I like romance and boys loving boys in my books.
You can also find me on my main blog.
Damn, damn, damn.
This was cruising for 4 stars, despite my having issues with Ben throughout, until it took a sharp nose dive into WTAF territory that ruined the book for me.
I liked Scott. Poor kid was in a bad sitch at home, thought he had found a way out, only to end up in an even worse sitch in a foreign country, without clothes, money or a place to go. Enter Ben, who just happened to be at the Manchester airport, apparently has a nose for sniffing out lost souls, and helped Scott by taking him to Collars and Cuffs, and then offering him a place to stay. For a while, until the bad sitch can be resolved.
I liked revisiting Peter and his Master Thomas, as well as Leo and his sub Alex, but they only featured as supporting characters in this book, and neither Leo or Thomas really impressed me in this one.
But Ben? Ben takes the cake for being an oblivious dumbshit asshole. His treatment of Scott is abysmal, hurtful and so bloody stupid. He's so concerned about money and his own damn pride, that he can't see the forest for the trees, and has to be tricked into realizing what the reader has known all along. Dumbass.
Then, Scott gives Ben the ultimate gift. They exchange ILYs. Then some other contrived drama puts Ben in the hospital. And then Ben fucks it up so completely, so utterly, that I almost threw my Nook against the wall. The last 15% or so of this book were needless drama, and I HATE needless drama. There was absolutely NO POINT to it, nothing was gained from it. If Ben can't pull his head out of his ass on his own, he doesn't deserve Scott. He doesn't deserve this nice, loving, innocent and caring young man who dropped into his lap by chance, when he can't even SEE the gift he's been given.
All Scott wants, as is made clear again and again through his thoughts and actions, is someone to keep him. Someone to love him, be proud of him. The signs are ALL THERE, and Ben is too dumb to see them. Scott gets disappointed and hurt again and again, because Ben is blinded by pride.
I'm sick of the "I'll have to let you go, it's for your own good" Edward Cullen syndrome that has become the latest trope in romance, whether it's M/F or M/M. This noble gesture only serves to shine a spotlight on the stupidity of the MC, and doesn't have a real purpose. In a loving relationship, even one that's D/s, you do not get to make life-changing decisions without the input of your partner. You don't get to make changes that affect you both, without discussing it first.
Your first responsibility as a Dom is to make sure that your submissive's emotional and physical health and well-being is taken care of. Ben - you failed.
I felt like Scott's feelings and dreams continued to be trampled on, and nobody, not even the person who said he loved him, took his hopes and dreams into consideration when making a life-altering decision.
You failed, Ben, not just as a Dom, but as a human being. You failed miserably, and you don't deserve Scott.
Yeah, this was disappointing. Damn!
** I received a free ARC from Dreamspinner Press. A positive review was not promised in return. **