Title: Dom of Ages (Collars and Cuffs, #7)
Author: K.C. Wells and Parker Williams
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 21, 2015
Genre(s): m/m BDSM
Page Count: 264 pages
Reviewed by: Alissa
Heat Level: 4.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5
Eli may only be thirty, but he has had enough of pretend submissives. When he spies Jarod in a BDSM club, everything about the man screams submission. So what if Jarod is probably twenty years older than Eli. What does age matter, anyway? All he can see is what he’s always wanted—a sub who wants to serve.
Jarod spent twenty-four years with his Master before Fate took him. Four years on, Jarod is still lost, so when a young Dom takes charge, Jarod rolls with it and finds himself serving again. But he keeps waiting for the other shoe to drop. Because there’s going to come a point when Eli realizes he’s a laughing stock in the club. Who would want to be seen with a fifty-year-old sub?
After several missteps, Eli realizes that in order to find happiness, they will need friends who will understand. At a friend’s insistence, he visits Collars & Cuffs, where they are met with open arms. As they settle in to their new life, Eli begins to see things differently and he dares to think he can have it all. Until a phone call threatens to take it all away….
I count myself as a huge fan of this series. And while Leo and Alex’s story (book one) An Unlocked Heart and the character Dorian (book 6) remain my favorites, Dom of Ages and Jarod come in as a close seconds. This book took some preconceived notions I had and blew them out of the water. It took me out of my comfort zone and made me think about what I thought I knew and liked. And when a book can do that … it’s worth its weight in gold.
Dom of Ages was a highly emotional read. I was already in tears during the first chapter. When we meet Jarod, a submissive, for the first time, he experiences tragedy in a way I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. And as tragedies have a way of doing, Jarod becomes lost. He doesn’t know how to go on. He’s merely existing not living. But his submissive nature cannot stay hidden and he longs to belong to someone again. To serve. Maybe even to love.
My feelings over Jarod ran the gamut. I felt his pain, his humiliation, his loss deeply. But at times, I wanted to scream at him for being such a wuss. I wanted him to fight dammit … but then I realized that’s not how Jarod shows his strength. It’s a quiet strength. It is hidden. And it needed to be brought out. Enter Eli.
Eli, a newly trained Dom, is looking for a submissive. A true submissive and not a pretender like the ones that have been filling up the local clubs lately. It is at one of the clubs that Eli spots Jarod for the first time. He takes note of Jarod’s age; dismisses it. That is NOT what has caught his eye. It’s Jarod’s posture. It’s his reactions to being looked over by Doms and laughed at by other submissives. And Eli does something he’s never done before, he invites Jarod home and tells him he will belong to him.
I will freely admit the age difference between the two bothered me at first. Because I who thought I was pretty open to anything thought a thirty year old dom and a 50 year old submissive? This is so not going to work. And here lies the brilliance of this book. It made me realize being a submissive has nothing to do with age. Nothing. And after a while I forgot about the age difference unless it was brought up in the story. And I felt shame. Shame that I thought this. So one of my preconceived notions … blown out of the water because this relationship worked. Now were there problems? … yes. Eli must learn how to take care of his submissive like a true Dom and Jarod must learn to live again. And not just by serving. Mistakes are made on both sides. The journey, the growth of these two characters was something to see. And the scene in the park (I won’t give it away), fucking heartbreaking. This is when I began rooting for Jarod and Eli to make it.
The couple don’t go to the club the series is named for, Collars and Cuffs, immediately. Because after a bad experience, Eli wants to make sure when he takes Jarod out again, they will be accepted. And he needn’t had worried. And the fans of this series are in for a treat as all the past main couples and some noteworthy secondary characters are all present. And we find out their own personal issues have not gone away. Everyone of them is still dealing with the aftermath of their own stories. I loved how the subs from Collars and Cuffs took Jarod in immediately and accepted him with all their hearts. They began to look up to him as a mentor and counted him as a friend. They and Eli’s care allow Jarod to stop existing and begin to live again.
The age issue does become a “main event” but not in the way you might think. Both Jarod and Eli are given a reality check. Jarod realizes that the chances of him going first and leaving Eli like his first master did to him is a high probability. And he just can’t do that to Eli. Make him go through that. I was worried that this part of the story would drag on and on but the author’s handled it beautifully.
Now to the chapter that freaked me out. And before I go on please let me assure you this was a personal issue, a hard limit with me, that did NOT affect my enjoyment or rating of this book at all. I would have liked to have been warned is all. Because there is an entire chapter on sounding. If you don’t know what that is … google it. I will share with you that this practice makes me squirm and hide my eyes. I forced myself to read the scene (very quickly) and realized it wasn’t that bad. Why? Because the authors had done their research. This was not playing around. Eli was trained how do this as to not hurt Jarod and he was making sure other Doms did not hurt their subs. While it still isn’t my favorite thing (*cringe*), I was able to read through it the second time much more easily. Because it was done right. So, if something like this bothers you I just want the reader to be warned. It’s not for everyone.
Overall, I loved this book hard. Jarod was in my heart from the beginning. It’s almost like I grew with him as he learned to live again. I did have a much more difficult time warming up to Eli but once I realized what a good person he was he became mine as well. And I just realized, other than the previous paragraph, I haven’t mentioned sex at all. Because while this book is about BDSM that is NOT all what this book is about. It is so much more. But just in case you’re wondering …. this book had some of the hottest scenes I’ve read in quite some time. One word … wax. GAH!
I highly recommend to fans of the series. And a bit of a spoiler here but there is going to be another book. Squeee! I don’t think a new couple is going to be introduced. The epilogue and a previous scene hint at unfinished business so I think all of our faves will be present and accounted for. I’m hoping for a lot more of Dorian as he is my favorite. I will be counting the days, impatiently, for this book to come out.
Totally recommend. Hot. Heartbreaking. So many feels and so much love.