Lock and Key

Title: Lock and Key
Author: Z. Allora
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: July 15th 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary, BDSM
Page Count: 300
Reviewed by: Ele
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

Rejected. Heartbroken. Devastated.

Zack Davis wanted to serve only one man, Andrew Nikeman. He was denied because Andrew thought he was too young and because their brothers were together. So Zack crushed his submissive tendencies and focused on being the perfect Dom, giving every sub he played with something he couldn’t have.

After years of denying his submissive side, Entwined’s charity auction “Are you Dom Enough to be a sub?” gives Zack an excuse to get a little of what he’s always craved.

Andrew doesn’t know when his infatuation turned into more, but it kills him to see Zack with a constant parade of submissives. He’d refused to jeopardize his brother’s relationship or become Zack’s regret; however, Zack isn’t a kid anymore, and his brother’s relationship is unbreakable. Now Zack’s popularity and success as a Dom might ruin Andrew’s dreams of collaring him, but he can’t wait any longer to confess his feelings or he risks losing the man he loves forever.

So….this is awkward. I seem to be the minority with this one. I liked Z.Allora’s The Dark Angels series, so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this spin-off novel with Zack and Andrew as the MCs.

The first 20% of the book overlaps with Finally Fallen (don’t worry, Lock and Key can be read as a standalone). There’s obvious chemistry between Andrew and Zack, but Andrew refuses to act on it. I understood his reasons and I wholeheartidly agree with him. Zack was too young, and why risk causing trouble in Dusty and Justin’s relationship?I liked the snark and the humor, and I found that the two-year time jump worked great. But for the most part of it, this story didn’t work out for me:

~I found that the plot was all over the place and I felt it needed tightening (maybe another round of editing?). This is a long book. Like 6075 kindle locations long. There are pages upon pages of BDSM tutorials, the MC’s repetitive inner thoughts, sex between the MCs and other people, or sex between other people which turns into an orgy. Zack spends more time talking to his tattoo artist than to Andrew, for God’s sake. There was no balance. The MCs did not have enough page time together (except their first sex scene that lasted waaaay too long).

~ After all the above, the conclusion and the HEA was rushed.

~Zack hates that Andrew thinks he’s too young. But when Andrew finally comes to his senses, Zack acts exactly like that; a spoiled, immature brat. It felt contrived.

~Zack’s inner monologue and the repetition of the exact same phrase drove me nuts. The phrase “Kneel. Serve. His.” was repeated more than 40 times! And then it was…

” Mine. Melt. Merge.”
“No. Stop. Still.”
“Mine. Mine. No.”

I found this pretty weird, but it could be just that I don’t gel with the author’s writing. It might not bother other readers.

There’s always a chance that it’s a case of “it’s me, not the book”, since most people seem to like it. I really, really wanted to like this more:(

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Lock and Key provided by the publisher in exchange of an honest review.


Mother, wife, teacher and READER. I read MM almost exclusively. My kindle is my best friend and the most important thing in my life after my son. My poor husband... I read MM romance almost exclusively. As a reader I don't have any hard limits except incest. I like Contemporary and Historicals and I rarely read Paranormal unless recommended...