of all.