by Lyn Gala
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
POV: Third person, one point-of-view
Scene Setting: Modern Day
Sub Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, minor BDSM
Book Cover Rating: 5
Vinnie Bernardi wants to leave his past as a spoiled rich boy behind and find himself as a proud, gay submissive. He’s set his sights on two possible dominants: Charleston, a graying, sexy, straight-as-an-arrow physical trainer, and RJ, the straight-talking dyke who owns the bar where Vinnie dances. Neither is exactly ideal, but Vinnie is slowly falling apart and needs a top to help him hold it together.
He chooses Charleston, but Vinnie’s presence in Charleston’s life stirs up some deadly ghosts from the man’s mysterious past. After years of trying to avoid the real world, Vinnie may find himself pulled back into it—but he might not survive long enough to get what he truly needs: love and a firm hand to shelter it.
I’m going to be upfront honest here. When I saw the cover of this book, I was all over it. Just stop a minute and really look at it: That sweet as hell face, those eyes, that head almost bowed in submission and the chain he’s holding up. He’s begging to submit, tell me you can’t see it. I read the blurb and was bouncing all over the place in excitement. I just had to read this one.
And because the other reviewers were busy I got to do just that. By page twenty-seven I was really wondering what I had gotten myself into. Please wait before you roll your eyes and sigh, let me explain. I was thinking that the young guy, Vinnie, our main character and the one who tells this story in his POV, was going to be whipped and or uh, done up by his boss RJ. Now, RJ is the owner of this bar where Vinnie works, often as a dancer or server. Why did I think this? Because she threatened this often enough that I thought I’d blow up if I read it again. Yes, RJ is a woman, and she’s a Domme and she has no problems whatsoever spanking, whipping, and even having sex with a gay man. And she’s a top, to boot. Yes, she uses or has been known to use strap ons but she doesn’t in this story. Her main goal was to protect the young Vinnie, from threatening Dom’s and himself. Why? Because this young guy was so desperate to submit to someone, anyone, it was getting to the point of dangerous.
Vinnie Bernardi is in his early to mid twenties and he has this massive crush on his ex-instructor from the military academy. His father sent him there to straighten him up, literally. He didn’t want a gay son. What a jerk. So, young Vinnie gives us brief glances to his past through out the story and to sum it up, here’s a paragraph from the story:
“In his own life, he’d hated Troy Martello. Troy was a sad little twerp who tried so hard to fit in that he had this mask that he wore so that people would like him. His father had started dumping him on nannies and stepmothers and just about anyone he could by the time Troy was five, and Troy had learned to either entertain his father or watch his father go off with the first pretty woman to cross his path. Of course, even when Troy played the fool, his father had still left, so Troy had developed a whole new set of behaviors, one that included police reports and courtrooms. It was harder to ignore court-ordered family therapy than it was to ignore some little snot-nosed kid who wanted you to stay with him instead of chasing the leggy blonde who’d just walked into the restaurant.”
Wondering who Troy is? That’s Vinnie. He changed his name, his identity because as you read, he hated who he was. He hated his father, and all that he represented so once he graduated he ran off and became a new person. He met Charleston, the instructor at the academy and knew immediately he was the man for him. However, Charleston never gave him the time of day unless he was ordering him to do something physical, like running and doing push-ups. Well, Charleston was the guy all the teachers called to correct the incorrigible boy, he was the only one who could. Soon, Vinnie realized that he needed that Dom type in his life; he realized he wanted to submit to someone, he needed to submit to someone. He wanted it to be Charleston and let me tell you, this boy has a very vivid imagination. In one fantasy, he’s a slave to a sheik and Charleston ends up buying him, and wowohwow, the sinister fun they have.
In real life though, Vinnie was only able to spy on Charleston and was even using recording equipment to do this. He was caught stalking the older military man though and that’s when the story started moving in a fun direction. Things get sticky and hot rather quickly and soon Vinnie soon finds his life is in grave danger and really freaks out when he submits for the crazed killer. Come to find out the man he’d fallen for isn’t the man he thought he was…Oh this is such a great read I hated to see it end.
Well, okay to some maybe not so fun, I guess it really depends on what you feel like reading or what you like to read. If you’re not into a story with a great plot, a story where the author builds up the sexual heat between the two main characters, with some great nail biting adventure? Then maybe don’t read this one. I’m not kidding. Lyn made me wait until the end to see the two characters together in a bdsm scene and wow it was done so very well. Rope bondage. WOW. At one time the characters had a bomb in Vinnie’s lap!
The author writes angst, and I love to read that. What a wonderful job she did. BRAVO Lyn. And when Vinnie submitted? Oh my…All I can say is what are you doing? Go get your copy…